Scotland’s largest agricultural event – the Royal Highland Show – has been cancelled.
The event, organised by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS), will not go ahead as planned due to restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The event, which attracts almost 200,000 visitors, was scheduled to take place on June 18-21 at Ingliston, near Edinburgh. The decision to cancel the show was made following a virtual meeting of RHASS directors.
“It is with deep regret and huge personal disappointment that I confirm the cancellation of the 2020 Royal Highland Show,” said RHASS chairman, Bill Gray.
“The show is Scotland’s largest outdoor event attracting up to 200,000 people each year and is the premier showcase for the food, farming and rural industry. Plans for the 180th Show are at an advanced stage but given recent and ongoing developments, the directors and I have taken the only course of action open to us.”
He praised the resilience of the farming sector and said: “While this will no doubt test us, I am confident that some good will come from what is a bleak and worrying time for us all.
“To that end, we are calling on the industry and wider partners to work with us to support each other to ensure we weather the storm.”
RHASS chief executive, Alan Laidlaw, said the cancellation of the show would have a massive impact on RHASS.
He added: “But with the industry’s support, I have little doubt that we can, and we will, get through this.”
He said all exhibitors and sponsored would be contacted in the weeks ahead, and ticket holders should contact the show’s ticketing partner, Ticketmaster, for a full refund.
Mr Laidlaw added: “On behalf of RHASS directors, I would like to thank members, exhibitors and sponsors who have contacted us with offers and expressions of support. There are tough financial times ahead for RHASS, but over time and with the backing of our members and sector partners, we will recover.”