Wordplay FAQ



When and where will Wordplay take place?

Wordplay 2019 is May 11 & 12 from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. both days. It’s an indoor and outdoor festival with events in and around the Open Book building, at the Mill City Museum, and in the Guthrie Theater. See a festival map here.


What time will ticketing, will call, and the gates open?

Ticketing and Will Call will open 8 a.m. on Saturday and 8:30 a.m. on Sunday at the main festival gates. There will also be Will Call available at the Guthrie Theater opening at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The festival gates will open at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.


Which authors are coming to Wordplay?

Our 2019 lineup is posted here. You can find our full schedule of events here.


How should I get to Wordplay? Where can I park?

Find our festival map here. Wordplay does NOT have a dedicated parking lot, but paid lot and street parking is available nearby, and is labeled on our map.

NOTE: Parking is tricky in Downtown East, so we highly encourage you to walk, bike, or take public transit to Wordplay! If you’re taking the bus or light rail, you can use MetroTransit’s trip planner. If you’re cycling, we’ll have a bike valet to park your ride on-site, courtesy of Northern Coffeeworks.


Who is exhibiting at Wordplay?

There are 80+ organizations, authors, and vendors exhibiting at Wordplay. They are listed in the print program and here.




What’s there to do at Wordplay?

There are tons of ways to participate in Wordplay:

  • Buy a wristband to attend our street festival on May 11 & 12 for access to staged interviews, conversations, and discussions with your favorite authors. The street festival also features a children’s area, book sales, food trucks, and a beer garden. See the schedule here.
  • Sign up for a Loft class with a visiting Wordplay author! The Loft is hosting special workshops with select authors. See the full class list and register here.
  • Kick off the weekend with a concert at First Avenue on the evening of May 10, featuring the Rock Bottom Remainders—a rock band of authors including Stephen King, Amy Tan, Mitch Albom, and more. Buy tickets via the First Avenue website here. (NOTE: This event is sold out.)
  • Attend Lit Crawl on Saturday night! This pub crawl-style evening features tons of zany literary events, and is FREE and open to the public. More info coming soon.


How do I buy a ticket to Wordplay? How much does it cost?

Every attendee is required to wear a wristband for admission to the Wordplay street festival. You can buy a wristband at the festival. You can also pre-order a wristband by purchasing online, visiting the Loft office, or calling us at (612) 215-2575. Wristbands are available at four tiers:

  • 17 and Under: FREE
  • Street Festival Access: $10
  • Street Festival + Guthrie Access: $40 (NOTE: This tier is sold out.)
  • Premier Access: $250

Learn more about what comes with each wristband tier and pre-order your wristband here.


Okay, I pre-ordered a wristband. How do I get it?

If you pre-ordered your wristband, you have two options for pickup:

1) Come to the Loft office to pick up your wristband before Wordplay. Wristbands will be available for pickup starting Tuesday, April 30 during our normal business hours (Tues-Fri, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.). We’ll also have extended hours for wristband pickup on the following days:

  • Saturday, May 4 | 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Monday – Friday, May 6 – 10 | 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

2) Pick up your wristband at Wordplay. Will call and ticket sales will open at the festival on Saturday, May 11 at 8 a.m. Festival gates open at 9 a.m.

If you can, we highly recommend picking up your wristband in advance to avoid the lines!


How do I get into the Rock Bottom Remainders Concert if I bought a $250 Premier Access Ticket?

Your name will be on the will-call list on the night of the event. Please bring an ID that matches the name on the purchase statement to receive your tickets. For questions/concerns regarding the name on the tickets, please call First Ave’s Office line: (612)-338-8388.


I don’t live in Minnesota and/or can’t make it to the Loft before Wordplay. Can you mail me my wristband?

Nope, sorry! You can pick up your wristband at will call on the day of the festival.


I’m planning to buy a wristband at the festival. How does that work?

Day-of wristband sales will be available at the box office tent, located at S 10th St. and Washington Ave. You can look at a festival map here. NOTE: Our box office will accept credit cards only. To purchase a wristband with cash, you must buy in advance.


Can I buy a ticket for an individual Wordplay event?

Nope! But each wristband gets you access to dozens of events. Take a look at the schedule here, and learn more about what’s included in each wristband tier and pre-order yours here




Does my wristband guarantee seating at events?

