A musical extravaganza that takes place on Horse Guards Parade annually in June for 2 nights only.  In 2014 it will be on the 11th-12th June.

Beating retreat is a traditional English ceremony that was used to call patrolling troops back to the castle in the 16th Century.  Today it involves marching bands and cannons firing.  It features The Massed Bands of the Footguards, The Household Cavalry Mounted Band, The Massed Pipes and Drums of the Household Division, The Massed Corps of Drums for the Household Division, The Royal Horse Artillery and a guest band.  It shows off British Military music at its best along with demonstrating the horsemanship skills of the Household Cavalry.

It opens with the Royal Horse Artillery firing canons followed by a fanfare played by the state trumpters mounted on horseback.  The different bands then do a number of displays before coming together for the finale.  There is also a salute to a member of the Royal Family. 

This year the Bands of the Troupes de Marine and the Légion étrangère (French Foreign Legion) to share the WWI and D-Day commemoration as well as reinforce their strong traditional links with France. The Vancouver Police Pipe Band will also appear this year.

Wrap up warm as this is an evening event.  It is a ticketed event so book early.  If you enjoy military music, and want to see something very British this is the thing to see.