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Mon Mar 9, 2020, 07:11 PM

Cancellation of the Tucson Festival of Books

https://tucsonfestivalofbooks.org/?id=772

It is with great sadness that the Board of Directors of the Tucson Festival of Books has chosen to cancel the 2020 Tucson Festival of Books. We know the Festival of Books brings much joy to many in our community as well as visitors from around the country. Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a situation this year where we are unable to provide a quality festival for several reasons:

Amid concerns over the Coronavirus (COVID-19) we have experienced more than 100 author cancellations; authors have expressed deep regret that they will not be able to spend the weekend with us. This has deeply affected our author panel schedule and we anticipate more changes and cancellations will be forthcoming. This leaves us with little or no way to plan for author panels or to communicate effectively with the public about those changes.

Over the weekend, our board initially made the decision to make the 2020 festival a “touch free” festival, meaning that authors would not be shaking hands/hugging or taking selfies with festival goers. As a result, we had to cancel the interactive, hands-on activities and tours in Science City, and modify many activities in the children’s area, again diminishing the festival experience.

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This free annual book fair is a major regional event that was scheduled to take place next weekend. The two-day festival draws over 135,000 people.

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