Edinburgh International Book Festival

Submitted by edg on Thu, 6 Jun '19 8.27pm
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Dame Joan Bakewell interviews Val McDermid at the 2020 Edinburgh International Book Festival online - c Robin Mair, Edinburgh International Book Festival
Robin Mair, Edinburgh International Book Festival
Time & place
Tickets and info
Telephone (info)
0131 718 5666 (admin)
Telephone (box office)
0345 373 5888

In 2021, the EIBF has adapted to the easing pandemic restrictions with a hybrid, live-online model.

Moving to the south of the city, to Edinburgh College of Art, the EIBF will be looking to capture the live, tented-village buzz of its traditional New Town location in Charlotte Square, as well as building on the online offering of its programme, pioneered at the height of the pandemic in August 2020.

The new Book Festival venue has three broadcast studios. Two will have live audiences. In person events will have a reduced capacity of 100 in the New York Times Theatre (in Sculpture Court) and 60 in the Baillie Gifford Theatre (in West Court).

Outside in the ECA's courtyard - the "village green" element of the Book Festival - visitors will find a bookshop, café, family play area, and places to sit. Covid-19 restrictions will be in place (1 metre social distancing for indoor events, at programme launch although may be subject to change).

The Edinburgh Book Festival was launched in 1983, the "biggest festival of the written word in the world". In normal years, it brings 900 or so writers, poets, thinkers, politicians, photographers and artists from 60 countries to debate, discuss, argue and inspire. The book fest includes a major programme of children's book events.

Access to the venue is free. On a sunny day, the ECA should be a good place to stop for a coffee and settle in for a read.

Book Festival Director Nick Barley says of the ECA venue: "The Book Festival has always aimed to be an oasis of calm and, as ever, this will be a space for audiences to chat, relax, read a book and while away the hours in the summer sunshine.”

EIBF 2021 Box Office

The Book Festival is operating a Pay What You Can scheme for all online events and limited numbers of in-person tickets for selected events will go on sale at midday on Thursday 22 July.  

In-person tickets for selected events will go on sale at midday on Thursday 22 July.  

Tickets can be booked online through the Book Festival’s website.

Events across the programme will be BSL interpreted, and further events will be live captioned.  Online audiences can mingle with each other before and during events by entering a live chatroom, and most events offer a Q&A session with the authors. Anyone watching online can post questions to authors and vote for their favourites from other audience members.