Frequently Asked Questions

Here you can find answers to frequently asked questions about booking, what to expect at the venue, online events and anything else.



When and how can I book my tickets?

Friends priority booking opens Tuesday 24 August, 10am
General ticket sales open Tuesday 31 August, 10am
Book online:
Book by phone: 01943 816714
Tuesday 24 August – Thursday 30 September:
– Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri: 10am-1pm
– Tue: 10am-4pm
Friday 1 – Sunday 17 October:
– Mon-Sun: 10am-12pm

What concessions do you offer?

We offer concessions to the following people (proof of status will be required):

  • Students in full-time education, children and people under 25
  • People in receipt of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment
  • People in receipt of a means tested benefit, such as Job Seeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit

Concessionary prices are stated after the full price for each event, e.g. £10/£7

Why can’t I buy my tickets at The Grove Bookshop this year?

We are operating social distancing and reserved seating and so tickets must be allocated by the Box Office. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

What happens if the event is cancelled?

Where possible we will try to reschedule the event. If this is not possible, bookers will be eligible for a full refund of the ticket price. All refunds will be made after the festival (from Monday 18 October).

What happens if I can no longer attend because I have tested positive for or have symptoms of Covid?

If bookers test positive for or are displaying symptoms of Covid-19, bookers must notify the Box Office no later than 2 hours before the event start time in order to be eligible for a full refund.

Can I buy a ticket on the door? Can I still collect my tickets at the venue?

It will not be possible to buy tickets on the door. Please only attend an event if you have purchased a ticket in advance.

An event is sold out. Do you have a waiting list?

Yes, we will be operating waiting lists this year. If an event has sold out, please inform the Box Office operator that you wish to be placed on the waiting list.

Ticket returns are relatively rare. Please be aware that having your name on the waiting list does not guarantee that a ticket will become available.

I’ve bought a ‘Print at Home’ ticket. What do I do now?

Please bring your ‘print at home’ ticket to the venue either printed or on a phone or tablet.

Can I return tickets?

The Box Office can only accept other tickets for resale if an event has sold out. Returned tickets will be available for resale online only, not on the door at the venues. We will try to resell tickets for sold out events, but we offer no guarantee that we will be able to do so. Refunds for successfully resold returned tickets will be made after the Festival.

Why have I been allocated a seat number?

This year we are introducing reserved seating at our venues. This is to maintain social distancing between audience members both while seated and moving around the venue.


At the Venue

Why are you socially distancing?

We want to ensure our audiences feel comfortable and confident returning to our events. We asked our audiences how they feel about returning to live events and full capacity venues and 94% of respondents said they would be happy with social distancing measures in place, with 43% saying this would be essential to them considering returning.

Why can’t I sit directly next to my friend/family member/someone from my household?

We are using a checkerboard style seating layout, meaning there will be one empty seat space between each audience member. This is to maintain social distancing while allowing us to make the maximum number of tickets available for each event.

If you purchase tickets online, you will be able to select your own seats. If you purchase tickets by phone, please indicate your seating preferences and our Box Office operators will do their best to allocate you an appropriate seat subject to availability.

Do I have to wear a mask?

Customers will be encouraged to wear a face covering while inside our venues and during events, in line with government guidance, unless exempt.

Are venues well ventilated?

Venues will be thoroughly ventilated, cleaned and disinfected between events. The venues we are using have been selected because they have these measures in place.

What other Covid precautions will be in place at venues?

Hand sanitising stations will be installed and visitors will be encouraged to use them upon entering and exiting the venue.

Both King’s Hall and All Saints’ Church will have Test and Trace QR Codes at venue entrances. We encourage all ticket holders to check in or provide contact details.

One way systems will be in place and clearly marked with signage.

What time should I arrive at the venue and will I have to queue?

Doors will open 30 minutes before and will close promptly two minutes before the advertised start time. Please check travel times and allow extra time for parking to avoid disappointment as it will not be possible for latecomers to be admitted. Queuing will take place outside the venue, please dress according to the weather.

Parking info:
The main central Car Park in Ilkley can be found on South Hawksworth Street – LS29 9DX.
Smaller Car Parks can be found on Railway Road – LS29 8HP and Wharfe View Road – LS29 8DY.
For long stay on street parking, head to: Bridge Lane, Castle Road, Chapel Lane, Chantry Drive, Cowpasture Road, Grove Road, Kings Road, New Brook Street, Railway Road, Weston Road, Wharfe View Road.

Travel: There are regular buses and trains from Ilkley to Leeds and Bradford. Ilkley lies on the A65 between Leeds and Skipton.

Will there be a Q&A?

Q&As will take place at the end of most events, with Covid safety measures in place.

Will there be a book signing?

Where authors choose to participate in book signings, social distancing measures will be adhered to.


Online Events

How do I watch events online?

More information about our online events can be found here.

What is the difference between your live-streamed and pre-recorded digital events?

In-person events taking place at All Saints’ Church will also be live-streamed, meaning you will be able to watch the events from the comfort of your own home. Bookers will be able to view these events for up to 24 hours after they are live-streamed.

Digital weekend events are pre-recorded and will be broadcast online from Friday 1 – Sunday 3 October. Bookers will be able to watch these events on demand up to 11pm, Sunday 31 October.

More information about the live-streamed and pre-recorded digital events can be found here.

I want to watch all the digital weekend events. Do I have to buy individual tickets for each event?

No! Become a Friend of the Festival for just £25 and enjoy access to all our pre-recorded digital weekend events for free. Become a Friend of the Festival here.

I’ve booked for an online event but haven’t been sent a link.

Bookers will be sent the link to the event one day before it is scheduled to take place, and will also receive a reminder 15 minutes before the event start time.

If you purchase your ticket within 24 hours of the event, you will receive the event link 15 minutes before the start time.

The online event has started but it’s not working. What should I do?

If you have received the link to one of our online events but are having trouble, please read our troubleshooting guide. If this does not work, please contact the Box Office on 01943 816714 or

I don’t need captions for online events. Why can’t I turn off captioning?

The platform we use to broadcast our pre-recorded digital events does not support closed captioning. To make our events accessible to those who do require captions, we burn our captions into our videos.

Why isn’t there captioning for live-streamed events?

The platform that we use to live-stream events does not have the ability to generate automatic captions. We are committed to exploring other options in the future. Transcripts of live-streamed events will be available upon request from Monday 18 October. Email to request the transcript.

Why can’t I watch King’s Hall events online?

Over the pandemic, All Saints’ Church invested in new digital infrastructure, enabling us to live-stream events taking place at this venue. We hope to work with other partner venues to extend this provision in the future.



How can I support the Festival?

Thank you for supporting the Festival! You can support the Festival by making a donation or by becoming a Friend of the Festival. In return, Friends of the Festival receive exclusive benefits including free access to our pre-recorded digital events and priority booking.

How many events are there this year?

Due to the pandemic, we have reduced the size of this year’s programme. However, we are still producing over 70 events, including a dedicated digital events weekend, ‘live’ in-person interviews, talks and panel discussions with authors, writers and poets on stage, and the opportunity to experience some of these live events from home via live-streaming.

Read more about the type of events taking place during the Festival here.

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