The Royal Highland Show cancelled – but plans for virtual show taking shape

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The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) has announced that the 2021 Royal Highland Show will not go ahead following guidance from senior Scottish Government officials. 

This is the second year that Scotland’s largest event, attracting in the region of 200,000 visitors each year, will not take place due to the global pandemic. 

Disappointed organisers said that they had left ‘no stone unturned’ in their determination to host the 180th Royal Highland Show, but restrictions likely to still be in place by June make it impossible to plan with confidence. 

Therefore, organisers have switched instead to the development of a Royal Highland Show live concept, bringing together the most-loved parts of the show including livestock judging, show jumping and competitions. It is envisaged that as much as possible of the traditional show will take place behind closed doors at the showground and be livestreamed across the globe.

RHASS Chairman Bill Gray said: “This thrilling initiative will effectively be a Royal Highland Show Live event, giving audiences unique access to parts of the Show they have never experienced before. Imagine being side-by-side with the judge as they select the champion Clydesdale or soaring over the jumps on the back of a competing showjumper – with technology and the finest livestock all this is possible. Further details of the live event will be announced in the coming weeks.”  

In the meantime, tickets purchased for the Royal Highland Show through Ticketmaster will receive an automatic ticket refund, including booking fee, and the promise of priority access to ticket sales for the 2022 Show. 

The economic impact of another ‘no show’ year will be significant. The Royal Highland Show contributes in excess of £55.7 million each year to the Scottish economy and is viewed as the Oscars of the agricultural sector, with hundreds of rosettes presented each year to the finest livestock. 

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