On 18 November 2022 the Edinburgh International Book Festival issued the following:
A Statement from Edinburgh International Book Festival
In light of the unpredictable nature of the external environment, Edinburgh International Book Festival has taken the difficult but necessary decision to revise its strategy for the 2023 Book Festival.
The changes in audience booking behaviour since the start of the pandemic and the continuing hesitancy around Covid amongst some of the Book Festival’s core audiences, has been exacerbated by the cost-of-living crisis. The result is people are attending fewer events and spending less money – just as costs are continually rising. All evidence suggests this situation will continue into 2023 and beyond.
We have prepared a prudent strategy to weather this highly challenging period. For the Book Festival Charity to deliver an economically sustainable Book Festival in 2023, the scale of the operation will be reduced, including cutting expenditure across all areas of the organisation and revising the delivery of the Festival itself.
This has required some tough decisions, most heartbreakingly the resizing of the incredibly talented team behind the Festival and Charity’s work, and pausing our streaming activity, which has been such a success in opening up the Festival but costs a significant amount and is unaffordable in the current climate.
Full details of next year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival will be revealed at the programme launch in mid-June, but it will take place as planned from 12–28 August at Edinburgh College of Art. There will remain a varied programme of events for adults, children and schools, and as usual it will feature a large range of author talks, creative workshops and discussions with Scottish, UK and international authors. Meanwhile, the Book Festival Charity continues to bring free events and books to all school children via its vibrant Baillie Gifford Schools Programme and the Baillie Gifford Transport Fund which offers support toward travel costs, and the Communities Programme continues to connect creatively with people in their own communities. Work will also continue to prepare for the planned move from to the Book Festival’s new permanent home at the Edinburgh Future’s Institute in 2024.
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