The epic events, concerts, sales, shows and gatherings that we have so missed over the last two years will – fingers crossed – make a welcome return in 2022.

Not least, the pride of our sector and Scotland’s largest outdoor event, the Royal Highland Show, which will celebrate its bicentenary this year.

Live streaming has developed hugely over the last year and while it does go some way towards re-uniting people, it cannot compare with the coming together experienced at in-person events. We held our own live streamed event, the Royal Highland Showcase, last June, successfully drawing in more than 400,000 viewers from over 100 countries to watch 252 hours of footage over the week.

It beamed the Showcase experience into homes around the world, and only added to the appetite for the return of the Show, live and in person, in 2022, but we know from advance ticket sales for this year’s show there is strong demand for a return to big events.

Undoubtedly, what we have missed most about live events is the feeling of coming together for a shared experience. Truly, there is nothing like celebrating the best of rural life with hundreds of like-minded people or standing ringside as a procession of mighty Clydesdales canters past.

It is these kinds of tangible experiences that bring people together. Indeed, one of the main things the Highland is known for is the social aspect of catching up with friends and contacts you may not see elsewhere. That’s what makes it so special.

While we all look forward to this year’s show, we can’t simply go back to the way things were pre-pandemic. Changes have been thoughtfully designed, planned, and tested to ease any worries that people may have around attending events of this scale.

With the safety of staff, attendees and exhibitors our number one priority, we are focusing on key safety elements including set capacities on attendance, which will reduce queuing, pinch points, and crowded areas. Thankfully, the showground’s expansive space provides plenty of room for social distancing.

We are hugely grateful to members who have provided us with their email addresses ensuring they receive their tickets for the show digitally. This will support our efforts to host a safe event and give real time communication about safety to members and visitors.

Other measures on site include track and trace and the creation of safe seating areas. With these steps and others which will be introduced in the coming months, we are confident that those heading to Ingliston will feel safe and happy doing so.

As you would expect, planning is well developed for the bi-centenary Royal Highland Show with details of more special plans we have in the lead up to this important return for the event. Watch this space, but what we can say is that we are taking to the road to make sure everyone gets a taste of what’s to come in June. The Highlands and Islands presidential team are host region this year and we guarantee they are planning fitting tribute for this major milestone in the show’s history.

For exhibitors, the much-anticipated judges for this year’s show announced shortly – watch this space!

We are so looking forward to seeing the new Members Pavilion bustling with show goers in June and are delighted and appreciative that our membership support has remained strong. With early bird tickets now sold out, we are planning the general release of further tickets in the coming weeks.

Membership and Royal Highland Show ticket sales support the work of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) and allow us to deliver our charitable activity, additionally, by attending the show, you are also supporting an important sector. Every large event has a whole army of people behind it working their hardest to create an incredible experience for attendees.

For our rural shows and events there’s an entire supply chain, livelihoods, generations of breeding, not to mention the small and local businesses that depend on these events to survive. The Highland is just one piece of this important rural jigsaw.

For 2022, we are also looking forward to the World Clydesdale Show, taking place in Aberdeen from October 20 to 23, 2022. With support from RHASS, the event will showcase the very best of the Clydesdale breed across various ridden and showing classes.

The Clydesdale show was last held in the US in 2018 and its homecoming event will be a fitting tribute to the Clydesdale horse which played a huge part in Scotland’s agricultural heritage, something which was showcased at the 2019 Royal Highland Show’s Clydesdale Celebration.

So, as we enter into the New Year, certainly not the cheeriest of months, we can focus on the things we can look forward to and one of these will be the Royal Highland Show 2022. On behalf of RHASS directors and staff, we wish you and yours the very best for this year and look forward to seeing you all at Ingliston, in June.