Wednesday 11 May 2022 9:00am
Edinburgh International Book Festival Announces a New Long-Term Home From 2024
The Edinburgh International Book Festival today announced it will present the 2022 and 2023 Book Festival at the Edinburgh College of Art, before moving to a brand new city centre and University of Edinburgh site in 2024.
Building on the success of last year’s hybrid programme, this year will see the current site expand, with both increased capacity and number of venues, and the team look forward to projecting this into 2023. Last year was the first year the Book Festival had moved site since its inception in 1983, and it was the beginning of a long-term strategic partnership with the University of Edinburgh.
As part of this partnership, the Book Festival will move to the Edinburgh Futures Institute in 2024, a landmark development based on the site of the old Royal Infirmary on Lauriston Place. The University of Edinburgh is transforming this iconic building into a state-of-the-art space for multi-disciplinary collaborations and partnerships, with the aim to fulfil the pledge set in stone above the main entrance: ‘patet omnibus’ – open to all.
The philosophy of ‘open to all’ is a longstanding one for the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the move will not only allow it to evolve in the coming years, but also to maintain its high standards of accessibility. The Edinburgh Futures Institute gives the Book Festival a variety of beautiful, accessible indoor venues and outdoor areas along with the facilities to stage a hybrid programme of livestreamed and in-person events. It offers ample space to create the atmospheric literary gathering place that audiences and authors have long valued, for socialising, making connections and sparking ideas. The move will also allow the Book Festival to further develop its programme for adults, children and schools and offers exciting opportunities to build new experiences for authors, audiences and partners.
Nick Barley, Director at Edinburgh International Book Festival, said: “We are hugely excited to be returning to the Edinburgh College of Art in August where we can bring back the buzz of Edinburgh’s best festival years. We’ll build on what we offered last year and look forward to sharing how this lovely, welcoming site can offer unforgettable experiences for audiences and authors. We have been working closely with the University of Edinburgh over the past two years and are thrilled that our new permanent home will be the Edinburgh Futures Institute from 2024, an historic building with an all-important ‘village green’ outdoor area which is being developed for everyone to enjoy, and of which our Festival city can be proud. It throws up extraordinary, game-changing opportunities for the Book Festival, but importantly – for the first time in our festival’s history - it helps us plan a number of years ahead. The new site will allow us to continue building back our world-renowned programme, while putting accessibility, sustainability and innovation at the core of what we do with an all-important ‘village green’ outdoor area.”
Professor Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, said: “I am delighted that The University of Edinburgh is deepening our partnership with The Edinburgh International Book Festival. We will provide world-class venues and our students and staff will be an intrinsic part of the Festival’s programme, sharing and discussing ideas with audiences from Edinburgh and all over the world.
“We look forward to welcoming book festival-goers to Edinburgh College of Art for the next two years. When the Festival then takes residence in the Edinburgh Futures Institute from 2024, it will help realise the inscription etched onto its wall: ‘Patet Omnibus’, which means ‘Open to All’.”