Royal Highland Showcase ended with 270k views

The Royal Highland Showcase – seven days of livestreamed livestock judging, forestry, equestrian, sheep shearing, industry talks and Scottish produce championships – drew to a close this week, with organisers heralding the innovative hybrid event a resounding success.

Image: Phil Wilkinson

Judging of over 3,000 cattle, goats, sheep and horses took place at the competitor-only event at the Royal Highland Centre, which was designed to bridge the gap between a no-Royal Highland show year in 2020 and the 180th Show taking place in June 2022, with early-bird tickets now on sale.

In partnership with Royal Bank of Scotland, with funding of up to £750,000 from the Scottish Government, the event was livestreamed throughout the seven days with 252 of hours of live content and a further 30 hours of on-demand programming produced, all watched by 270,000 people from across 87 countries – including Norway, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, America, Argentina, the Philippines and beyond.

With over two million engagements on social media, the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) is celebrating the outcome of a ‘monumental effort’ which resulted in the innovative concept being formulated, funded and delivered in less than 12 weeks.

RHASS chairman Bill Gray said: “When we reimagined a hybrid Royal Highland Show we couldn’t have believed it would have had such a monumental impact on so many people from right across the globe.

“Our aim was to connect and entertain our communities and, in the process, shine a light on our food producers, farmers and our way of life. We have achieved this with people from almost 90 countries across the globe tuning in, and with the content online for a further three months, there is even more of an opportunity to reach a wider audience.”

Speaking about the legacy for future years, Bill added: “There is no doubt that we will take this hybrid concept forward for future years and in doing so we will achieve greater exposure for our sector, our sponsors and our members. I couldn’t be prouder of our team of directors, staff, contractors and volunteers who have left no stone unturned to make this Royal Highland Showcase dream a reality.”

Rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougoen said: “The Royal Highland Showcase marks a step change for the Royal Highland Show and Scottish agriculture. Through the new website and online videos, people, farms and businesses across the world were able to experience Scottish agriculture and food & drink.

“I’m so pleased to have been able to see some of the Royal Highland Showcase in person and see the hard work that went into preparing this event and opening it up to a global audience.”

Paul Bush, OBE, VisitScotland’s director of events added: “Covid-19 has brought unprecedented challenges for the events sector over the last year, forcing many event organisers to look at different ways to connect and engage with new and established audiences.

“The re-imagined Royal Highland Showcase 2021 had innovation, diversification and community spirit at its very heart this year. Offering a range of memorable online experiences and insight for audiences tuning in, this year’s hybrid event was able to successfully pivot, providing a wonderful digital interpretation of one of Scotland’s much-loved major events.”



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