Since being established in 2004, the Borders Book Festival has projected itself as one of Britain’s most prestigious and respected literary events. It has developed into a four-day format within the grounds of Harmony House and Gardens, Melrose. Beginning on a Thursday evening and running until the Sunday, creating a three-festivals in one place recipe. Previous programmes have featured Booker Prize winners, great biographers and historians with authors drawn from all over the world.
On average, 45 events take place in the adult strand of the festival, which runs alongside the Family Book Festival, which is an inexpensive means of helping parents introduce children to reading and writers. The current position of the Borders Book Festival is to continue to attract new audiences, increasing the number of visitors from outside of Scotland, becoming an internationally registered event. Delivering a high quality annual book festival at Harmony Garden’s offers an enjoyable and inclusive cultural experience for the local community, but helps to enhance tourism across Scotland and attract new visitors, thereby boosting economic benefits to the region and to the country.
This is achieved with a wide-ranging, appealing and imaginative events programme, supported by a strategic marketing and PR campaign. Authors who have attended the book festival to date include David Frost, Michael Parkinson, Hilary Mantel, Joanna Lumley, Michael Palin, Nobel Prize-winning scientist Peter Higgs, Victoria Wood, Alexander McCall Smith, Ian Rankin, Sarah Brown, Michael Morpurgo, Julia Donaldson, Francesca Simon, Iain Banks, Alistair Darling, John Byrne, Kate Adie, Joan Bakewell, John Sessions and Neil Oliver. There are four venues: a 460 seater Festival Marquee, Scottish Borders Brewery Marquee (capacity 250), Lochcarron Marquee (capacity 110) and the Davidson Chalmers Storytelling Tent (capacity 70). There is a large Bookshop/ café marquee and sponsor area.