Major German book fair in Leipzig delays 2021 launch due to pandemic

The organizers of Germany’s Leipzig Book Fair, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors during a normal year, is to wait a bit longer before launching its 2021 edition so it can make use of warmer weather during the pandemic.

The event will take place from May 27-30, rather than in March as originally planned, festival director Oliver Zille said on Wednesday.

This will allow for greater use of outdoor areas at the event venue in the eastern city, amid indications that the novel coronavirus spreads more easily in enclosed spaces.

The postponement will also create more opportunities for the accompanying reading festival “Leipzig liest” (Leipzig reads) and a Manga Comic Con, Zille added.

The Leipzig Book Fair was cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Last year, it attracted some 286,000 visitors.

Next year, the event is to take place in March as usual, a statement from the organizers said.

It remains to be seen how the pandemic will affect the format and programming of the fair this coming year.

The German government has provided a million euros (1.2 million dollars) to help put the show on in 2021, with the funding to be used to support stallholders and promote digital projects, among other things.

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