Royal Highland Showcase goes global

Highland cow with prize-winning rosette
Lisa Paton

The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) is gearing up to host a world first - the Royal Highland Showcase.

Taking place over the week of 14th to 20th June, the Showcase 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. The Showcase was created following the cancellation of the Royal Highland Show (RHS) earlier this year.   

Thousands are expected to tune in online to watch farm animals, witness Scotland’s delicious larder and experience the country’s vibrant culture including music, traditional crafts and rural skills – all from the comfort of their home.  

All online access will be free, and with four live streams providing nine action-packed hours on each of the seven days, the Showcase will give the audience an unprecedented 'behind closed doors' view of the RHS.   

The Showcase will also have hours of on-demand content which can be accessed throughout show week, including pre-recorded features on the Scottish Championships for Bread, Dairy & Handcrafts alongside Sheep Shearing, Forestry and Farriery skills, and a range of presentations and industry talks provided by partner organisations.  

Educational content from the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) will include engaging videos, suggested activities to do at home or the classroom, a teacher-focused webinar, and meeting their volunteers. Over 5,000 schoolchildren have already signed up to participate in the Showcase direct from their classrooms. 

For food lovers there is a host of well-known celebrity chefs lined up for presenting live cookery demonstrations. The chefs selected for the cookery shows have all featured at previous Shows and come from across Scotland with a fantastic range of dishes to inspire you at home. 

The announcement follows detailed planning in collaboration with the Scottish Government to develop an event that highlights the best of farming, food and rural life, both for a domestic audience and internationally, reinforcing Scotland's reputation as the ‘perfect stage’ for major events.  

Work will continue in the run up to the event to ensure that strict Covid-19 protocols are in place for staff and participants making the event happen.  

All content will be free to view and can be accessed via from Monday 14th June. 

RHASS Chairman Bill Gray commented:  

“Our farmers never stopped through the pandemic, and neither will we. We know how much the Show means to our members, the wider agricultural community and the show-going public. This innovative event will act as a bridge between the no-Show year of 2020 and the planned 180th Show in 2020, the bicentennial anniversary of our very first Show. 

“I’d encourage everyone to log on for what will be a truly unique showcase of the best rural that Scotland has to offer, wherever you are in the world.” 

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: 

“The innovative week-long Royal Highland Showcase will highlight the very best of Scottish agriculture and rural to an international audience and it’s great to see events like this starting to take place again. As one of the first major events to take place after lockdown, I’m sure that a lot of people will be excited to get involved and the packed agenda means that there is a lot to offer people of all ages and all tastes. 

“I know that people across the Scottish agri-sector enjoy meeting friends and colleagues every year at the Show and while we can’t all meet in person, the Showcase event will allow them to meet virtually in a common and familiar space where they can socialise, share and experience the content together, alongside new visitors from across the globe. I can’t wait to witness this one-of-a-kind event that will highlight to the world the fantastic and sustainable work that our farmers, crofters and rural producers do.” 

Paul Bush OBE VisitScotland's Director of Events added: 

“The 2021 edition of the Royal Highland Showcase will harness the power of the digital world by opening its ‘virtual’ gates to audiences both at home and further afield. 

“The innovative programme, which includes a wide-range of familiar and much-loved show elements, will provide a wonderful insight into the work of our farmers and local producers, as well as the opportunity to get up close to the country’s top-quality livestock, exceptional larder and vibrant culture from the comfort, and safety of our own homes over the seven days.”