Festivals, Cultural and City Events

University to host Edinburgh International Book Festival

This year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival will be staged in conjunction with the University’s Edinburgh College of Art (ECA).

The Festival will take place from Saturday 14 to Monday 30 August 2021 from its new home at ECA’s Lauriston Place building, where it will benefit from access to a range of indoor and outdoor venues, as well as broadcast studios and theatre space.

The Book Festival’s full programme of events will be announced at the end of June. Current plans are for a range of live, online author talks, workshops and readings. If Covid-19 restrictions permit, some in-person, socially-distanced events may be staged. 

We were delighted to be asked by the Edinburgh International Book Festival to support future events through this mutually beneficial arrangement. Building on our existing partnership this new, deeper relationship will help to ensure that people in Edinburgh, and all over the world, can continue to come together to explore the power of ideas through their love of literature.

Professor Peter Mathieson Principal, the University of Edinburgh

Online importance

The Book Festival staged a series of successful events in 2020, when in-person events were impossible.

More than 140 online events took place, ranging from daily draw-alongs to conversations with Bernardine Evaristo, Douglas Stuart, Samantha Power, Matt Haig, Hilary Mantel and Marian Keyes. 

Moving to a hybrid model of online and in-person events will allow Festival organisers to reach an even bigger audience.

We intend that this partnership with the University will be a long-term arrangement, and the Book Festival will continue to occupy their spaces when a Covid-free Festival, with audiences able to enjoy live events in person, can be staged. However, digital events will continue to be a key part of future Book Festivals, enabling us to reach truly global audiences as well as those closer to home who face barriers to attending the event. We are excited that our hybrid festival of the future will engage with authors and audiences around the world in a more environmentally responsible way.

Nick Barley(Director, Edinburgh International Book Festival)

Article written by Communications and Marketing, University of Edinburgh

Related links

Edinburgh College of Art

Edinburgh International Book Festival