Kicking off the first day of the event at 8am will be the CLA breakfast, which will feature a debate on whether the UK is better of in or out of the EU. Confirmed speakers include deputy president Tim Breitmeyer, Neil Parish MP and Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, with Defra ministers also invited. Always a lively event attracting many high profile faces, it provides the ideal platform for posing challenging questions to those in power.
Later on Wednesday, at 4pm, will be the YFC reception, where young farmers will be celebrating the Great British Roast Dinner with co-founder of Ladies in Beef, Jilly Greed. “The young farmers always have a superb stand, providing a friendly welcome to the public who are keen to learn more about farming and rural affairs,” says Head of Shows Alan Lyons. On Friday evening the YFC will be holding a show dance with local award-winning boy band Twisted Vinyl to entertain members and stockmen prior to stock judging on the final day of the show.
NFU president Meurig Raymond will be attending on both Wednesday and Thursday, and is sure to be kept busy with a broad range of farming discussions. “The EU referendum is just around the corner so it likely to be a very hot topic,” says Mr Lyons. “Pressure on farm incomes, late delivery of the Basic Payment, and the ongoing battle against TB will also be top of the list.”
This year is one of transformation for the show, with a revamped layout featuring the Great British Festival of Agriculture, Entertainment and Food and Drink. For the first time ever livestock classes will be held on every day of the show, with the Grand Parade now being held on Saturday as well as Thursday and Friday. “This offers an opportunity for our 130,000 visitors to be treated to a display of all the winners and for exhibitors to show off their prize winning animals,” says Mr Lyons.
Show president and Glastonbury legend Michael Eavis will be sourcing a range of exciting musical acts, bringing a festival feel to the showground, he adds. “There will also be over 100 food producers, ranging from artisan food to funky street food. We’re really excited about this year’s show – it promises more farming, more food and drink and more fun – the same show, but even better.”
- The Royal Bath and West Show takes place from 1-4 June, 2016, at the Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset. Advance saver tickets are available until 31 May 2016 at £19 for an adult including two children admitted free, £5 for additional child. Gate prices are £22 adult, £7 child and £49 family. Visit www.bathandwest.com to order.