The above linked article tells about what to expect at an independent book festival. I have gone to the Bay Area Book Festival a few times in the last few years, and I have loved it!
The tips are great, but each festival is a little different. For the Bay Area one, take a look at the schedule ahead of time, and buy reserved tickets to the author talks that you just can’t miss. The lines can get long sometimes.
The Bay Area Book Festival is scheduled for the first weekend in May. I can’t wait to go again this year!