With COVID-19 cases in the Lone Star State continuing to spike, organizers of the Texas Book Festival announced today that the large public literary celebration will be replaced this year with a virtual version.
Originally planned for Nov. 7-8, the festival will now run Oct. 31 through Nov. 15, with a slate of free virtual programming.
The Texas Book Festival typically attracts thousands of people to author appearances and events that are held in the Texas State Capitol and outside in tents that fill a closed-down Congress Avenue.
“Nothing will stop us from bringing people together around books, including a global pandemic,” said Lois Kim, executive director of Texas Book Festival, in a statement. “We are committed more than ever to serving our community and excited that people from all over Texas, the country, and the world can participate in this year’s festival.”
While the author line-up has not yet been announced, organizers say that this year more than 125 authors will participate in virtual sessions, with programming for adults, young adults, middle-grade readers, and children.
The 2020 Texas Teen Book Festival will also take place during the two-week virtual festival and the festival’s gala will also go virtual on Nov. 6.
The Texas Book Festival is the first of Austin’s signature big fall events to announce it will not happen as usual. Other large-scale public events on the fall calendar include the Austin City Limits Festival and the Austin Film Festival.