BBF 2019: What to Know Before You Go

We hope you’ve cleared your calendar, because for the first time ever, we’re taking over a full weekend in Boston’s fall calendar, this Saturday and Sunday, October 19 and 20! Read on for some essential tips to help you make the most of your day, er, weekend at the BBF!

Two days, two locations. BBF Saturday is in the same Copley Square neighborhood where we’ve been since Year 1. This year’s brand-new BBF Sunday is just a short drive, bus ride, or healthy walk away (why not? It’s going to be a beautiful weekend!) in Dudley SquareRoxbury. We have programming in several venues, but our base of operations in Dudley is the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building—stop there first for information or to visit our exhibitors! If you stop by Copley on Sunday, you won’t find us—only a bunch of rowing fans who’ve wandered over from the Head of the Charles Regatta (more on that later). Instead, head on down to Dudley Square, where you’ll find 70+ presenters, including four keynotes!

Getting to know the neighborhood. Maybe you’re a resident of or regular visitor to Roxbury’s Dudley Square. If so, thanks for letting us throw a book party in your back yard! If you’re new to the neighborhood, though, we have plenty of tips on getting to Dudley Square on our website. Parking is free in Boston on Sundays, and Dudley Square is home to one of the MBTA’s most well-served bus terminals. It’s also the home of the wonderful independently owned Frugal Bookstore, which is the exclusive bookseller for our events in Dudley Square. Looking to make a day of it and grab lunch while you’re there? No problem! We’ve included a list of Dudley eateries with Sunday hours in our printed program guide–just flip to p. 35 for all the details.

No ticket? No problem! Admission and seating at all BBF events this year 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.

Plan ahead if you plan to drive. Again 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. With Head of the Charles Regatta, Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo, and the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival all happening at the same time, it’s going to be one bustling weekend in Boston, so avoid disappointment and plan ahead!

T rider? Leave extra time. Shuttle buses will replace MBTA Orange Line trains between Sullivan and Tufts this weekend, so allow extra time if you’re traveling to the BBF by train. Shuttle bus replacement may also affect parts of the Green Line “C” branch as well. And in general, it’s going to be a busy weekend in Boston (see above), so be prepared for busy commutes (may we suggest you bring a book to pass the time?).

Love the BBF? Help keep it free to all. If you love the BBF and want to help us grow sustainably, 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. Even better, you can donate to the BBF without putting down your phone: just text BOOK to 617-300-0877 for a super-easy mobile donations link. Thank you for your support as we embark on our second decade!

Most importantly? Have fun! We hope you enjoy this free celebration of books and literary culture and that you’re as excited as we are to spend the weekend with countless other book lovers. Tag us on Twitter and Instagram and use the hashtag #BBF2019—we can’t wait to see how you spend your day!

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