Box Office FAQs

Below you will find answered a list of frequently asked questions relating to The Charleston Festival bookings. It also includes key information about how our priority booking system works.


Q. How do I buy festival tickets?

Box Office Phone: 01323 815150 (10.00am – 5.00pm).  
Online (24hrs):

Please note that online sales will end at 6pm the day before an event. If you would like to make a booking after that point please contact us by phone or visit the Festival Box Office in person.


Q. When is priority booking week and who can take part?

Priority booking runs from Monday 12 February (10am) to Friday 16 February (12 noon).

In order to take part in priority booking, you must have a valid Friends or Omega Group membership. If your membership has lapsed, we can renew this at the time of booking.


Q. Can I submit my priority booking form early? 

Yes, you can submit your form early.  However, we will date stamp all forms received up to 11am on Monday 12 February as ‘RECEIVED 12 FEB’.  They will be put in the DAY ONE box and shuffled.  Forms sent by email will be printed out and date stamped as above.  They will be put in the same DAY ONE box and shuffled along with the posted forms.   All forms received by 11am on 12 February will be treated equally and processed from the DAY ONE pile at random.   We will process all requests received on DAY ONE before moving on to those received on Tuesday 13 February and so on throughout the week.


Q. How do I submit my priority booking request?

Priority booking ticket sales are handled by Charleston during one week only (12-16 February).   Tickets are then released for sale to the general public on Monday 19 February.  Priority booking forms have been included in our Festival mail out in February, however you can also download the priority booking form from our Festival website (HOW TO BOOK). You must hold a valid Friends or Omega Group membership take part. Completed forms can be submitted to Charleston by post, email or in person. Please note that we will not be accepting telephone booking requests. Priority booking requests must be received by Charleston no later than 12 noon on Friday 16 February.

BY POST: Please submit your completed form by post to:  Priority Booking, Charleston, Firle, East Sussex, BN8 6LL. Ensure that your payment details or cheque are enclosed.

BY EMAIL: Scan your completed form and email it to as a PDF attachment. Please do not include payment details in the body of your email.

IN PERSON: You are welcome to deliver your priority booking request to Charleston in person. The office is manned weekdays from 9.30 until 17.30.


Q. If I submit a priority booking form, am I guaranteed tickets?  

No, taking part in priority booking does not guarantee that you will successfully secure tickets to all of your desired events.  Demand for tickets often exceeds our seating capacity. We do limit the number of tickets per event that members can purchase during priority booking week (4 per individual member; 8 for joint/plus on).  For the Keynes Prize event on Monday 21 May, we will be limiting the number of tickets that can be requested to 2 per individual member; 4 for joint/plus one.   Submitting your form by 11am on Monday 12 February is your best chance to secure tickets for popular events.   During priority booking week, we will keep a ‘waiting list’ for sold out events. 


Q. How will I know if my priority booking request has been successful?

Once we have processed your order, we will send an e-ticket which will summarises your ticket purchase. If you do not have an email address, we will send confirmation by post. If you have not received an email reply from Charleston by 19 February, please ring us on 01323 811626 and ask to speak to the Festivals Team.


Q. How do I know that you’ve received my form via email? 

Forms submitted to will receive an automatic email that confirms we have received your form.  NOTE: This is not an e-ticket and does not confirm that your request has been successful.  You will receive an official e-ticket once the forms have been processed (12-16 February). 


Q. What happens if the event I want tickets for is sold out?

During priority booking week, we will create waiting lists for sold out events.  Should any tickets become available, we will contact those on the waiting list in chronological order.  

Larger allocations of returned tickets will be announced via social media and/or eflyers in the run up to the Festival. 


Q. I purchased a ticket, but now can’t attend the event. Can I get a refund, or exchange it?

Once booked, tickets are non-refundable and cannot be exchanged for other events.  We kindly accept returned tickets as a ‘donation’ to The Charleston Trust.

If a main speaker (i.e. not a chair) cancels his/her appearance and you no longer wish to attend the event, we will honour a refund provided that this is requested in advance.  If you have purchased the ticket with a discounted rate (e.g. All Events Ticket; Day Ticket; special offer) you will be refunded the discounted amount (i.e. not the full ticket price).  


Q. How do you allocate tickets fairly during priority booking week?

Friends may submit completed priority booking forms to us from 6 February.  All forms received up to 11am on Monday 12 February will be and stamped ‘received 12 Feb’ and put in the DAY ONE box.  Any forms received by post or email after 11am on Mon 12 February will be stamped ‘received 13 Feb’, and so on throughout the week.  Forms received after 12 noon on Friday 16 February will not be eligible for priority booking.

Forms received on DAY ONE will be shuffled (in the spirit of fairness). The team will process all of the forms in the DAY ONE box before moving onto those received the next day, and so on throughout the week.


Q. I’m a friend, but missed priority booking. Is it too late for me to place my order?

Priority booking through Charleston closes at 12 noon on Friday 16 February.   From Monday 19 February, you will be able to purchase Festival tickets from our Box Office.


Q.  When  I can expect to receive my tickets? 

This year, we are introducing ‘e-tickets’ instead of printed tickets.  Your e-ticket will be emailed to you once your order has been processed.  Please bring a copy of your e-ticket (either a print out, or on a device like a mobile phone) with you to the Festival to gain entry to the venue.    The e-ticket will be emailed to you for free.   If you lose this e-ticket, please ring the Box Office and we will resend it via email at no charge. 

If you have an email address, but still would like us to post you a printed copy of the e-ticket, you can request this on the priority booking form (£2).  

During the festival, if you would like the Box Office team to print out a copy of your e-ticket, we will be happy to do this (£2).  


Q.  I don’t have an email account, how can I book a ticket? 

During priority booking week, you can send in your form via post.  We have a list of Friends-without-email, so please don’t worry as we will be able to process your request.  You will be sent your printed e-ticket in the post free of charge. 

From 19 February, you can purchase tickets by ringing our Box Office on 01323 815150.  


Q.  Why can’t I book my tickets during priority booking week online?  

Our online ticket provider has yet to develop a system that can accommodate the multiple conditions we require for priority booking (e.g. validating membership; maximum allocations; waiting lists, etc), which is why we continue to use the post/email system.  



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