Attending the Texas Book Festival

Large Image - CapitolThe Texas Book Festival is free and open to the public and takes place in Austin, Texas at the State Capitol and surrounding grounds. The 2015 Texas Book Festival will be held October 17 – 18, 2015.

We have not finalized our Festival grounds map for 2015. For a general idea of where everything is located, you can check out last year’s map:



The schedule will be posted online in mid-September. The print schedule will be inserted into the Austin American-Statesman [date TBA] so make sure to pick up a copy, as limited copies will be available on the Festival grounds.

In Festival Friends Pass-designated venues, priority seating is given to Festival Friends Pass holders. Learn more about donating to receive a Festival Friends Pass. In all other venues, including outdoor tents, seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. No one will be admitted to a full session unless another attendee leaves that session. Venues will be cleared between sessions.

Attending Sessions at the Capitol

There are four points of entry to the Capitol. The south entrance off 11th Street is the most crowded. We encourage attendees to make use of the north, east, and west entrances.

The Book Festival’s presence in the Capitol is a privilege and attendees must respect all Capitol and House Chamber rules, or the Book Festival will not be permitted to continue using the Capitol and House Chamber in the future. We are depending on all attendees to do their part to help keep the Festival at the Capitol!



Capitol and House Chamber Rules

  • No food or drink. Please keep all food and water/drink bottles tucked away in your purse or backpack.
  • Nothing, and we mean nothing (purses, backpacks, books, pens, feet, etc.), may be placed on top of the Representatives’ desks on the House Chamber floor. These are historic pieces and must be protected. Violators will be escorted out immediately by a DPS officer, with no exceptions. These are the rules we need to abide by, so we appreciate everyone’s cooperation!
  • Because of the emphasis conveyed to the Book Festival about limiting traffic on the House Chamber floor, we need to limit the capacity there. Festival Friends Pass holders have first access, then general public can be seated until the Representatives’ desks are filled. We have been asked not to max out the capacity on the Floor so we will not fill the perimeter seats to capacity. Again, thanks for your understanding.
  • Limit photography and video throughout the Capitol and in the House Chamber. Absolutely no flash photography. 

Additional Venues

In addition to the Capitol and tents on Congress Avenue, 11th Street, and Colorado Street, the Book Festival holds sessions at the following venues:

  • First United Methodist Church Sanctuary (1201 Lavaca Street – enter from Lavaca St.)
  • First United Methodist Church Family Life Center (1300 Lavaca Street)
  • Central Presbyterian Church (208 E. 8th Street)
  • The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center

how to get there


We will post our 2015 Parking Map later this summer. For reference, here is last year’s map:



Public Transit Options


  • Bus: Check CapMetro’s website to plan your trip downtown. There are several drop-off locations near Festival grounds with main routes running through Guadalupe, Lavaca, and Red River Streets.
  • Bike: Austin B-Cycle has four locations within Festival grounds. Visit their website to learn more about this bike share program.
  • The train will not be running most of the day on Saturday or at all on Sunday. Check the train schedule to see if that option works for your schedule.

Walk-in Points of Entry to Festival Grounds

8th Street and Congress
11th Street and Congress
11th Street and San Jacinto
11th Street and Brazos
12th Street and Colorado
13th Street and Colorado


Travelling from Out of Town?

October 17 – 18 is busy weekend in Austin. Hotel availability may be limited. See our handy list of nearby hotels and restaurant recs if you are coming in from out of town for the Festival.


Book Sales

All books for participating Festival authors will be sold in the Festival Book Sales Tents:

  • Adult and Young Adult titles are in the Adult Book Sales Tent on Congress Avenue at 11th Street
  • Children’s titles are in the Children’s Book Sales Tent on Colorado Street at 13th Street
  • Cooking Tent titles are in the Sales/Signing Tent next to the Central Market Cooking Tent on 11th Street

Book Signings and Policies

Authors will sign books immediately following the end of their session. We encourage you to buy books you want signed in advance of the session. Unless otherwise noted, Adult and Young Adult authors sign in the Main Book Signing Tent; Children’s authors in the Children’s Book Signing Tent, Cooking Tent authors in the Book Signing tent next to the Central Market Cooking Tent.

Proceeds from Festival Weekend book sales allow us to keep the Festival free to the public and help fund the Reading Rock Stars program and Texas Library Grants. Books must be purchased from Barnes & Noble Book Sales Tents in order to be signed, with the exception of one pre-owned book that may be brought for signing. The Texas Book Festival asks attendees to respect and follow the policy. A receipt from a Barnes & Noble Book Sales Tent must be presented in the Book Signing tents. Thank you for your support and understanding.

Book dealers are not allowed to bring books into the book signing tents. Dealers with rolling carts and/or wagons are not allowed on the Festival grounds.

Information Booths

General information will be available at the Information Booth located at 11th and Colorado Streets. Services include First Aid, lost & found, and directional assistance.

Disability Services

If you require special accommodations, please contact the Texas Book Festival prior to your visit at (512) 477-4055.

Sign language interpreters will be available on a limited basis. If you need an interpreter, go to the ASL Interpreter Tent located on Congress Avenue between 9th and 10th Street at least thirty minutes before your requested session to check for availability.

Food Vendors

Food and beverages are available throughout the Festival grounds. 2014 Festival food vendors include Heros Gyros, Fry Baby, Rosarito, Roppolo’s Pizza, Amy’s Ice Creams, Lavazza, Crepe Crazy, Zhi Tea, Slab Barbecue, and Snowie Shaved Ice.

Exhibitors and Vendors

Be sure to visit the Festival’s exhibitors and vendors throughout the Festival grounds. A diverse and eclectic group of presses, authors, organizations, and retailers are at the Festival this year.

Lit Crawl AustinTexas Book Festival 2013

Festival Saturday doesn’t end at 5 p.m. The party continues Saturday evening with Lit Crawl Austin where Festival authors participate in literary hijinks in various offbeat venues throughout Austin’s hip East Side.

Support the Book Festival!

The Festival is a non-profit organization. We welcome your contributions to help provide this popular annual event, year-round literary events, literacy programs, and grants to Texas public libraries. Donate online at any time. We are grateful for your support of literature, libraries and literacy in Texas!

Need More Information?

Email Us

Call us at (512) 477-4055