Royal Show abandons weekend opening

The Royal Show has ditched its new format, which saw it open to visitors across the weekend for the first time this year.

Held every year in early July, the 2008 show ran from a Thursday to a Sunday in a bid to attract the “widest possible visitor profile”.

It was billed as a move to pull in more members of the public and raise the profile of the show, which traditionally ran from Monday to Thursday.

But the policy has been abandoned – despite organisers’ initial insistence in the wake of the 2008 event that the new format had got off to a positive start.

The 2009 Show will now run from Tuesday, 7 to Friday, 10 July.

The Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE), which organises the event, said it had changed the dates after consulting exhibitors and other show societies.

“Friday is a semi-weekend day anyway,” said show director Simon Frere-Cook.

The consensus was that moving the Royal Show back by a couple of days would sit more comfortably next to other events in the show calendar, he added.

This was particularly the case with regard to the Great Yorkshire Show, which had started just two days after the end of the Royal Show in 2008.

There will now be a four-day gap between the two events, with 2009 Great Yorkshire Show scheduled to run from Tuesday 14 to Thursday 16 July.

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