BBF 2018: What to Know Before You Go

Our trucks have rolled into Copley Square, we found Paddington Bear at Back Bay Station, and the tenth annual BBF will kick off all over Boston this Saturday, October 13. We hope you’re as excited as we are: read on for some essential tips to help you make the most of your day at the BBF!

No ticket? No problem! It’s true that our two ticketed events–the 10/12 kickoff keynote with Michael Pollan and the 10/13 “On Leadership” session–are completely sold out. We are not maintaining a waiting list for either event, but the good news is that if you didn’t purchase tickets in time, we have more than 100 other events that are absolutely free and don’t require tickets or registration. Admission and seating at all these events is first-come, first-served, so we recommend you arrive early for sessions that are especially important to you! Need help navigating our online schedule? Visit this brief tutorial.

We’re not just in Copley anymore! After a successful pilot in East Boston last year, we’re expanding our neighborhood festivals program to include both East Boston and Roxbury. Offering unique presentations, performances, and workshops in each location and featuring an exciting mix of nationally known and locally grown literary talent, these all-day events mean that no matter where you live or work in Boston, on 10/13 there’s a BBF near you!

Plan ahead if you plan to drive. This year, we’re partnering with ParkWhiz to help BBF attendees find and book the best deals on parking near the festival. You do need to book parking in advance in order to take advantage of the ParkWhiz deals, however, so take a few minutes and have one less thing to worry about as you head into the city (especially since the Red Sox will also be kicking off the ALCS at Fenway on Saturday evening!).

Arrive early and dance with us. BBF 2018 presenter and Daybreaker founder Radha Agrawal will help us kick off the BBF with a morning dance party outside in Copley Square. Chameleon Cold-Brew will be there to get all those early birds energized and ready for Boston’s biggest book party!

And stay late and raise a glass with us. This year our perennially popular capstone event Poems & Pints, produced with Mass Poetry, is at a new and bigger venue–furniture store Room & Board! In addition to readings by five amazing poets, there will be live music by novelist and songwriter Robin MacArthur, plus seasonal beers and pretzels! You better believe that this is where you’ll find us at the end of the BBF day–save us a seat where we can put our feet up!

Bring a tote bag (or buy one from us!). Thanks to our partner booksellers, book sales and signings follow all of our sessions, so bring a bag (or buy a tenth-anniversary one at our merch booth!) to stock up on new finds (not to mention goodies from our 75+ exhibitors on Copley Square!). Our merch booth will also offer beautiful keepsake books commemorating our tenth anniversary and featuring essays by authors like Tom Perrotta, Stephanie Burt, and Nic Stone, brand-new BBF journals, and tenth-anniversary posters–plus BBF umbrellas, just in case! We are a rain-or-shine event, after all!

Love the BBF? Help keep it free to all. If you love the BBF, help support it! The BBF is run by an independent nonprofit, and we rely on donations from individuals to help keep the festival thriving and free to all. Donations in any amount are appreciated, but membership benefits start at $50; more substantial donations of $500+ can get you priority seating, party invitations, and more! You can contribute to the BBF online anytime or at the membership table at the big BBF tent on the day of the festival. Thank you for your support as we head into our second decade!

Most importantly? Have fun! We hope you enjoy this free celebration of books and literary culture. We’ve certainly had fun putting it together for you. Tag us on Twitter and Instagram and use the hashtag #BBF2018—we can’t wait to see how you spend your day!

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