The Festival area is generally safe and pleasant. As in any situation with large crowds, be sure to remain aware of your surroundings. To enhance the overall visitor experience, we partner with the Downtown Berkeley Ambassadors and supplement regular Berkeley Police Department presence with additional event security.
Indoor author programs will fill multiple Downtown Berkeley venues. The Sunday Outdoor Fair, with at least one large adult program stage, a robust children’s area, and a couple hundred exhibitors and food vendors, will take over Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center Park.
Includes Chronicle Stage, exhibitors, all children’s programming, and more
The Festival’s Outdoor Fair is a lively, immersive experience where readers meet writers and diverse communities gather to celebrate a love of books and reading. More than 150 literary exhibitors, free stages present acclaimed authors, and performances and fun activities for all ages abound.
Port-o-lets and hand-washing stations are scattered throughout the Festival. There is a fixed bathroom outside in the back of the City Hall building. Local restaurants make facilities available to paying customers. All of the Festival’s indoor venues have facilities, and all are ADA accessible.
Pets are allowed at the outdoor Festival, but only if owners keep them on a leash and bring their own water dish and doggie bag. Pets sensitive to crowds or loud noises should be left at home. Pets are not allowed in indoor venues, except if they are service animals.
If you need assistance, go to the event information booth in Civic Center Park, where you can receive First Aid from an EMT. If needed, additional services will be engaged.
If you lose something, please go to any of the event information booths and leave your contact information and description of what you lost. After the event you may contact the event producers at 510-550-4804 to recover your item. You might also contact the Berkeley Police Department (510-981-5900) as they have a lost and found as well. Found items and valuables should be delivered to an information booth or to BPD.
Lost children will be kept at the nearest event information booth, though if they are not picked up within a reasonable amount of time, or if it’s after 6PM, we will turn them over to the Berkeley Police Department (510-981-5900).
There are many banks in downtown Berkeley with ATMs.
We care about making sure anyone and everyone can safely and easily enjoy the Festival.
Please let us know if we can help you in any way.
If you have a special need for seating because of a disability, please let our staff know at the venue upon arrival. We will try and accommodate your needs.
Every venue and literary session has wheel chair accessibility.
Listening Devices available if requested and reserved in advance.
ASL Services at selected and requested shows with priority seating.
To request Sign Language Interpreters email [email protected]. We will have 3 roving interpreters available on a first come first reserved basis.
Access Support Team at Every Venue (ask at front of any theater for any support you need).
What do I do if I need an ADA accessible seat, or have any mobility or accessibility needs?
Priority Tickets: We ask that Friend of the Festival Priority Wristband holders with accessibility requests come to the venue 30 minutes before the program start time and inform the event staff of their request so that they may be seated ahead of the doors opening to general admission attendees.
General Admission: If you have accessibility requests, please let our door staff know you are in line and what your needs are, so they can do what they can to help. Seating is not guaranteed for any General Admission; General Admission attendees are seated based on first-come, first-served available seating after the Priority Admission line is let in 20 minutes before the program is scheduled to begin. If you are in the General Admission line and we know you’ll be able to get into that session based on priority attendees and your place in line, we are happy to get you in first before we open the door.
How do I make a request for a Sign Language Interpreter?
We will have 3 available-on-demand / roving interpreters who will get ‘scheduled’ on a first come basis, by email and reservation. If you want to see a talk and need services, please email [email protected] to request an interpreter for that specific talk. We will confirm whether there is still interpreter scheduling availability and whether the show will have those services via an email reply.
We will put an Interpreting Services Icon on the session/show once confirmed on our website so others can see it when perusing the schedule.
What can I expect at each venue?
All indoor venues will have two lines. The Priority line is for people who are Friends of the Festival and VIP pass holders. They go in first, starting at 20 minutes before the program is scheduled to begin. At 10 minutes before the session start time, the General Admission line goes in and takes all the rest of the seats on a first-come, first-served basis.
Where will the Festival box offices be located?
You’ll find our box office located at the Berkeley downtown Bart Plaza
The Box office will be open from 9am-6pm on Saturday and 9am – 5pm on Sunday.
You can pick up your Priority Wristband, or become a friend of the festival, get merch, and get your questions answered!
What is the Festival’s mask policy?
Please note: For the health and well-being of our authors and attendees, masks are encouraged at all indoor events, but not required.
For additional questions about tickets, please email us at [email protected].