The Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival, which took place over the weekend of 15th – 18th June 2017 in the Scottish Borders, has broken previous records for attendance and ticket sales. Supported by Baillie Gifford as title sponsor, the festival, now in its fourteenth year, enjoyed its third year occupying two linked sites in Melrose.
Paula Ogilvie, Festival Director, said:
“To say that the 2017 Baillie Gifford Borders Festival was our most successful yet is an understatement. We welcomed more than 30,000 people into our twin sites of Harmony Garden and The Orchard – a whopping increase of 21% on last year. We had a number of sell-out shows including John Cleese, Judy Murray, Michael Parkinson and Carol Klein, and basking in the tropical Melrose heat, our mobile artisan vendors sold record numbers of ice-creams, coffee and delicious street food.“
Alistair Moffat, Festival Director, said:
“We’re delighted that this has been a record-breaking festival. But the most important thing is that, with two days of wonderful weather, people were able to enjoy being outside in the sunshine, eating and drinking, and talking to each other; as well as being entertained and enthralled by our stellar line-up of speakers. And what a line-up it was: Judy Murray got a standing ovation, Allan Little delivered a superb inaugural Brewin Dolphin Lecture, and commentators, experts and novelists at the top of their game gave us a view of the world which was completely unique to our festival. It will be a difficult one to top! We’d like to thank Baillie Gifford and all our sponsors for lifting us to new levels this year.”
The festival received great feedback from authors as well. BAFTA award-winning Deadly 60 presenter Steve Backshall returned to the festival to a sold out audience on Sunday 18th June. “This is the second time I have been to the festival and I think it is one of the most intimate, one of the most friendly and most fun of all the festivals that I go to. I absolutely love coming here.”
Asked how he would rate the festival if it was a restaurant, award-winning writer, journalist and MasterChef judge Jay Rayner commented “I would have to rate it rather highly. I come back time and time again”. And Sir Michael Parkinson, who closed the event with another sell-out performance on Sunday, commented “This is one of the most beautiful parts of Britain. I think it’s stunning around here, glorious. And I like the festival itself.”
Through a partnership with FoSho Video the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival reached more than 24,000 people with its daily video updates on Facebook and YouTube during the weekend. One of the sell-out events at the festival, the inaugural Brewin Dolphin Lecture by BBC journalist Allan Little, is now available online as a podcast on iTunes and on the festival’s YouTube channel at https://goo.gl/f9TEUh.
The Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival will return to Melrose from 14 – 17 June 2018. More information can be found at www.bordersbookfestival.org.