Welcome back to another update on book festivals across the globe! This past weekend, the Brooklyn Book Festival held in New York welcomed back visitors both in-person and online. The festival took a one-year hiatus during the peak of the pandemic in 2020 but still held a virtual gathering last year. According to the festival’s vice president Liz Koch, the weekend brought a crowd of almost 25,000 people, once again proving that book lovers across New York were excited to attend a live event.
Because this year’s events were a hybrid model, the festival invited authors, publishers, and attendees from all around the world. Koch explained that attendees came from all across the US from areas that make the trek to New York a long and expensive journey. In addition, the festival invited an author from Kenya, something of which it wouldn’t have been able to succeed during a normal year. By broadening the availability of this gathering, the Brooklyn Book Festival is expanding its outreach to those who may not have attended otherwise.
Regarding the in-person events, visitors were required to show proof of vaccination and wear masks for both indoor and outdoor author programs. However, the festival’s outdoor Literary Marketplace was open to both masked and unmasked visitors. Koch explained that despite the option for attendees to gather in areas that do not require a mask, “judging by the wristbands identifying the vaccinated people, the New York literary community is well vaccinated.” So again, despite pandemic restrictions, Brooklyn was able to come back with a festival that was well-organized to welcome book-lovers in a safe environment.
Earlier this week, we wrote about how two literary fairs across the world adapted to new pandemic norms. We can only hope that by next year, book festivals will return with a vengeance.
FEATURED IMAGE VIA BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL