Covid-19 policy at Wigtown Book Festival

Wigtown Festival Company is committed to running COVID safe events as we return to physical events in September this year for the Wigtown Book Festival.  We expect visitors to comply with Scottish Government guidelines and to wear face coverings inside the venues. We are encouraging visitors over the age of 18 years to only consider attending in person if they have been double vaccinated against COVID for at least 2 weeks prior to their visit. We will be providing hand sanitisation stations across the site and will be maximising ventilation in all our indoor venues.  We will continue to monitor the situation and reserve the right to amend our guidance within the T&Cs to keep our audiences, participants, volunteers and staff as safe as possible.

The safety of our audiences, participants, volunteers and staff is our highest priority.

Our programme of events has been curated to ensure we can deliver them within the parameters of the government guidelines. With the move beyond level zero in Scotland from 9 August 2021, we still intend to follow recommendations and guidelines to help ensure you enjoy your visit in confidence.

If you are over 18 and you have not been fully vaccinated, we recommend that you do not attend the Festival for your own safety and that of other visitors, participants, volunteers and staff.

Visitors, participants, volunteers and staff must agree NOT to attend if they answer YES to any of the following questions at any time during the event:

  • Are you feeling unwell, including a high temperature, new continuous cough and a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste?
  • Are you currently required to isolate following a visit to an area or country where quarantine is required upon return?
  • Have you been told to self-isolate by a government test and trace service?

In addition, you should not attend if you answer YES to either of the following until you have received a negative PCR test:

  • Is anyone in your household suffering with COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms?
  • Have you been in close contact with anyone who has COVID-19 or anyone who has been showing symptoms?

Visitors, participants, volunteers and staff must agree to leave immediately if they develop COVID-19 symptoms at any time during the event.

All attendees must agree to be considerate to those around them at all times and respectful of all safety measures at the Festival.

Face masks remain mandatory in Scotland in all indoor public spaces. In addition, we encourage visitors, participants, volunteers and staff to wear one at all times while in close proximity to other people.

Please be respectful of others’ personal choice and personal space.

We will limit the overall number of audience members for all events to maintain social distancing measures. This means venue capacities are lower than normal.

  • Queuing will take place outside the venue. Social distancing markers will be in place. Please dress according to the weather.
  • Doors will open approximately 15 minutes prior to the start of the event.
  • Masks must be worn at all times during events. We also advise wearing masks while queuing outside.
  • We understand that not everyone can wear a mask and respectfully ask that anyone exempt from wearing a mask carries an exemption card or wears a sunflower lanyard. We ask you to maintain a safe distance from others and that others also respect your space. Not all disabilities are visible - please be kind.
  • Audience members will be required to show their booking confirmation at the door where volunteers will check them in against booking name and ID.
  • Volunteers will direct audience members to their seats. Audiences will not be free to choose where to sit.
  • Audience members with special access requirements will be permitted to enter the venue first.
  • Social distancing will be in place across all venues.
  • Where possible, there will be separate entry and exit points.
  • Where available and reasonable, windows and doors will remain open for improved ventilation. This may make venues colder than you would normally expect. Please dress appropriately or bring a blanket.
  • There will be frequent and enhanced cleaning of public areas, toilets and touch points around the venues.
  • Hand sanitiser will be provided at the entrance to each venue and we encourage everyone entering the venue to utilise it.
  • Contactless payment will be encouraged at the Festival Box Office and in the Festival Bookshop.

Staff and volunteers

  • All staff and volunteers in public-facing roles at Wigtown Book Festival will be double vaccinated for at least 14 days prior to the event.
  • Staff and volunteers who have not been double vaccinated will, for their safety and the safety of others, only be permitted to support in non-public facing roles.
  • Staff and volunteers, in any role, commit to regular lateral flow testing in advance of and during Wigtown Book Festival. For those involved throughout, this will include testing every 3 days.

Children under 18 years

  • As with adults, children who: have COVID-19; are feeling unwell or showing symptoms of COVID-19; have been told to self-isolate; or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 and are awaiting PCR test results, must not attend the festival.
  • While we appreciate that it is more difficult to ensure social distancing between children, measures will be in place to support this as much as possible and we respectfully ask parents/guardians to encourage social distancing during attendance.

Code of conduct

Wigtown Festival Company is committed to a zero-tolerance policy for harassment or intimidation toward its speakers, volunteers and staff. This includes but is not limited to: vulgar, obscene, and abusive language; name-calling; taunting; and any conduct that demeans a person/group on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, creed, age, or disability. Any attendee (in person or online) in breach of this policy will be immediately removed; we will report all hate crimes to the police.

Refund policy

Tickets for events may be exchanged up to 24 hours prior to the event taking place. Refunds will only be considered if an event is sold out and has a waiting list and tickets are cancelled more than 24 hours prior to the event taking place. Refunds will be issued where the performance is cancelled. If you or any member of your household develop symptoms or receive a positive test result for COVID-19, please do not attend events in person. Contact to cancel your booking.

General conditions

  • Wigtown Festival Company reserves the rights to refuse admission or to alter the advertised programme.
  • Latecomers for live events will only be admitted when and if there is an appropriate opportunity to do so.
  • The use of photographic, video or recording equipment by members of the audience is prohibited at all Wigtown Book Festival events unless special permission is granted in writing in advance. For permissions contact the Festival office by email on