The organizer of the Kidwell-eFestival has vowed that the event will take place again, despite this year’s event closing early due to a low turnout.
The Kidwell-eFestival, held in Kidwelly in West Wales, was promoted as the UK’s first festival to celebrate the e-book and was held at Ffos Las Racecourse on Saturday 28th and Sunday 30th July.
According to promotional material, between 20,000 and 30,000 visitors were expected, each paying between £15 and £18 for a day ticket. However, the event was cancelled by Sunday lunchtime due to the low turnout, which organizer Julian Ruck estimated was in “the low hundreds”.
He said: “We were quite astonished with how it turned out. It had a huge amount of publicity and advertising, but for some unknown reason it didn’t work out – perhaps it was the Olympics, perhaps it is the current climate, I don’t know.”
But despite the disappointment, Ruck said this would not be the last e-book festival. “We’ve taken a punch on the nose but we’re not down and out. We may have to do some things differently but we will be back again next year,” he said.
A £10,000 prize for the best e-book, funded by Ruck and another private investor, was awarded during the festival. The prize was won by Brixton-based writer and organizer of the Brixton Book Jam, Zelda Rhiando, who won with her self-published novel Caposcripti.
She said: “I’m very happy to win, I wasn’t expecting to at all. I’m hoping to use the money to fund a research trip for my next book.”
August 11th will see the launch of The Edinburgh e-book Festival, a virtual festival hosted online by members of the Indie e-book Review website. It will feature discussions and panels with e-book writers, and run until August 27th.