Alan Laidlaw: Looking forward to the Royal Highland Show 2022

The epic events, concerts, sales, shows and gatherings that we have missed so much over the past two years will – fingers crossed – make a welcome return in 2022.

In particular, the pride of our sector and Scotland’s largest outdoor event, the Royal Highland Show, which will be celebrating its bicentenary this year.

Live streaming has grown tremendously over the past year and while it does help bring people together to some extent, it cannot be compared to reuniting experienced at in-person events. We hosted our own live-broadcast event, the Royal Highland Showcase, last June, successfully drawing over 400,000 viewers from over 100 countries to watch 252 hours of footage during the week.

It’s taken the Showcase experience to homes around the world and only added to appetites for the show’s return, live and in person, in 2022, but we know, thanks to ticket sales. in advance for this year’s show there is a great demand for a return to big events.

Without a doubt, what we missed most about the live events is the feeling of coming together for a shared experience. Truly, there is nothing quite like celebrating the best of rural life with hundreds of like-minded people or standing at ringside like a procession of mighty Clydesdales gallops.

These are the kinds of tangible experiences that bring people together. Indeed, one of the main reasons the Highland is famous is the social aspect of finding friends and contacts that you might not see elsewhere. This is what makes him so special.

As we all look forward to this year’s show, we can’t just go back to how things were before the pandemic. The changes have been carefully designed, planned and tested to allay any concerns people may have about attending events of this magnitude.

With the safety of staff, attendees and exhibitors being our number one priority, we are focusing on key safety elements, including defined attendance capabilities, which will reduce queues, pinch points and delays. congested areas. Fortunately, the showground’s expansive space offers plenty of room for social distancing.

We are extremely grateful to the members who provided us with their email addresses ensuring that they receive their tickets to the show digitally. This will support our efforts to organize a safe event and provide real-time safety communication to members and visitors.

Other measures at the site include tracking and traceability and the creation of safe seating areas. With these and more milestones to be introduced in the coming months, we are confident that those who make their way to Ingliston will feel safe and happy doing so.

As you might expect, planning is well developed for the bicentennial Royal Highland Show with details of more special plans we have in view of this important comeback for the event. Watch this space, but what we can say is we’re hitting the road to make sure everyone gets a taste of what’s to come in June. The Highlands and Islands Presidential Team is the host region this year and we guarantee they are planning a proper tribute for this major milestone in the show’s history.

For exhibitors, the highly anticipated judges for this year’s show have been announced shortly – watch this space!

We look forward to seeing the new Members ‘Pavilion bursting with spectators in June and are delighted and grateful that our members’ support has remained strong. With the early bird tickets now sold out, we anticipate the general release of other tickets in the coming weeks.

Membership and ticket sales for the Royal Highland Show support the work of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) and enable us to conduct our charitable activity. In addition, by attending the show, you are also supporting an important sector. Every big event has a whole army of people behind it who work the hardest to create an amazing experience for the attendees.

For our rural shows and events there is an entire supply chain, livelihoods, generations of animal husbandry, not to mention the small local businesses that depend on these events for their survival. The Highland is only one piece of this important rural puzzle.

For 2022, we also look forward to the World Clydesdale Show, which will take place in Aberdeen from October 20-23, 2022. With support from RHASS, the event will feature the best of the Clydesdale breed in various riding and show classes.

The Clydesdale Show was last held in the United States in 2018 and its return event will be a fitting tribute to the Clydesdale horse who played a huge role in Scotland’s agricultural heritage, something that has been featured during the 2019 Royal Highland Show Clydesdale Celebration.

So as we move into the New Year, certainly not the happiest of months, we can focus on the things we can look forward to and one of them will be the Royal Highland Show 2022. On behalf of the Directors and from the RHASS staff, we wish you and yours the best for this year and look forward to seeing you all in Ingliston in June.