Featured News

Book Festival chief reveals changing behaviours

Edinburgh International Book Festival director Nick Barley has outlined a major shift in the behaviour of ticket-buyers after this year’s event attracted 100,000 attendees.

Barley revealed that a greater proportion of people had booked tickets on the same day, while an outdoor screen and “pay-what-you-can” ticket prices had opened up the festival to newcomers.

Of the full programme of 600 events – a third fewer than 2019, the most recent pre-pandemic edition of the festival – some 200 were streamed online and will be available on demand for the remainder of the year.

Viewers tuned in from a total of 65 countries to watch the festival.

“This year was always going to be a bit of an unknown,” Barley said, according to the BBC.

“But an overwhelmingly positive response from audiences old and new, local residents, festival goers 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 the year as we plan our return to the Edinburgh College of Art.”

Earlier this week, rising accommodation costs were blamed after a total of 2.2 million tickets were sold for this year’s Edinburgh Fringe – 26.7% down on the most recent pre-pandemic edition of the festival in 2019.

Image: Adam Wilson on Unsplash