2021 Royal Highland Show to go ahead after 'challenging year'

Visitor numbers will likely be restricted for the June 2021 event, organisers say
Visitor numbers will likely be restricted for the June 2021 event, organisers say

The Royal Highland Show will go ahead next year after organisers launched an appeal to ensure the event's survival against the backdrop of the pandemic.

Organisers of Scotland's largest outdoor show will soon launch tickets for the four-day event, taking place on 17 to 20 June 2021.

The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland's (RHASS) future was called into question following a substantial loss of income due to the mass cancellation of events this year.

Despite this, the society has managed to get next year's flagship show off the ground, with its return to the Ingliston showground now confirmed.

While normally attracting almost 200,000 people over the four days, organisers said they were planning for limited number of show-goers as social distancing measures were 'likely to still be in place'.

There would, however, be the opportunity to ‘scale up’ if changes to government restrictions allow, the RHASS said.

Tickets via Ticketmaster will be released on a staged basis with the first batch going on sale on Friday 11 December, before the next release in January with an increased price structure.

RHASS Chairman Bill Gray said: “We have left no stone unturned in our planning for what will be the best possible celebration of our 180th show.

"There will be special measures we have had to factor in, but that won’t take away from what will be a vitally important showcase for the sector – we all need this more than ever as we emerge from this challenging year.”

RHASS directors and staff have been working in partnership with the Scottish government and City of Edinburgh Council to ensure guidelines are in place to enable the show to go ahead.

The society's Chief Executive Alan Laidlaw said it was 'important' that the event would 'remain a true reflection of the industry'.

He said the show would still feature the usual 'key pillars', including food, livestock, show jumping, education and rural skills.

"The reality is that there will be less people, but for the lucky people that get a ticket, they will not be disappointed. That is our absolute commitment,” Mr Laidlaw said.

It comes as the organisers behind the Royal Welsh Show were given £200,000 in financial support to help the reinstatement of future events.