Home 5 News 5 Edinburgh book festival to quit New Town for art school

Edinburgh book festival to quit New Town for art school

by | Feb 3, 2021 | News

For the first time in its history, the world’s largest book festival Edinburgh Book Festival, will be staged at Edinburgh’s art school instead of its regular location.

For nearly 40 years, the Edinburgh book festival has been held in the small tented city in Edinburgh’s Georgian New Town, but in due to coronavirus crisis, the festival has quit Charlotte Square’s garden, citing the significant costs and long-term uncertainties of staging an event heavily dependent on live audiences.

Nick Barley, the director of Edinburgh International Book Festival, said it was a wrench but necessary. Erecting the marquees and tents each year, and returfing and maintaining the garden every winter, costs close to £1m.

The festival fears it may take several years for audiences to return in large numbers, and its successful experiment

last year with online events had shown that hybrid events, part-broadcast and part-live, were now long-term fixtures.

“The virus may be temporary but the effects will be long term,” he said. “The hybrid festival is the new story which has emerged out of the pandemic, and that isn’t temporary. So we need a space from which the festival can be broadcast and reintroduce live audiences over time.”

“No festival is able to predict how many tickets it will sell this year, next year or any after that. The economic projections are impossible,” he added.

Over recent years, about 265,000 people visited Charlotte Square every August. Events marquees, food stalls, tented bookshops, open air cafes, yurts for visiting authors and the media are closely packed together.

Due to the difficulties of forecasting what the festival can stage this August, it has also delayed announcing which events will take place this year until June.

Barley said it had signed a long-term agreement with the University of Edinburgh to use the art school. The university, which has also lost tens of millions of pounds during the pandemic from lost rental and events earnings, will provide the catering for live events, adding to its income.

Source: The Guardian

Recent News

23May
Alice Oseman’s Auction Supports Gaza Aid Efforts

Alice Oseman’s Auction Supports Gaza Aid Efforts

Alice Oseman, bestselling author of the YA Heartstopper books, has raised nearly £20,000 for children in Gaza in a special auction organised by Save the Children.  Not Alone: The Alice Osman Fundraiser for Children in Gaza included Alice Oseman bookplates and Heartstopper enamel pins as well as ‘signed and doodled’ Alice Oseman books.  Save the […]

23May
‘Kairos’ Claims Victory at International Booker Prize 2024

‘Kairos’ Claims Victory at International Booker Prize 2024

The 2024 International Booker Prize has been claimed by “Kairos,” a poignant German novel delving into a tumultuous love affair set in 1980s Germany. Authored by Jenny Erpenbeck and masterfully translated by Michael Hofmann, this literary gem captivates readers with its exploration of love against the backdrop of political turmoil.   Eleanor Watchel, chair of […]

23May
Lord Byron’s Lost Memoirs Were “Evil”

Lord Byron’s Lost Memoirs Were “Evil”

  A letter describing the contents of Lord Byron’s lost memoirs revealing how he “set his mind to evil” has been discovered in a university library. It was written by Elizabeth Palgrave, from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, in 1823 after a visit to a publishing house. The “bad boy” poet gave his memoirs to a friend […]

Related Posts

‘Kairos’ Claims Victory at International Booker Prize 2024

‘Kairos’ Claims Victory at International Booker Prize 2024

The 2024 International Booker Prize has been claimed by "Kairos," a poignant German novel delving into a tumultuous love affair set in 1980s Germany. Authored by Jenny Erpenbeck and masterfully translated by Michael Hofmann, this literary gem captivates readers with...

Lord Byron’s Lost Memoirs Were “Evil”

Lord Byron’s Lost Memoirs Were “Evil”

  A letter describing the contents of Lord Byron's lost memoirs revealing how he "set his mind to evil" has been discovered in a university library. It was written by Elizabeth Palgrave, from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, in 1823 after a visit to a publishing house....

Healing Fiction: A New Genre Emerges

Healing Fiction: A New Genre Emerges

We’ve had chic lit, cosy crime and romantasy – now make way for ‘healing fiction’, the latest genre to be identified by publishers.  In a fascinating article in the Bookseller, Justine Taylor, managing editor at the Zaffre Publishing Group, described healing fiction...

Previous Next
Close
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this

Pin It on Pinterest