Predicted fine weather helped drive crowds to Ingliston, which reported 220,000 visitors to the Royal Highland Show, generating a record £3.3 million in gross ticket revenue. The increased footfall resulted from a 15% rise in ticket sales for the four-day event, well surpassing the 180,000 attendees a decade ago.

Perhaps the much grumbled-about digital ticketing system has delivered by allowing tickets to be reallocated to non-members? Out of a membership of 16,000, approximately 13,500 members chose their days this year, with most opting for fewer than four days. At the gate, RHASS reported little drop-off based on scanned entry data.

The crowds enjoyed a showcase of Scottish livestock, food, and products with The Scottish Farmer team out in force covering every aspect of the competitions and events.

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Kathrine Jenkinson kisses Rivermead Engineer after winning the coloured calf section Ref: RH230624226 Rob Haining / The Scottish Farmer...Kathrine Jenkinson kisses Rivermead Engineer after winning the coloured calf section Ref: RH230624226 Rob Haining / The Scottish Farmer...

However, there was a dearth of announcements due to the timing of a General Election, which prevented politicians from presenting government plans, fearing influence on farmer votes. The rural vote is not easily won, and most attendees were there to relax, not debate the intricacies of the Internal Market Bill.

Cooler days allowed the livestock to shine, making the ‘Champions League’ of showing a spectacular event once again. Generations of breeding and thousands of hours of dedication culminated over the four days.

Trade stands reported mixed business, with some feeling quieter while others were flat out. One exhibitor told The Scottish Farmer they had fewer visitors but the right ones interested in their offerings. Machinery prices are soaring, so half the farmers could end up spending double compared to a decade ago.

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Inflation was also evident around the show with the cost of keeping the family fed and watered if a picnic had not been packed. The burger van queue was not for the faint-hearted and neither was the one for those attempting to spend a penny.

The tens of thousands of visitors pose huge infrastructure challenges. Toilet issues have been a persistent problem, despite promises of improvements from RHASS. While there has been visible investment, closures and some shortages of attendants remain a challenge.

When asked about plans to tackle these issues, RHASS explained: “Like all major events of this scale, we try to ensure that customer experience across the site is exemplary. We make sure that toilets are cleaned and monitored regularly during the show and have processes in place, like closing toilets when they are flagged in order to get the team in to fix/clean the facilities and get them open again as soon as possible without too much disruption.

“As with many other shows of this size, ageing infrastructure will always be a challenge, but to combat this in recent years we have increased our toilet capacity by 30%, introducing additional temporary facilities.

“This means if we do close any blocks for periods of time there will always be more nearby. We will continue to review and make prudent investments to make sure the site is accessible and has facilities of the highest standard.”

Investing in significant upgrades remains a challenge as RHASS aims to stabilise its finances. However, speaking to some directors of the show, there is a determination to continue improving the event for future generations.

See you next year from Thursday, June 19, to Sunday, June 22!