Frankfurt Book Fair 2020 moves online – exhibitions cancelled

Posted on September 08, 2020, 8:04 pm
4 mins

The Frankfurt Book Fair 2020 moves online: the so-called “Special Edition” will be without on-site exhibition

Brussels, 8 September 2020: Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020 – Special Edition: online and in the city of Frankfurt, but without traditional on-site exhibition, is the headline of the today’s press release of the Frankfurt Book Fair Board. The Frankfurter Buchmesse (14-18 October 2020) should take place with an extensive digital programme for publishing professionals, instead of on-site exhibition.

The online book fair includes the BOOKFEST digital for an international readership, some live events in Frankfurt on the ARD Book Fair Stage in the Festhalle and about 80 events as part of BOOKFEST city. The book fair’s traditional on-site exhibition is being cancelled this year due to the corona pandemic, since current travel restrictions would prevent numerous country stands from being realised as planned. In addition, the quarantine requirements that will be enforced on 1 October 2020 make it virtually impossible for European exhibitors and trade visitors to participate.

“Frankfurter Buchmesse thrives on international exchange. We would like to thank all exhibitors for their confidence and willingness to help realise a physical version of Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020,” says Juergen Boos, Director of Frankfurter Buchmesse. “Now the focus will be on our digital offerings. We have expanded our numerous existing services in recent months into a detailed offer of digital services and online events. That means international publishing professionals will be able to use known and new digital venues to drive their business forward, even in times of corona. And the reading public will have the opportunity to express its enthusiasm for books in two ways: online and at events in Frankfurt.”


European Writers’ Council and laureates of the 2020 European Union Prize for Literature at the digital Book Fest and the Weltempfang

Prominent opinion leaders at the digital Weltempfang: Leïla Slimani, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Francesca Melandri, Nina George, Kirsten Boie and many other insightful personalities will enliven the discussion at Weltempfang 2020. The first digital version of Weltempfang – Frankfurter Buchmesse’s sociopolitical stage – is dedicated to “Europe – Connecting Cultures”. On each day of the fair (14–18 October 2020), digital Weltempfang events will take place and will be broadcast at Weltempfang is a joint project of Frankfurter Buchmesse and the German Federal Foreign Office.
EWC President Nina George will take part at the panel “Language change as a political and cultural process in the European context. – The contribution of literature and translation”.

BOOKFEST digital and BOOKFEST city: This year, BOOKFEST will take place physically in the city of Frankfurt as BOOKFEST city and, for the first time, virtually as BOOKFEST digital. On Saturday, 17 October 2020, BOOKFEST digital will stream a multifaceted programme from 10 am to 10 pm (CEST), presenting Elizabeth Gilbert, Don Winslow, Karin Slaughter, Ayad Akhtar, Eliot Weinberger, Clemens Meyer, Olga Grjasnowa, Joachim Meyerhoff, and also the this years laureates of the European Union Prize for Literature. BOOKFEST digital will be broadcast on two channels accessible at The complete programme is available from mid-September at

To the report in Publishing Perspectives