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This Year: Bigger Venues & Better Access

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This year’s Library of Congress National Book Festival is sure to draw crowds of readers and booklovers to many stages featuring more than 100 nationally recognized authors on Aug. 31 at the Washington Convention Center. With larger venues at the Convention Center for the festival’s most popular stages this year, festival organizers are planning to create a great experience for everyone.

This year’s Main Stage auditorium will be nearly double the size of last year’s venue. There will be around 4,400 seats for visitors at the Main Stage, as well as standing room. In addition, the Main Stage will be moved down one level to the second floor of the Convention Center to create easier crowd flow for visitors between the Main Stage and other popular stages on the third floor.

Another popular festival feature, the History and Biography stage, will double in size compared with the 2018 festival. This year, the auditorium for the History and Biography Stage will have more than 2,500 seats, compared to about 1,250 last year. The History and Biography Stage will be the largest auditorium on the third floor of the Convention Center.

Finally, the auditorium for Understanding Our World – another popular festival stage – will also be in a larger space. There will be more than 1,250 seats for this stage, compared with about 750 in 2018, to accommodate more visitors.

Festival organizers are working with the Washington Convention Center and recruiting a corps of volunteers to help guide festival visitors to their favorite stages and authors. We want to improve the experience for our guests and hope you will see the difference first-hand.

Find the full schedule of author presentations and book signings online and plan your day. A new feature allows you to save individual presentations to your personal calendar.

Comments (11)

  1. When will the app be updated with info for the 2019 Festival? Thanks

    • The updated National Book Festival App will be available in early August.

  2. Will there be tickets distributed in advance for the main stage speakers?

    • There will be no ticketing needed for any of the National Book Festival venues this year.

  3. For the book signings, do you bring your own book or will there be copies to buy there?

    • Lauren, you can do either. Bringing your own book is fine, and we will have a book sales area on the expo floor if you would like to purchase selected books by Festival authors.

  4. Thank you.

  5. Will there be live-streaming of any programs for those unable to attend?

    • Hi Lauren! Live-streaming details are now being finalized and will be the subject of an upcoming blog post. Stay tuned!

  6. i would like to follow live streaming.
    have attended Bookfest many times but now cant go because i have become caretaker for my partner whom i cannot leave home alone.
    I listen to cspan on weekends for book reviews all the time

    • Hi! We’ll have a blog post detailing all of your remote streaming options on Wednesday or Thursday before the festival.

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