Festival background

The West End has long been known for its creativity and its love of literature. We want to celebrate both this rich cultural heritage and strong contemporary work. And what better way to do that than with a Byres Road Book Festival? Byres Road is the heart of the West End, and is a well-known destination for locals and visitors to the city.

The top of Byres Road is blessed with a trio of book – based assets that will be the hub of activity during the festival. Last year we welcomed Waterstones to the West End, just across the road from Hillhead Library and the Oxfam Bookshop. These three locations will host a variety of presentations, conversations and discussions, united by a love of books.

The Byres Road Book Festival will take place on 22-25 September, Glasgow’s September weekend. One important strand will be dedicated to the crime novel, Scotland’s favourite literary genre. In addition to the programme of conversations and discussions, we are hosting signings, storytelling sessions, upcycling old books and creating new ones . We are proudly embracing the local and celebrating the universal.

Festival partners

The festival is the result of a partnership between the Byres Road & Lanes Business Improvement District, Glasgow Life, Waterstones and Oxfam. Glasgow Life runs Hillhead Library, a key destination in Byres Road and, with over 390,000 visitors a year, a vital cog in the West End community. The Oxfam bookshop is known within and beyond the city for the quality of its stock. Waterstones has quickly established itself in the life of Byres Road, with a strong programme of events both within the store and in iconic locations such as the Kibble Place in the Botanic Gardens at the top of Byres Road. The Byres Road & Lanes Business Improvement District (BID) is an initiative that aims to improve the economic vitality of Byres Road, promoting the area within and beyond the city, and improving the quality of the visitor experience.

Each of the partners will play to its strengths in delivering an inspiring inaugural festival. Glasgow Life brings its experience of celebrating the ‘Aye Write!’ book festival since 2005, adding the children’s festival, ‘Wee Write!’, in 2015. Oxfam has strong and deep roots in the community and good links with Scottish authors, as evidenced by the line-up at their recent re-launch following a major refurbishment. Waterstones brings a UK perspective, with care and attention at the local level. We have used their experience and strong relationships and contacts with established and emerging authors, agents and publicists. The BID has managed the administration, finance and marketing of the festival, as well as brought experience of the establishment and operation of ‘Bloody Scotland’, Scotland’s international crime writing festival.