We invite you to support us!

‘I like book festivals. As an author I had been to Edinburgh several times and thought the atmosphere congenial, even celebratory, and not complicated – it was a coming together of people who enjoyed books and were comfortable with ideas. When a weekend at the Wynd Theatre in Melrose came free, in 2004 it occurred to me that we could see if a small version of the notion would work in the Borders. I invited Melvyn Bragg, Allan Massie, Willie Dalrymple and Norman Davies. The little theatre was packed.

A year later, with the help of Paula Ogilvie, we were more ambitious. Knowing that the Melrose Festival held a ball in a marquee on a Friday in June, we proposed using it on the Saturday and Sunday. I asked Michael Palin, Rory Bremner, Ian Rankin, Sheila Hancock and Germaine Greer to come. Same thing, full houses.

Despite overreaching ourselves in 2006, when we lost money, the festival has grown and when we transplanted ourselves to Harmony Garden, it began to bloom. In fourteen years, the Borders Book Festival has become a national event with guests ranging from John Cleese to Joanna Lumley. But it has always remained intimate, held in the magic garden near the abbey and we will never extend it beyond four days in the middle of June. It is not wise to tinker with magic, or try to keep a party going too long.

There are many pressures on us to expand, change and offer more. But if we refuse to do that, we are left with one option. And that is to improve; to have better sessions, offer more variety and create an even more fulfilling experience for authors and audiences.

To achieve that we need help, and in these days and years of austerity, we cannot rely on the shrinking public purse. We need good, old-fashioned private patronage, financial support from a group of people who love the festival and want to see it flourish. This is why we would like to invite you to support us. As Friend, Supporter or Patron.’

Alistair Moffat, Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival Director

What does your support help us to achieve?

‘As well as delighting audiences of all ages by bringing many distinguished, entertaining, and high-profile writers and personalities to Melrose, the four-day programme combines the main adult festival with the Family Book Festival, community events and a platform for Borders writers to showcase their work. It also gives talented young people the opportunity to perform and participate and stages educational events for nursery, primary and secondary school pupils across the length and breadth of the Scottish Borders.

Your support will help us to continue to make the festival inclusive, to promote creativity and to keep our community connected to the wider world.’

Paula Ogilvie, Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival Director


As a not-for-profit organisation the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival has from its beginning relied on the support of our audience and community. There are three different ways to join us. Please call 01896 822 644 for more information or email us at [email protected] to find out more.


Friend Supporter Patron
Priority booking of up to 6 tickets per event

10% discount on cover price of books bought in the Festival Bookshop

Invitation to the Festival Launch Party

Complimentary tickets for the award ceremony for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction

Regular e-newsletter

Priority booking for any out of season Borders Book Festival events

Receive all benefits associated with Friends memberships along with extra privileges to further enhance your Borders Book Festival experience:

Invitation to BBF Launch in Melrose or Edinburgh

Annual Thank You Event

Reception on Friday at the Borders Book Festival


Receive all benefits associated with Friends and Supporters memberships along with extra privileges to further enhance your Borders Book Festival experience:

Invitation to Authors Saturday or Sunday Brunch at Bowhill, hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch

12 pairs of complimentary tickets

Acknowledgement of support in programmes and website

Reserved car parking at Harmony

Reserved seats at the events of your choice

Access to Festival sponsor and patron hospitality area of bar

£30/40 p/a (Single/Joint)* £300 p/a £1500 p/a
 *Single membership – 4 tickets per event. Joint membership – 6 tickets per event.