Reed POP Cancel the London Book Fair But Still No Update On ECCC 2020

by Olly MacNamee

While still no updates from ReedPOP over the situation with Emerald City Comic Con, due to go ahead March 12th – 15th, they have taken the decision to cancel the London Book Fair that, funnily enough, also takes place next week on 10th-12th March at Kensington Olympia.
So, they’re cancelling an event in London, but not in Seattle? Here’s their official statement:

Reed Exhibitions has today announced that The London Book Fair 2020, scheduled to take place at Olympia, London, from 10 to 12 March will be cancelled following the escalation of COVID-19 Coronavirus in Europe. The effects, actual and projected, of Coronavirus are becoming evident across all aspects of our lives here in the UK and across the world, with many of our participants facing travel restrictions. We have been following UK government guidelines and working with the rolling advice from the public health authorities and other organisations, and so it is with reluctance that we have taken the decision not to go ahead with this year’s event. We recognise that business has to continue. With this in mind, we will of course support and collaborate with exhibitors and visitors to keep our world moving during this difficult period. We thank all those from the UK and a multitude of other countries who have prepared over the last year to deliver what promised to be a wonderful book fair showcasing, as ever, the exciting best of the global book industry. The London Book Fair will return, better than ever, in 2021.

Looks like it’s one rule for the UK and another for the US. But, really, for how much longer before we hear anything from ECCC, who haven’t posted an update since March 1st?
What is of interest is that here in Britain our government is about to declare the virus a “notifiable disease”, meaning businesses can declare their losses against insurance policies. Could this be the real reason behind this cancellation and not ECCC? Or, am I being too cynical?
Furthermore, with MCM Birmingham due to run on March 21st and 22nd in the NEC, just a stone’s throw away from Birmingham International Airport, what happens with this show? So many questions.
More as it develops…

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