It was 2014 when I myself discovered the book festival. I’d only been living in the city since 2003, rather embarrassing! An author that I follow on Instagram had posted about an event they were doing in Edinburgh in just a few weeks, and it turned out to be at the Book Festival.
After purchasing a ticket for said event, I decided to delve into the brochure to see if there was anything else I was interested in. The big ones were George R. R. Martin and Haruki Murakami, but unfortunately both had sold out about a month before.
I went along to the Book Festival asking if there had been any tickets returned. I was told if I wanted to try and get a ticket, they set up a returns queue on the day of the event. For the three sold out events that I wanted to go to, I turned up as soon as the gates opened and sat in the queue, patiently waiting with fingers crossed. It paid off, and I was able to get a ticket for every event. Both of George R. R. Martin’s events, and most importantly, for Haruki Murakami, my favourite author. I got to meet everyone, got my books signed and Murakami even asked to shake MY hand. I was even interviewed by BBC Arts after the first George R. R. Martin event.
It was an incredible year and experience for me, and one that I tell everyone who hasn’t been before. If you find your favourite event is sold out, always try waiting in the returns queue on the day of the event. I was lucky enough to get a ticket every single time.