• Festival Information

Ticketing questions

How do I purchase tickets?

Go to to our Schedule page, select “Get Tickets” for the program(s) you want, and follow the instructions to check out. Your ticket(s) will be emailed to you from ticketing@baybookfest.org. You can purchase festival wristbands here. Priority Tickets will be scanned at the door, so print and bring your tickets, or have them ready to show on your digital device. For General Admission Wristbands, take your wristband ticket confirmation to any venue or any of the four box offices at the event, where your ticket confirmation will be scanned and a volunteer will put a wristband on you.

You can also purchase Priority Tickets and General Admission Wristbands from one of our four box offices throughout the Festival weekend.

I’m having trouble buying tickets online. What should I do?

If you are experiencing difficulty using our ticketing system, it may be related to your internet browser. Please use the best browser available to you (see list below) or email ticketing@baybookfest.org if you are unable to use a different browser.
Best: Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox
Good: Apple Safari and Microsoft Edge
Not recommended: Internet Explorer

What is your refund policy?

Festival tickets are non-refundable/exchangeable but they are transferable, so any tickets that you end up not being able to use may be given to friends. All all they will need is the unscanned ticket(s) PDF (printed or on a mobile device). Note that any ticket may be used only once.

I can‘t find the ticket I purchased.

Your tickets were sent to you from the email address ticketing@baybookfest.org and should be in your inbox. (Check your spam folder if not).

If you still cannot find them, please email ticketing@baybookfest.org with the first and last name of purchaser and, time permitting, we will resend your tickets.

How much do tickets cost for indoor sessions?

We have two types of tickets: Priority Admission Tickets (good for entry into one indoor session with a secured seat) and a General Admission Wristband (good for entry into all indoor sessions, but no seat guaranteed; note that some sessions might sell out from Priority Tickets).

Priority Admission Ticket $10

Don’t want to miss a special author? Get a ticket for only $10 and jump into the Priority Ticket line to ensure that you get a seat! We start letting in the Priority Ticket line 20 minutes before the session start time. Be sure to bring your ticket receipt (printed or on your mobile device) with you to the venue for scanning.
Important: You must arrive no later than 10 minutes before session start time to guarantee your Priority Ticket seat. At 10 minutes before show time, we start letting in the General Admission Wristband line to fill up remaining seats.

General Admission Wristband $15 Weekend Pass

Roam the festival! Buy a General Admission Wristband and go to as many events that interest you on Saturday and Sunday. The General Admission Wristband line will offer access to all seats after the Priority Ticket line is let in. General Admission seating begins 10 minutes before the session start time, and will be on a first-come, first-served basis, depending on seating availability. Bring your PDF ticket (printed or on your mobile device) with you to any Box Office or any venue, and staff will scan your ticket and give you your wristband. Once you have your wristband on, you do not need to be scanned again.

Tip: Want guaranteed seats for a particular session but just to drop into others?

If you’d like the option to see at least two sessions (or more!) beyond your special one, it’s most economical to get a Priority Ticket for the one, then a General Admission Wristband for roaming the rest. If you want to maximize your time at the festival and be sure to get into all your chosen sessions, the safest bet is to get Priority Tickets for all. We keep ticket prices very low so you can access what you want! You can order everything at the same time on our Tickets page.

Do you have any discounted tickets?

We offer discounts on General Admission Wristbands for youth under 18 and college students. But if a young person or student wants to guarantee a seat for a particular event, they’ll need to get a Priority Admission ticket at regular prices.
Youth under 18: Youth under age 18 are admitted free based on available seating at any program. While not essential, we recommend that youth under 18 stop by one of our four box offices to get a free wristband, making it easier to not have show their ID at the door of each venue.
College students: College students with a valid student ID can purchase a General Admission Wristband from one of our four box offices for only $5. One per student.

I want to go to an event scheduled for the outdoor stage. Do I need tickets or a wristband?

No, the Outdoor Stage sessions are free to the public with open seating, first-come, first-served. These sessions are very popular, so arrive early.

What do I do if I need an ADA accessible seat, or have any mobility or accessibility needs?

Priority Tickets: We ask that Priority Ticket 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 all Priority Ticket holders.

General Admission Wristbands: If you are a General Admission Wristband holder with 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 Wristband holders; General Admission Wristband holders 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 Wristband line and we know you’ll be able to get into that session based on pre-sales 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 2 available-on-demand / roving interpreters who will get ‘scheduled’ on a first come basis, by email and ticket reservation. If you want to see a talk and need services, please email ticketing@baybookfest.org 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. Once you recieve an email confirmation, you can then go purchase a Priority Ticket ($10) for that show. We can’t guarantee a seat to interpreted shows without a Priority ticket.

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 Ticket line is for people who have bought a $10 ticket to that session. 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 Wristband line goes in and takes all the rest of the seats on a first-come, first-served basis. Note, there will be no free standby. (For free events, try any of our outdoor stages in the park.)

What if I didn’t get a wristband or ticket in advance and just show up at the venue?

You’ll still need either a ticket (if you want to join the Priority line) or a wristband (for the General Admission line). But you can buy them on the spot via our Tickets page on your phone and just show your ticket. Ask one of our door staff if you need help. Or, go to the closest Festival Box Office (see locations below) and get tickets or a wristband, then return to the venue.

It’s the day of the event and I don’t want to use my phone to buy tickets or a wristband, but I want to go to indoor sessions.

You can purchase tickets and wristbands at any of our four Box Offices on site (see locations below).

I have a wristband, but I don’t want to bother to wait in line if there’s no chance of getting in.

Can you get information in advance about a session’s capacity? Definitely. If a session is sold out, we’ll say that on the Schedule page on our website. (Refresh to see the latest.) Or, go to any of the four Festival Box Offices on the day of the event, and staff can inform you about the event’s status. Or, go directly to the venue, and the door staff will give you a sense of capacity. We’ll monitor the General Admission line at each event and will inform people about any prospective cutoff.

I’m coming to the Festival both days. Do I have to keep my wristband on overnight? What if I take it off Saturday night but plan to return Sunday? Do I have to go to the Box Office again?

When you pick up your wristbands, you’ll get two physical bands, one labeled Saturday and the other Sunday.

Can I pick up wristbands for a friend?

Yes, but you’ll have to bring their purchased wristband ticket, and each will get scanned and can’t be used again.

Where will the Festival box offices be located?

You’ll find four box offices located throughout the festival for easy access: at The Downtown Bart Plaza, The Freight & Salvage, The Brower Center, and M.L.K. Jr. Civic Center Park at the corner of Milvia and Allston Way. Box offices will be open from 9am-6pm on Saturday and Sunday.

You can buy Priority Tickets to individual sessions or General Admission Wristbands with cash or credit card at any box office, or on your phone any time for an instant ticket! Wristbands can be picked up at any box office or at the indoor venues right before your session, but are only SOLD at box offices.

For additional questions about tickets, please email us at ticketing@baybookfest.org.

Festival Map

Onsite Services

Location

The festival takes place in M.L.K. Civic Center Park and 9 surrounding blocks in Downtown Berkeley. (See list of venue addresses.)

Safety

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.

Restrooms

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.

Accessibility Services

To request Sign Language Interpreters, email ticketing@baybookfest.org. We will have 2 roving interpreters available on a first come first reserved basis. If you have a special need for seating because of a disability, please let our staff know at the venue. We will try and accommodate your needs. Every venue is wheelchair accessible.

Pets

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 at any indoor venue.

First Aid

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.

Lost and Found

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).

ATMs

There are many banks in downtown Berkeley with ATMs.