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2023 “Bay Area Book Festival” Free Outdoor Fair (Berkeley)

Nearly 300 prominent authors for both adults and youth will appear on indoor stages all day on both Saturday and Sunday, May 6-7, 2023. This year’s Festival offers over 100 great events—all daytime shows for free!

Exclusively on Sunday, May 7, the festival will include a large outdoor stage, literary exhibitors, gourmet food vendors, a lively family area, and a youth expo will take over Berkeley’s Civic Center Park.

Bay Area Book Festival 2023

The 9th annual Bay Area Book Festival will bring its literary magic to all ages again this year. In that spirit, all events––except the headliner programs on Saturday and Sunday night––will now be offered at no cost. The festival’s 74 indoor programs and 24 programs on outdoor stages will feature the most lauded and exciting authors and thinkers of today––from W. Kamau Bell to Joan Baez, Cory Doctorow to Tricia Hersey and many, many more––representing a wide diversity of backgrounds and writing across many genres. In addition, this year the Festival will kick off a suite of pre-Fest events, including headliners such as Michelle Zauner and Leila Mottley, from April 1 through May 5.

Outdoor Fair – Sunday, May 7, 2023

The festival’s free Outdoor Fair is a lively, immersive experience jam-packed with fun and exploration for festivalgoers of all ages and interests. The heart of Northern California’s largest weekend literary event beckons book lovers to meet favorite authors spanning myriad genres, discover new reads, catch live performances on four outdoor stages, relax and unwind in our outdoor reading lounge, and enjoy delectably fresh food sourced locally and priced reasonably to satisfy the foodie in all of us!

Nearly 150 exhibitors including acclaimed and emerging authors and thought leaders from all over the region, nation, and the world will be joined by an eclectic array of independent booksellers, local publishers, writing groups and programs, literary clubs and organizations, book artists, libraries, reading resources, and more.

Anchored by a 600-seat outdoor stage with prominent literary talent hosted by festival partner San Francisco Chronicle, the festival offers stage programming surrounded by a park full of on-site exhibitors. Three additional stages geared largely toward young readers add to the excitement: Young Readers Stage for middle grade and teens; Word Power Stage for all ages with special programming for teens and young adults; and Story Time Circle for youngsters.

The full schedule, including the pre-Fest events, will go live Friday, March 24th on the Festival website: baybookfest.org.

Programs run from 11:00 am – 9:00 pm on Saturday and 11 am – 6:30 pm on Sunday. All Saturday programs will take place indoors, while Sunday’s are both indoors and outdoors.

Headliners at the Festival – $15

Our two headliner events are both affordably ticketed at $15 each. Tickets are selling fast and you will be able to find them here and in our schedule.


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