The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, an annual two-day event that attracts thousands of ravenous readers to the USC campus, was officially canceled as an in-person event Friday, moving instead to an online format.
The festival is normally held in April, but it was postponed in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic to Oct. 3-4. But with the virus still persisting, organizers announced Friday the event will move online and include four weeks of virtual events.
“The Times has continued to monitor the situation and, given ongoing guidance related to COVID-19, reimagined the festival as a community-wide gathering to be held online,” according to an announcement from organizers.
“Beginning on Sunday, Oct. 18, and continuing over the course of four weeks, The Times will celebrate storytelling with author panels, readings and other events. Over the years, festival-goers have listened to Eric Carle read about a ravenous caterpillar; the late Congressman John Lewis discuss his lifelong work for racial equality; Julie Andrews reminisce about the Swiss Alps; Luis J. Rodriguez wax poetic about life in Los Angeles; Viet Thanh Nguyen expound reclaiming historical narratives; Padma Lakshmi dish on food and life; and gone home inspired. This year, the festival will make that kind of inspiration accessible from home.”
Organizers said a list of virtual events will be announced in mid-September at latimes.com/FestivalofBooks, with updates provided via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Depending on the status of the virus, next year’s Festival of Books is tentatively scheduled to return to its traditional in-person format at USC on April 17-18, 2021.