Virginia Festival of the Book

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Frequently Asked Questions

When is the next Book Festival?
Where is the Book Festival?
Where can I get a copy of the Book Festival schedule?
How much does the Book Festival cost?

Do I need to register for the events?
What is the seating policy for large headline events?
How do I get tickets?

How long does each program last?
What about book signings?
How do I get to the Book Festival?
Where can I stay at the Book Festival?
Where can I get maps?
Can you get around the festival without a car?
Where can I park?
Are all of the venues handicap-accessible?
Where can I eat? Is any food provided at events?
Does the Book Festival have a dress code?
Is the Book Festival child-friendly?

When is the next Book Festival?
All future festival dates are published here.

Where is the Book Festival?
The festival takes place in book stores, libraries, theaters, schools and other venues in and around Charlottesville, VA. The venues are not all centrally located but many events are centered around the Downtown Mall, the UVA campus, and the Barracks Road Shopping Center. You should study the program carefully to ensure that you have enough time to get between events. If you are driving between events you should allow a travel time of about 15-30 minutes.

Where can I get a copy of the Book Festival schedule?
Like our participant list, our schedule is constantly evolving, and occasionally events have to be cancelled or rescheduled. The most current schedule can be found by selecting "Schedule" in the menu above. The Daily Progress prints a full copy of the schedule on the Sunday before the Festival. Copies are placed at all major venues and bookstores.

How much does the Book Festival cost?
Nothing! All of the Book Festival events are free, with just a few exceptions for special events. Ticket prices—if it is a paid event—are listed by the event description.

Do I need to register for the events? 
All readings and panel discussions are on a first-come-first-served basis unless otherwise indicated. Those on our mailing list annually receive the postcard announcing the day we will begin receiving ticket reservations and an Advance Program. For headline events we anticipate will be very popular, tickets are distributed as seat-holders one hour beforehand. See note below on how and why.

What is the seating policy for large headline events?
Free tickets are given out at some large events, such as the events at the UVa Culbreth Theatre, to ensure that the number of attendees does not exceed the fire code regulations for the venue. These tickets are given out beginning one hour before the event at the door. These are for open seating; seats are not reserved.

How do I get tickets?
Almost all Book Festival events are free and no tickets are required. For the few events that do require tickets, tickets are available online. The Luncheons and Leadership Breakfast often sell out shortly after going on sale. If sold out, you can place your name on a waiting list.

How long does each program last?
Most of our programs are scheduled in two hour time periods: 10 a.m., Noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m., and 8 p. m.  Each program lasts about 1 hour to 1 ¼  hour, including time for Questions & Answers and book signings, which are generally scheduled at the end of their program unless otherwise indicated, or books are unavailable. It is our hope that this time frame allows for attendees to leave and get to the next program of their choice. Traffic tends to increase in Charlottesville during the Festival, so you may require 15-30 minutes to get across town to another venue.

What about book signings? 
A book signing is generally scheduled for the authors at the end of their program unless otherwise indicated, or books are unavailable. Various booksellers in Charlottesville order books and have them available for signing and purchase. Most authors will sign books after their program. Occasionally, an author may choose NOT to sign books, or will pre-sign books which are sold at the event. It is the policy of the Festival to give priority to attendees with books bought at the program. It is the prerogative of the author to choose to sign older or pre-bought books. Typically, book dealers or attendees with multiple copies of books by an author are asked to wait until the author has signed copies of his/her new book.

How do I get to the Book Festival?
Please select "Travel" in the menu above for directions to Charlottesville and more information on getting here by air, train, or bus.

Where can I stay at the Book Festival?
There are plenty of places to stay in the Charlottesville area that fit any need or budget. The Charlottesville Tourism website is a convenient way to find lodgings as it allows you to do a customized search so that you can find the place that’s right for you.

Where can I get maps?
Each program you read about online should have a mapping feature enabled with it. In March, downloadable maps of the Downtown, the University of Virginia, and “Around Town” venues online will be available. You can also pick up these maps during the Festival at the information desk (Omni Hotel) or printed in the final Daily Progress Festival Program.

Can you get around the festival without a car?
All downtown venues are within walking distance of each other. Events at the University of Virginia are also within walking distance. There is a free trolley which runs between the downtown area and the University. Events at Barracks Road and at Fashion Square Mall can be reached by bus, but prior planning is necessary to determine the bus schedules, etc. For more details, check our website “Getting Around.”

Where can I park?
Many hotels are within walking distance of Book Festival venues. A free trolley service is also available and makes stops at the Downtown Mall, the UVA "Corner" area, and University Grounds.

There are several parking garages for those who wish to drive. For programs at the University of Virginia it is best to park at the Central Grounds Parking Garage. The UVA Bookstore validates parking for 30 minutes with a purchase.

For venues in downtown Charlottesville, there are garages located on Water St. and Market St.

There is also hourly parking on "the Corner" (the district adjacent to University Avenue) in municipal garages on Elliewood Avenue, Fourteenth Street, and Wertland Avenue.

Are the venues handicap-accessible?
Most venues are handicap-accessible, but some are more handicap-friendly than others. For accessibility information on each venue, click the "Venue Details" link next to that venue in the program schedule.

Where can I eat? Is any food provided at events?
With the exception of the Festival Luncheon, Crime Wave Brunch, and Leadership Breakfast, no food is generally provided at Book Festival events. However, there are a plethora of restaurants within easy walking distance of most Book Festival activities, and some events are even held in eateries.

Does the Book Festival have a dress code?
No, there is no official dress code. However, those attending the luncheons and the Authors’ Reception are discouraged from wearing extremely casual attire (i.e. blue jeans, shorts). Also, those attending the Leadership Breakfast generally wear professional attire.

Is the Book Festival child-friendly?
The Festival sponsors many events throughout the week for families with children. "StoryFest" events are especially designed for young readers and range from the annual "Kids Book Swap" to storytelling sessions by children's authors. These events do tend to be geared towards younger children (the seven and under crowd). For more information view our Youth & Family and StoryFest schedule.

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