Intransigent festival organisers ‘force’ postponement of book fair

National Book Fair postponed to avoid clash with Song Festival goers

The MCC hall that hosts the national book fair
The MCC hall that hosts the national book fair

Malta's national book fair will have to be postponed by at least a week, after a clash in bookings at the Mediterranean Conference Centre 'forced' the cancellation of the fair.

Sources at the Valletta conference centre told MaltaToday that the national book fair, already booked for the week between the 6-10 November, had to change its date when the organsiers of the revamped National Song Festival booked the 9 November for its gala night.

Although the book fair is held on the ground floor level of the former Knights' infirmary, hosting the National Song Festival, held in the below-ground Republic Hall auditorium would clash due to logistical issues dealing with the visitors passing through the same entrance.

"The organisers of the National Song Festival as well as the parliamentary secretariat for culture, demanded that the festival takes place on 9 November," the MCC source said.

Although the organisers of the national book fair did not have their booking cancelled, it appears that MCC staff suggested that it would be better for them to postpone it. "On their end, the book council insisted that since they had already set in motion their own organisation as well as paid insurance on the event, they should retain first preference. But it seems they had to back down because there was no way that the National Song Festival would change the date."

The chairman of the National Book Council, Mark Camilleri, declined comment on the matter when contacted.

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George Zammit Montebello
Intransigent? Who is this staff reporter? Why is he judging everything without pondering in the facts? I think the Government has first preference in these kind of events however it would feel better if the Culture Ministry spokesman will inform us about this drastic decision. I sympathize with the Book Fair organizers.

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