Keeping the beat in Edinburgh

Basel’s Top Secret Drum Corps draws crowds and praise at the 2015 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. (SRF/

This content was published on August 26, 2015

The Swiss city of Basel is famous for its version of “Fasnacht”, the annual carnival. Some 3,000 active drummers are linked to these celebrations and the various city guilds’ parades.

Drawing from this tradition, the Top Secret Drum Corps was formed in 1990 and has become one of the most sought-after groups of its kind. The drummers distinguish themselves from traditional military drumming routines with their upbeat and playful style. Their shows also include drumstick juggling and flag spinning.

Top Secret were first invited to The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in 2003, becoming one of the first non-military, non-British Commonwealth acts to perform in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. The formation was then invited to Edinburgh four other times.

Top Secret’s energetic style has delighted crowds all over the world; nevertheless, all of its dedicated members have various day jobs.

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Discover our weekly must-reads for free!

Sign up to get our top stories straight into your mailbox.

The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.