The Edinburgh International Book Festival (EIBF) has announced that for the next two years, the Book Festival will be held at the Edinburgh College of Art before moving to a brand new city centre venue in 2024.
Building on the success of last year’s hybrid programme, this year will see the current site expand, with both increased capacity and number of venues. Last year was the first year the Book Festival had moved site since its inception in 1983, and it was the beginning of a long-term strategic partnership with the University of Edinburgh.
As part of this partnership, EIBF will move to the Edinburgh Futures Institute in 2024, a landmark development based on the site of the old Royal Infirmary on Lauriston Place. This iconic building will be transformed into a state-of-the-art space for multi-disciplinary collaborations and partnerships, with the aim to fulfil the pledge that sits above the main entrance – ‘patet omnibus’ that means ‘open to all.’
The Edinburgh Futures Institute gives the Book Festival a variety of accessible indoor venues and outdoor areas along with the facilities to stage a hybrid programme of livestreamed and in-person events. It will offer ample space to create the atmospheric literary gathering place that audiences and authors have long valued for socialising and making connections. The move will also allow the Book Festival to further develop its programme for adults, children and schools and offers exciting opportunities to build new experiences for authors, audiences and partners.
Director at EIBF Nick Barley said “We are hugely excited to be returning to the Edinburgh College of Art in August where we can bring back the buzz of Edinburgh’s best festival years. We’ll build on what we offered last year and look forward to sharing how this lovely, welcoming site can offer unforgettable experiences for audiences and authors.
We have been working closely with the University of Edinburgh over the past two years and are thrilled that our new permanent home will be the Edinburgh Futures Institute from 2024, an historic building with an all-important ‘village green’ outdoor area which is being developed for everyone to enjoy, and of which our Festival city can be proud. It throws up extraordinary, game-changing opportunities for the Book Festival, but importantly – for the first time in our festival’s history – it helps us plan a number of years ahead. The new site will allow us to continue building back our world-renowned programme, while putting accessibility, sustainability and innovation at the core of what we do with an all-important ‘village green’ outdoor area.”