Organisers hail success of Edinburgh International Book Festival

·2-min read
Festival director Nick Barley hailed the success of the festival (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)
Festival director Nick Barley hailed the success of the festival (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)

This year’s hybrid Edinburgh International Book Festival was welcomed with an “overwhelmingly positive response”, organisers have said.

The festival, which ended on Monday August 29, featured more than 600 events, 200 of which were livestreamed on the Book Festival website.

Writers including Alexander McCall Smith, Louise Welsh, Val McDermid, musician Jarvis Cocker and actor Brian Cox were among those on the programme, with events taking place on the festival site at Edinburgh College of Art and elsewhere.

Overall, 100,000 tickets were sold across the in-person and livestreamed events, with people watching from 65 countries.

We are under no illusions that this is only the beginning of our build-back journey

Nick Barley, Edinburgh International Book Festival

Organisers said they will build on what they have learned from this year’s events as they plan for 2023.

Nick Barley, Edinburgh International Book Festival director, said: “My heartfelt thanks go to all the individuals and organisations who have supported Edinburgh International Book Festival and given us the opportunity to innovative and create an ambitious new hybrid festival which we can build upon in future years.

“This year was always going to be a bit of an unknown, but the overwhelmingly positive response we have received from audiences old and new, local residents, festival goers and authors and individuals from every corner of the world, has made it an absolute joy to deliver.

“We are under no illusions that this is only the beginning of our build-back journey, and our focus now is to consolidate and respond to what we’ve learned from this year as we plan our return to the Edinburgh College of Art and Central Hall sites in 2023.”

Festival chiefs said that there was a “significant shift in booking behaviour” this year.

Sales were steady throughout, however, it became clear that people were choosing to book much later than they had ever done in the past, with the number of on-the-day bookers exceeding anything seen before.

The festival also attracted a more diverse audience, with a greater proportion of new attenders alongside thousands of established festival-goers.

Many of the livestreamed events will remain available to watch on-demand until later in the year.