Yet the level of precautions being taken to control crowd numbers, hence tickets only being available to purchase in advance as a fourth day is added to the Show for the first time, is a huge credit to the organisers.
They know, from the agricultural industry’s own painful experience of foot-and-mouth 20 years ago, that no chances can be taken with biosecurity and it does not want to do anything that compromises public health.
As such, the level of contingency planning being undertaken by Yorkshire Agricultural Society is both pragmatic – and prescient.
For, even though it is the Government’s current intention to lift all current lockdown restrictions in time for the GYS to welcome its first visitors on July 13, it would be unwise – despite the success of the vaccine roll-out so far – to expect the Show to go ahead as normal.
As Charles Mills, the Honorary Show Director, conceded himself: “We do expect there to be a limit on how many people can attend on any one day of the Show and so for the first time in our history we believe the best option is to offer a four-day event.”
It is a conclusion that The Yorkshire Post is only too happy to endorse. Who knows, a four-day festival might just become the future if it enables even more people to attend an event which generates up to £75m to the wider Harrogate economy and so much more to rural communities here and beyond?
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