The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) is gearing up to host the 2021 Royal Highland Showcase - a hybrid Royal Highland Show - which is set to harness the power of the digital world by opening its ‘virtual’ gates to audiences both at home and further afield.
Taking place from 14 – 20 June, the Showcase, a first of its kind event in the UK, will see the best in livestock judging, equestrian, food & drink and rural skills streamed live and in high definition from the Ingliston showground in Edinburgh to a global audience online.
We managed to grab five minutes with Mark Currie, Director of Operations to get a wonderful insight on how the much-loved event has been reimagined for 2021, and what audiences can expect to enjoy.
What can we expect from the Royal Highland Showcase this summer?
Essentially it’s a free and up close insight into Scotland’s rural life – you’ll get to meet some incredible characters, see the best farmyard animals, experience the skill and mastery of our showjumpers, watch in awe at the skill and dexterity of our sheep shearers, see the forestry men and women do their work and much, much more.
If you’re interested in food you will get up close to the cheese, dairy and ice-cream competitions, hear the judges as they make their section and then tune in to see Scotland’s award-winning chefs cook up incredible food – why not cook along with them?
If you have children it will be an really great way of letting them discover more about food, farming and careers in agriculture.
Can you give us some insight how the judging will work for those set to tune in online?
Essentially it will be the same as a usual Highland Show so with experienced stock men and women judging the best of livestock.
However, this year you’ll get even closer to the action as our camera crew will be right beside the judges, seeing what they see and picking up what they have to say as they judge the animals.
We’ll have interviews with the winners and hear what it means to them to win at the Royal Highland Show.
What have been the biggest challenges and opportunities faced when putting this year’s reimagined event together?
It has been a huge undertaking. Essentially, we are delivering over 250 hours of streamed content over the seven days of Showcase.
As well as planning the live output across the show ground, we have produced a raft of crafted feature content that will be available on demand and this will add an additional layer of texture to compliment the live action.
We will have 12 live cameras covering competitions and events. Each stream requires a production and technical team of around a dozen people, but when you add in all of the other elements of the production and technical teams there will be around 100 people involved in delivering the broadcast side of Showcase and that doesn’t include directors, staff and contractors organising all the events on the ground.
Our visitor’s safety is paramount and we expect to welcome up to 10,000 people on site over the 7 days. All of our plans have been approved by senior clinicians within Scottish Government and we have strict protocols in place to ensure everyone’s safety.
A hard one, but do you have a favourite memory from a past Royal Highland Show?
It has to be the Sunday afternoon of the 2019 show when we heard we had broken the record for the highest attendance of any Royal Highland Show. I walked down the cattle lines with my young son and my wife and soaked up the atmosphere. It was a proud day for me as a father and an event professional.
Parade Generals Royal Highland Show 2018
Get Set to Enjoy the Showcase
All content will be free to view and can be accessed via www.royalhighlandshow.org from Monday 14 June. Why not gather your tribe at home and watch Royal Highland Showcase together in the sunshine with great food and drink as a celebration after many months of lockdown.