Germany: Frankfurter Buchmesse goes virtual for the first time

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The largest Frankfurt book fair this year will be held in an unusual digital format. “Due to the current travel restrictions, many of the traditional stands where publishers from different countries present their products cannot be implemented as planned. – announced the director of the book fair Jurgen Boos on Tuesday. “We are now focusing all our efforts on the virtual offer and events in the festival hall and in the city.”

The quarantine regulations, which will take effect on October 1, 2020, will make it nearly impossible for European exhibitors or professional visitors to participate. Many publishers have announced in advance that they will be canceling this year.

This fall, the organizers of the Frankfurt Book Fair wanted to gather exhibitors and visitors at the exhibition center in a “special series” in a smaller form, despite the Corona. However, now this plan had to be abandoned. Execute compliance with strict epidemiological rules in the pavilions will be impossible. Indeed, in addition to the exhibition, within the framework of the Frankfurter Buchmesse, seminars, round tables, concerts and other cultural events are held, in which social distancing is not possible. As a result, the fair will be held almost without public participation, limiting itself to a presentation on the Internet.

Within the framework of the Book Festival in the city center from 14 to 28 October, it is planned to hold about 80 events, many of which will be broadcast by the German TV channel ARD. A purely digital conference program is also planned from Monday to Thursday (October 12-15). “It is good that a book prize, peace prize, opening and other events can take place in the city – the great tradition of the book fair will continue in Frankfurt,” said Mayor Peter Feldmann.

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