While German publishers are still reeling from the cancellation of the major spring fair Leipziger Buchmesse last week, the industry has been dealt two more blows in the wake of the coronavirus crises. Both didacta (March 24th–28th) and Lit.Cologne (March 10th–21st) have been cancelled; the latter to the consternation of many visitors and authors on the opening day.
The German government has not yet followed the French example and banned large gatherings, but the Department of Health recommended on Sunday to cancel both indoor and outdoor events with more than 1,000 participants. Didacta is the world’s largest fair for education and learning with around 850 exhibitors and 75,000 visitors annually. Lit.Cologne is among Europe’s largest literary festivals. Its more than 200 events are usually attended by well over 100,000 people.