Book Festival Exceeds Expectations

Edinburgh International Book Festival today announced that 2023 in-person ticket revenue has beaten targets by a significant margin of 18%, while audiences from over 65 countries joined events online, participating in this year’s Festival theme, The Joy of Words.

In 2023, a 10% increase in the uptake of available tickets at the Edinburgh International Book Festival reflected the return of tourists and festival goers across the city. The opening weekend also saw new Book Festival partners, Waterstones, sell more books on site than their two flagship Edinburgh stores combined, demonstrating that ‘Book Bliss’ was in full force.

Nick Barley, outgoing Director of Edinburgh International Book Festival, said:

I could not be more proud of our team and what we have collectively achieved this year. While we hoped last year the Festivals would be back with more vigour, this year it’s undeniably the case. It was heartwarming to see an increased number of people on site enjoying all we had to offer throughout the past 3 weeks. It has been an honour to work with such a talented community of authors, illustrators, poets, historians, philosophers and thinkers on and offline over the past 14 years, and I look forward to seeing what the future brings as Jenny and the team take the festival forward.

With brand new event formats - from food and drink fuelling in-depth conversations into topics like AI and tax, to experiential events inviting audiences into the great outdoors accompanied by some of the world’s leading athletes, 2023 was a year full of firsts. This included the first ever Loud Poets Grand Slam Finale to take place as part of the programme, as well as public discourse around ethical and sustainable sponsorship, which cemented the Festival’s role as a public forum for vital, global conversations.

Looking to the future, these firsts keep coming with new Director Jenny Niven set to lead the move to the Book Festival’s new and permanent home at the Edinburgh Future’s Institute. Jenny Niven, incoming Director of Edinburgh International Book Festival, said:

I want to extend a huge vote of congratulations to the whole team for this year’s programme. They have delivered exceptional events, presented first class writers and the atmosphere across the festival village has been genuinely joyful. I am hugely inspired by all of the conversations during this year's festival, and very much looking forward to beginning work on my first festival at our brand new home, the state of the art Edinburgh Futures Institute. I look forward enormously to welcoming audiences there next year.

Edinburgh International Book Festival will take place from 10-26 August 2024 at the Edinburgh Future’s Institute.

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