Highland Show may lack fan zone but is still a winner

While there might be no dedicated fan zone set up, the organisers of the first ever on-line Royal Highland show hope that the farming community will mirror Euro 2020 levels of interest in the live streaming of livestock judging and other events.

Royal Highland Showcase
Royal Highland Showcase

Beginning on Monday, the Royal Highland Showcase will run through to Sunday June 20, with a host of live and recorded events available for viewers to watch on-screen in the comfort of their own living room, office, garden - or even tractor.

With the full event - which is one of the biggest outdoor attractions of the year, regularly attracting close to 2000,000 visitors through its gates - cancelled earlier in the year due to the pandemic, the decision was taken to stage a ‘behind closed doors’ show which would allow key aspects such as livestock showing and equestrian events to take place in a Covid-safe manner.

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And while these aspects can be enjoyed at a distance, the important food and drink side will also feature heavily in the week’s programme, with a plethora of chefs offering input, along with cultural events, including handcrafts and musical interludes.

Promising nine hours of live action across four live streams each day of the event, free access can be gained through the dedicated show website www.royalhighlandshowcase.org.

RHASS secretary, Marie Livingston said that there will be a ‘How To’ guide to help viewers make the most of the showcase and advised prospective viewers to keep an eye on the show’s website and social media for further details.

Society members will also be able to access special features over and above the publicly available content including interviews, behind the scenes at the showcase and some of the society’s historical archive footage.

This will be available through the members area which can be accessed by a membership number and password mailed in advance.

The Society’s chairman, Bill Gray, said that recent investment in technology and infrastructure would mean that the TV-quality broadcast would allow not only regular visitors to get their annual boost from the show but that it would also introduce a new global audience to Scotland’s rural businesses and exhibitors.

Gray also thanked the Scottish government – which provided £750,000 towards the staging of the event – for its support and also main sponsors, the Royal Bank of Scotland.

And he extended a special thanks to members and the wider rural community for their support with this year’s initiative.

Commenting on the backing for the show, Scotland’s Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “The innovative week-long Royal Highland Showcase will highlight the very best of Scottish agriculture and rural life to an international audience and it’s great to see events like this starting to take place again.

“As one of the first major events to take place after lockdown, I’m sure that a lot of people will be excited to get involved and the packed agenda means that there is a lot to offer people of all ages and all tastes.”

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