Edinburgh International Book Festival

Edinburgh International Book Festival  image Edinburgh International Book Festival  image

Each summer, Edinburgh International Book Festival create a magical, tented village in the heart of Edinburgh’s West End. This three-week celebration of the written word is the largest of its kind in the world and offers something for all ages and interests. Entry to the Book Festival village is free. Visitors can soak up the atmosphere, browse the bookshops, enjoy refreshments from the café or bar and choose from a programme of more than 900 events.

This year’s Festival runs from 11-27 August 2018. For more information, visit http://www.edbookfest.co.uk.

Below you’ll find a list of all of the Book Festival’s accessible performances, plus information about disabled access at the Book Festival village.

Photo of the festival in the sunset.

Access Information

The following facilities are available at the Book Festival for visitors with access requirements:


The Book Festival Village and all its venues are fully wheelchair accessible and free wheelchair hire is available. Please pull in outside or opposite the Entrance Tent to drop off wheelchair users.

Hearing Assistance

Photo of a man wearing a hearing loop.

There are infrared systems in all theatres except the Baillie Gifford Story Box and the Baillie Gifford Imagination Lab. Please collect a set of earphones and a receiver along with an instruction card from the Information Desk in the Entrance Tent prior to your event.


Photo of an accessible toilet at the book festival.

There are several disabled toilets on site - both in Charlotte Square Gardens and on George Street. A fully accessible Changing Places toilet is also available in Charlotte Square Gardens, complete with a hoist and changing table. Please see the site map for the location: https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/visiting-the-festival/festival-map

Assistance dogs

Assistance dogs are welcome in the Book Festival village. If you are attending an event with your assistance dog, staff can make sure you are seated somewhere suitable. Please let the Box Office know at least a day before your event and they will sort out your seats.

Noise reduction

Ear-defenders are available to borrow should you require them. Please ask at the Box Office or information desk in the entrance tent.

BSL Interpretation by request

Photo of a BSL interpreter at the Book Festival.

As well as the events listed above, it is also possible to request BSL interpretation for any other event in the programme.

How BSL interpretation by request works

  • Buy tickets to the event you want to see in the usual way.
  • Email bsl@edbookfest.co.uk or phon 0345 373 5888 to request an interpreter for the event you have booked.
  • The Book Festival will process requests weekly in July and make arrangements for the event you have booked. 
  • The Book Festival will process requests weekly in July and make arrangements with their BSL interpreters before coming back to you to confirm your request. If you would like a BSL interpreter, let the Book Festival know promptly. The final date for requests is 27 July.

Please note: if for any reason the Book Festival is unable to fulfil your request, your tickets will be refunded or exchanged for an alternative event if you prefer.

Easy Read Guide to the Book Festival

Download our Easy Read Guide to the Book Festival (pdf). This is an illustrated guide showing and telling you what you can expect to see when attending the Book Festival, designed with children, families, and adults with learning disabilities in mind.

Volunteer escorts

Photo of the book festival with coloured lanterns.

Artlink's Access Service offers support to disabled visitors to Edinburgh to attend Book Festival events with a volunteer escort. For further information please contact Artlink on 0131 229 3555 or email info@artlinkedinburgh.co.uk or Typetalk 18001 0131 229 3555.

The Book Festival brochure is also available in different formats, including large print, braille, audio CD and MP3 format. To request a copy, contact admin@edbookfest.co.uk or call 0131 718 5666.

Disabled parking spaces

Blue badge holders can park in any pay and display bay around the Book Festival site. There is level access across the pedestrian crossing between the end of George Street and entrance to Charlotte Square Gardens, and a shallow ramp up into the Entrance Tent. There is level access across the whole of the Book Festival site.

Help with access

Please contact the Box Office if you have any specific access needs for your visit to the Book Festival and we will do our best to help: 0345 373 5888 or boxoffice@edbookfest.co.uk.