The only wristband that guarantees event access is the Premier Access wristband, which guarantees access to Guthrie events. Seating at each event is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Standing in line for an event does not guarantee entry.


The Guthrie passes sold out, is there any way I can still get in to one of those events?

Premier Access wristbands are still available. That is the only way to guarantee yourself access to Guthrie events. However, there will be a rush line at all Guthrie events available to anyone with any level of festival wristband. This line will be let in 5 minutes prior to the event if there are seats available. First come, first serve.


Can I stay at one stage all day?

For safety reasons, rooms at the Guthrie Theater will be cleared between all events; to attend the next event at the same stage, you will need to exit the venue and re-enter. This policy allows us to keep to the fire code/capacity for each room.

At all other Wordplay event locations, visitors may remain seated between events. Seats cannot be saved at the festival.


Are festival venues and stages wheelchair accessible? Where do I find more information about venue Accessibility?

All festival venues and stage locations are wheelchair accessible. More information about accessibility is available at each venue website: Loft Literary Center / Guthrie Theater / Mill City Museum.


How do the $5 book vouchers work?

With the exception of youth wristbands, every Wordplay wristband includes a $5 book voucher. These vouchers can be used to buy books from festival booksellers at Wordplay on May 11 & 12. Wordplay book vouchers are nontransferable, cannot be exchanged for cash, and are limited to one per attendee. (For example, you cannot use three $5 vouchers to purchase one $15 book.) 


Will the festival authors sign books?

Yes! Most authors will sign immediately following their on-stage event, unless otherwise noted. Books must be purchased from a festival book vendor in order to be signed, with the exception of one pre-owned book per author.

Why do we restrict pre-owned books? On site book sales are absolutely critical to the success of the festival. By purchasing books at the festival, you support the amazing independent bookstores that partner with us as well as the authors and publishers who travel from near and far to share their work at the festival. Thank you for your support and understanding of this policy.

The 2019 festival is delighted to expand the satellite bookstores to all festival stages, where attendees can purchase a book and get it signed on site. Authors will sign books immediately following the end of their event near each stage.

All books purchased at the festival are from local booksellers: Magers & Quinn, Red Balloon, Milkweed, Moon Palace, and Subtext. Sales support the authors and publishers who travel from near and far to share their work at the festival and the booksellers and vendors who invest time and expense to be at the book fair. The Loft asks attendees to respect and follow this policy. Please buy early and often, and know you are supporting the sustainability of the festival.

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


What about Stephen King, will he sign my book?

Stephen King will be pre-signing 400 copies of The Outsider. The pre-signed copies will be available for sale at 11 a.m. at the book signing table next to the Target Stage directly after Stephen King's session. There will not be an opportunity to meet with him at the signing table or get your copy personalized. The first 100 people to pick up their wristbands on April 30th and the first 100 people to pick up their wristband on May 4th will get a Fast Pass. A Fast Pass allows you to get in the fast lane for purchasing your pre-signed copy of The Outsider by Stephen King, but it does not guarantee a copy. If you’re not in the Fast Pass line at 11 a.m. you may miss your opportunity. Once the Fast Pass line has purchased their copies, the general public line will have their opportunity to purchase copies until they sell out. One Fast Pass per wristband, no exceptions. One copy of The Outsider per person, no exceptions.


Can I volunteer at the festival?

Yes! Thanks for your interest in making this event happen! You can sign up to volunteer here.


Will there be Loft Classes at the festival?

Yes! However, Loft Classes at Wordplay are separate from General Festival Access tickets and require you to sign-up in advance. These classes are limited in capacity. Please click here to browse classes offered during Wordplay and claim a spot.


What is the best way to stay informed on Wordplay updates?

Subscribe to The Loft’s monthly e-news and continue to check online for the latest news! Find us on Facebook, Twitter (@loftliterary), and Instagram (@loftliterarycenter), and follow the hashtag #loftwordplay on social media.


I'm a journalist who'd like to cover Wordplay. Who should I contact?

Please send all Wordplay-related press requests to Megan Anderson at megan@bellmontpartners.com.


Is there a festival Hashtag?

There is a hashtag! It is #loftwordplay, and look for the Loft Literary Center on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

I'm coming from out of town. Where can I stay?

The Loft has arranged for some hotel room blocks during Wordplay weekend. All of the info is here.