Venues at the Book Festival

COVID NOTICE: Please check the website regularly, and especially just before you leave to visit the Book Festival in-person – details may change at short notice as we adapt to regulations.

We're working with the Scottish Government, City of Edinburgh Council and other authorities to implement appropriate measures to ensure the safety of everyone visiting or working at the Book Festival this year. These include regular cleaning and contactless ticketing. Audience numbers are limited in venues to maintain social distancing and we may be required to cap the number of people on our Festival site. Face masks will be required to be worn in all indoor spaces. Our plans will be adjusted in response to public health measures as they evolve.

Watching events in-person

Events which offer tickets to watch in-person are hybrid events: this means they will also be livestreamed to people watching online. Fixed and roving cameras in the venues will capture and broadcast live footage of the stage and they will also capture and broadcast footage of audiences watching in the venues. When you buy a ticket to watch an event in-person you will be watching the event in a hybrid event space – it is both a theatre auditorium and a broadcast studio. Face masks will be required to be worn in all indoor spaces.

Authors and participants in events

Authors and participants in events may be on stage in the venue or taking part remotely from wherever they are in the world. If you buy a ticket to watch the event in-person, you’ll watch remote participants live on a large screen in the venue. For some events, all participants may be taking part remotely and you’ll be watching the live event on a screen in the venue. See the notes on each event page for details.


All seats in our venues are unreserved (seats don't have numbers). Our front of house staff will guide you into the venue and direct you where to sit to ensure everyone is seated safely. Due to COVID restrictions you may be directed to sit in specific seats. Please be kind and helpful to our front of house staff and others in the venue by following their instructions.


We’ll be operating 1 metre social distancing in our theatres and you’ll be required to wear a face mask at all times when you are indoors. The venues will be sanitised between events.

Our venues are set up to serve both in-person and online audiences, therefore each theatre will have a range of fixed and roving cameras to capture and broadcast live footage of the authors on stage and will also capture shots of the audiences watching or asking questions.

Due to the hybrid nature of our events this year, it is incredibly important you are seated at the start time of the event. Please arrive in good time – once the doors are closed, we will not be able to admit latecomers to preserve the quality of the live broadcast and prevent disruption to others in the venue. Latecomers are not entitled to a refund.

Baillie Gifford Theatre (in West Court)
A theatre with around 60-seats located in the main building of the Edinburgh College of Art.

The New York Times Theatre (in Sculpture Court)
A theatre with around 100-seats located in the main building of the Edinburgh College of Art.

Castle View Studio
This venue is a broadcast-only studio to stream events online, without an in-person audience.