Royal Highland Centre the place for a party – Lorne Scott

In an increasingly saturated events industry, consumers are on the hunt for truly unique experiences and the demand for what’s new shows no sign of ­abating.

Elrow at the Royal Highland Centre

What successful event organisers strive for is to create an unforgettable experience that not only ­delivers on the day, but also builds their brand beyond a single event. While this trend is apparent across many ­sectors, one industry that we’ve had first-hand experience of is music.

In 2018, the music event sector was worth a whopping £1.3 billion to the UK economy and with the new wave of experience-led events, that figure is set to increase.

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Music psychology researchers have found that the desire to escape reality in a setting that offers novelty is a key driver for attending a music event.

Lorne Scott, Commercial Director RHASS

The rising popularity of immersive one-day festivals and the ‘day gig’ is testament to this demand, providing people with the ultimate escape and the chance to party all day long, ­usually from 12noon to 11pm.

Unlike the daylight raves that took place in fields and warehouses in the 80s and 90s, today’s official events benefit from safe spaces, first-rate sound systems and excellent amenities such as those offered by the Royal Highland Centre (RHC).

The growth of day gigs can be ­evidenced by some of the events held at the RHC such as Terminal V and elrow which return year after year and attract more than 10,000 attendees each. Freddie Norris, UK bookings and karketing manager at club party organisers elrow said: “Promoters like Terminal V and Fly are really pushing the boundaries bringing world class talent to the city.

“We made our Edinburgh debut with elrow in 2017 at Hallowe’en, bringing a massive Haunted House at the RHC. The audience response was really positive, and we made a connection both with the crowd and the city which is really important because Edinburgh’s RHC is an ideal location for music events.”

Events such as these are bolstering the reputation of Edinburgh as a city that welcomes the day gig. The quality of the event organiser and the suitability of host space is ­crucial to getting the backing from City of Edinburgh Council, that ­ultimately determines whether an event can go ahead.

Clearly what’s important is that events of this scale can demonstrate robust health and safety processes and an infrastructure that can cope with such numbers.

It’s never been more prevalent to have high security standards for large scale events. The future of events in the city relies on event organisers and venues putting in these procedures to minimise risk to event-goers. At the RHC we work closely with health, safety and ­security ­agencies, including Police Scotland, to plan, manage and reduce incidents.

The continuing investment in the RHC as Scotland’s leading events ­venue is ushering in a new age of music events with a capacity of more than 12,000 in the main hall, ­combined with 110 acres of outdoor space and parking space for 15,000 vehicles.

Freddie added: “We are very excited to be returning to the RHC with our debut festival elrowTown in Scotland. There is so much space for activities at the RHC, and this is a key part of the elrow festival experience, plus it gives us scope to grow the event in the future.”

According to EventBrite, 65 per cent of music festival-goers tweet or post to social media during a live concert.

This trend for real-time updates and sharing of experiences has resulted in consumer demand for high-speed WiFi access to be bigger than before. That’s why at RHC we have invested in our infrastructure over the last few years to ensure we can meet this demand at the events we host.

Showcasing the need for strong transport links, a survey conducted by EventBrite found that 66 per cent of millennials (aged 22-36) would travel for a concert or festival, and 43 per cent would stay an extra night after that music event in the area. Boasting direct links to the city centre by tram and a prime location next to the airport and motorway, the RHC is also located nearby to overnight accommodation.

Venues like the RHC are leading the charge and helping to put Edinburgh on the map when it comes to music events of all shapes and sizes, thus bringing an influx of vital economic benefits to the city.

Lorne Scott, commercial director RHASS.