Covid Scotland: Royal Highland Show organisers optimistic 2021 event will go ahead

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Organisers of The Royal Highland Show have said they are remaining positive as they continue to plan for their 180th show to go ahead in June.

The Royal Highland Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS), behind the four-day event, have said that despite the cancellation of other large-scale events due to coronavirus uncertainty, they are continuing to plan for a show that they hope might still be able to go ahead. 

Mark Currie, Director of Operations at RHASS said everything was being done to plan for a “safe Royal Highland Show” to take place in June, which includes working with the Scottish Government. 

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He said: “On Wednesday 3rd February, our new Members Pavilion was transformed into an NHS vaccination centre, and with the encouraging news of the successful vaccine rollout we remain optimistic about delivering the best Show possible this year. 

“I’m sure that you will have seen the recent cancellation of some other large-scale events and the postponement of some major Agricultural Shows as well. 

“Whilst they have chosen to cancel or postpone, they will have done this within the context of their own local situation.  

He added: “We are fully aware and appreciate that, with the ever-evolving nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a chance that the Royal Highland Show may not be able to go ahead, however at this moment in time we remain positive and thank you all for your continued support.

“If we were to cease planning now but received positive news from Scottish Government in the coming weeks, we would be in no position to hold a Show, so we are working hard to ensure we make the most informed decision we can at the right time.

“The safety of you and your teams, our Members, Livestock Exhibitors, Directors, Staff, Volunteers and Visitors is our number one priority, and we would never jeopardise that.”

However, some people have shared concerns on social media about organisers forging on with plans.

One person said: “Take the sensible decision to cancel now and don’t waste any more time and money on something that has no chance of happening.

“Every other major event organiser has made a sensible decision.

“Even if it does go ahead you have to question who will attend. I have never missed a show in my 63 year, but there is no way I would attend a major event this year.”

Another asked about “what message” the decision would send to other event organisers and show societies around the country.

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They said: As the ‘big show’ in Scotland you should be showing leadership, but instead you seem to be on another planet”.

However, others have stressed the importance of remaining optimistic about such things.

One person said: “Good to hear you are trying to be positive.

“Whilst I understand that there will be a point at which you need to make a decision. I’d rather keep hoping until that time.”

The Royal Highland Show previously announced its return from 17-20 June 2021 with a few changes to the usual format.

Organisers intend to limit capacity and host separately ticketed days, as well as implementing full Covid-19 safety measures.

A full refund will be offered to ticket holders if the event is cancelled.

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