Jobs to go

Book festival facing cutbacks as costs rise

Judy Murray at Book Festival
Past speakers include Judy Murray

The Edinburgh International Book Festival is to cut back in response to the cost of living and falling attendances.

Organisers will also drop live streaming of events after income this year was down 40% on 2019, the last time a full-scale festival took place.

Costs will be cut by 25% and some of the 32 full-time staff will be made redundant.

The scaling back comes amid continuing hesitancy to attend events following the Covid pandemic followed by the rising cost of energy and food bills which are not expected to ease significantly next year.

Nick Barley, the director of EIBF, told The Scotsman that ticket and book sales this year were “pretty brutal”.

Edinburgh International Book Festival (EIBF) said: “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.”

The festival will take place next year from 12 to 28 August at Edinburgh College of Art, however, there are likely to be about 100 fewer events than this year.

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