FAQs for Watching Events Online
Update your browser
Please ensure you are using an up-to-date web browser for a smooth viewing experience: Firefox, Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Safari - all downloadable for free online. If you are currently using Internet Explorer (IE), please change it to one of the up-to-date browsers listed above.
Watching an event
Find the event you want to watch and book your spot. You will be asked to login to your account or create an account if you don't already have one. Once booked, simply login to your Book Festival account before the event starts and go to the event page where you will see a 'go to player' button. It will take you to the event videoplayer page. We will send you an email confirmation with a 'watch' link for every event you book.
You also have the option to bookmark an event if you want time to make up your mind. Bookmarked events will appear in your account. Look for the pink 'My Festival'.tab at the bottom of your screen. If you click into the tab, you'll see a list of the events you have bookmarked, along with links to the events. The tab will also show the events you have booked to watch.
My video isn’t playing
See notes above on using an up-to-date browser.
Check your videoplayer hasn’t paused. Hover your mouse over the bottom the video player and the video controls will display. Click the play button (bottom left) as needed.
Try refreshing your browser to reload the video feed – the volume on the videoplayer may switch to zero after you have refreshed: make sure to check the volume is turned up on the videoplayer after you have refreshed the page.
Check your internet connection is stable and strong enough, and your WIFI has a strong signal. If your connectivity at home is getting small intermittent fluctuations, you may experience problems with the video playing stuttering or buffering.
I can’t hear anything
See notes above on using an up-to-date browser.
Make sure the volume on your device is turned up AND make sure the volume on the videoplayer itself is turned up. Hover your mouse over the bottom of the video player and the video controls will display – turn up the volume control as needed (bottom right).
Try refreshing your browser to reload the video feed – the volume may switch to zero after you have refreshed: make sure to check the volume is turned up on the videoplayer after you have refreshed the page.
Check your internet connection is stable and your WIFI has a reasonably strong signal.
Arriving late to watch
It works like any TV broadcast: If you turn up when the event is halfway through, then you will have missed the beginning and the video will be halfway through. You cannot choose to ‘watch from the beginning’ like you can with some online TV players such as iPlayer or All4.
However most events will be available to watch on the same videoplayer page, on-demand after the live event has been broadcast and will remain available on the videoplayer pages until the end of the year (or by the expiration date stated on the event page). See below for more details of watching on-demand.
Clicking this button adds the event to your Bookmarked events list in your account. If you are interested in an event, but aren't sure whether to book or would like time to think about it, it's an easy way for you to record those events that have piqued your interest. Look for the pink 'My Festival'.tab at the bottom of your screen. If you click into the tab, you'll see a list of the events you have bookmarked, along with links to the events. The tab will also show the events you have booked to watch.
Event reminder emails
If you have booked to watch a livestreamed event, our website will send you a reminder containing an event link around 30-60 mins before the start time (BST) of the event.
Watching BSL and captioned events
Some events are captioned, some have BSL, some have both. Use the search filters on the website to see the list for each. You choose if you want to view the accessible version of the event, or the standard version (without BSL or Captions). The videoplayer page displays a BSL toggle and a CAP toggle on relevant events. Switch the toggle if you want to get the BSL or CAP video instead of the standard video: when you do, your browser will go and fetch the relevant video stream for you to watch.
NOTE: if your browser is having trouble fetching the correct version of the video, try refreshing your browser page after you switch the toggle. After refreshing, mute or adjust the volume as required.
Post comments in the audience Chatroom
Every livestreamed event has a chatroom on the videoplayer page where you can post comments and chat to other audience members. The chatroom opens 15 minutes before an event starts and remains open until the end of the event. You can see the chat as it happens if you open the chatbox.
Ask authors a question in the live Q&A
Events with a live Q&A have a box on the videoplayer page where you can ask the author a question and vote up other people’s questions. If the event does not have a Q&A, the Questions box will not appear on the videoplayer page. The Question box opens 15 minutes before the event starts and remains open until the end of the event. Everyone can see the Questions. NOTE: please post Author Questions only, we won’t be monitoring this box for general queries.
Join a Booksigning with an author (via Zoom)
You will get the option of ‘Meet the author’ when buying a copy of the book in our online Festival Bookshop – choose this option to book a place on the signing. Note that only selected events have an online Booksigning - it will be indicated on the event page when a signing is available. You’ll meet the author face-to-face in the Zoom room as they sign your book. The Zoom link to join the signing will be sent after the book has been purchased. Signings happen straight after the author’s event.
The event pages will tell you when there’s a booksigning after the event. Due to the logistics of moving books around the country, signings must be booked in advance and the author will only be able to sign the designated book. Signing slots are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. The Zoom link to join the signing will be sent after purchase.
Watching an event on-demand (after the live broadcast has finished)
Most events are available to watch on-demand on the website video player pages immediately after the live broadcast for a period of time. You can see whether an event is available to watch on-demand by checking each event page, which indicates how long the event will remain available. If you booked a ticket to watch an event at the scheduled time, you will be able to watch on-demand at any time for free. If you didn't book to watch the livestream, you will be asked to log in or create an account (name and email only) and to Pay What You Can to watch on-demand.