This Thursday, May 25, the 93rd Lisbon Book Fair will kick off at Parque Eduardo VII, where it will remain until June 11. Pedro Sobral, president of the organizing entity, APEL – Associação Portuguesa de Editores e Livreiros, talks to the Observer about the successful model implemented in last year’s edition and that continues this year, but also about the damage caused by the early closure of the fair because this Saturday.
This Saturday the Book Fair will close early for the end of the football championship and the possible celebrations of Benfica at the Marquês de Pombal…
We received the instruction from the PSP that we had to close at 5pm. If Benfica wins the championship, there is a whole security plan designed, which we obviously accept in its entirety. We have to close to the public at 5 pm, so at 6 pm the fair is completely closed. This causes significant damage. To give you an idea, we had 262 events for this first Saturday, 155 were canceled or rescheduled. Saturdays are one of the most important days for fairs and, among Saturdays, one of the most important days is, in fact, the first Saturday. On Saturdays, the golden hours, let’s call them that, are precisely after 4:00 p.m. The editors had scheduled many events, things that had been thought of for a long time, with national and international authors, for this first day. Here we have a very relevant impact: not only on the number of events but also on billing. At this time, APEL is studying and designing various scenarios to compensate.
What scenarios are these?
I would not like to go into details about them because it is still too early. We had the final information on the PSP yesterday morning, around lunchtime, and right now we are focused on handling the contingencies on Saturday, that is, helping all of our participants with security issues, which we believe is It is important that everyone comply. We are going to inaugurate the fair and, therefore, we are still bits and pieces. We are reviewing information and then, when appropriate, we will talk about it.
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