Borders Book Festival delayed

News - Festivals Thursday, 14th January 2021

September slot for the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival, usually held in June

Instead of being held on its traditional long weekend in June, the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival will take place, 'if circumstances allow', from Wednesday 15 September to Sunday 19 September. The venue will Harmony Garden, Melrose, in the Scottish Borders.   

According to organisers: 'Having delivered a successful digital programme of over forty free author talks and workshops last year, attracting 21,000 views, festival Directors Alistair Moffat and Paula Ogilvie have already begun work on the line-up for this year.  All being well by September, a sparkling, splendid cast of authors, stars of stage and screen, sporting heroes and political pundits will assemble once more in Harmony Garden. Running the festival over five instead of four days will allow for an even more packed and diverse programme of events, details of which will be announced in June.'
Alistair Moffat, festival director, said: "After a difficult 2020 for everyone, we are delighted to be starting the New Year with the positive news that the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival plans to return at the new time of September in the hope of being able to welcome our authors and visitors back to Harmony Garden safely.  Something to look forward to in these dark winter months!
"Our journey back to a version of normality is likely to be longer than predicted as the Covid vaccination programme rolls out to all age groups in our audience. Taking into account the likely circumstances in the second half of the year, we will ensure the live book festival meets all and any remaining restrictions." Details of the full programme will be announced in June at    

The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, which is usually awarded annually at the festival, is reviewing its plans and will confirm this year’s arrangements in early April.  Meanwhile, judging for the Prize is continuing on its usual schedule.

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