Leipzig.

After two corona-related cancellations in a row, the Leipzig Book Fair is due to take place again in March.

“We are determined to exhaust all the possibilities that exist in these difficult conditions,” said show manager Oliver Zille of the German press agency. The industry wanted the spring show. Moreover, it is now necessary to find solutions for the events.

Exhibitors must identify themselves within the framework of the exhibition

However, it is not yet a definitive guarantee that the book industry will meet in Leipzig from March 17 to 20. So far, the Corona rules in Saxony have not yet allowed a trade fair to take place again. The course should only be fixed in the next Corona Protection Ordinance from February 7. However, Zille pointed out that Saxony’s Minister of Social Affairs, Petra Köpping (SPD), had publicly sent out positive signals for the book fair. That’s why we keep planning.

Also, enough exhibitors should sign up for the fair, Zille said. “If too many exhibitors cancel, we cannot hold a show.” So far, around 75% of pre-crisis exhibitors have confirmed. “That’s a strong statement.” The book fair has now launched a quick poll to see if publishers still stand by that decision. Although the conditions for canceling spaces and stands are favorable this time thanks to funding from the Federal Ministry of Culture and Media, exhibitors still bear risks such as the costs of building their own trade fair, Zille said.

“Leipzig reads” should also take place

However, one thing is already certain: A book fair in 2022 would be significantly smaller than the last fair in 2019. According to Corona rules, which applied to fairs until November, a maximum of 25,000 guests per day were authorized on the exhibition grounds. . Similar regulations would also be absolutely necessary for March in order to keep attendance at the fair attractive for exhibitors, Zille said. “It would be a little dark. But I’m sure we would still experience a book fair with strong content.” In 2019, more than 200,000 visitors were counted in the halls over four days.

Preparations were also underway for the reading festival “Leipzig reads”, said the head of the fair. About 160 sites are available. “The places are more than willing to participate.” Their own access rules would then apply. For the fairgrounds, it will likely be 3G for exhibitors and 2G plus for visitors, Zille said. “We will only know exactly what the rules will ultimately be when the Corona Protection Ordinance then applies to the salon. Thanks to our proven hygiene concept, we can then create the greatest possible security for our exhibitors and visitors.”

In 2020, the Leipzig Book Fair was canceled at very short notice due to the outbreak of the pandemic. In 2021, show organizers had aimed for a date in the warmer month of May, but that was ultimately cancelled. For 2022, the motto now applies: March or not at all. (dpa)