The Budapest International Book Fair in Hungary and the Umeå LittFest in Sweden are among the latest publishing industry casualties as the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll.
The Hungarian government has introduced new measures this week restricting indoor events to a maximum of 100 people and outdoor events to a maximum of 500, sounding the death knell for major national events like the Budapest International Book Fair.
The news was announced this week by the Association of Hungarian Book Publishers and Distributors, who said the event was postponed until a future date yet to be decided.
Few major book fairs are still scheduled for April. It’s likely Egypt’s Alexandria Book Fair will postpone or cancel soon, and the Quebec Book Fair organisers face a tough decision too.
Meanwhile Sweden’s largest literary festival, the Umeå LittFest was cancelled the day before it was due to begin as new rules came into force banning all events with more than 500 people.
Read the official cancellation statement here, where there is also an updated statement about how the event hopes to be able to reimburse those who suffered financial loss due to the abrupt cancellation.
But all eyes are on Book Expo America, which carries the burden of the London Book Fair debacle as it continues to stand by its March 10 statement that it sees no reason why the event will not go ahead.
Since that time first New York and then the USA itself have been declared emergency zones, and still BEA looks the other way.