Thursday, May 30, 2024

CULTURE | 13-05-2024 15:47

Buenos Aires Book Fair attendance down 10% amid economic crisis

Just over 1.1 million people visit La Rural exhibition centre for Feria del Libro – drop of almost 10% on last year.

Buenos Aires' famed International Book Fair is no outlier when it comes to Argentina's economic crisis: attendance was down 10 percent this year compared to last year.

The 48th edition of the Feria del Libro Internacional de Buenos Aires had a total of 1,126,351 visitors, compared to the 1.245 million that attended in 2023, according to data from event organisers Fundación El Libro.

Tickets this year were hardly expensive, ranging from 3,500 pesos to 5,000 pesos. Those entering from 8pm to 10pm were even allowed to enter for free. 

As for sales, the numbers were less auspicious. According to publishers, there was a 30- to 50-percent decrease from last year.

Still, this year's edition certainly made headlines. The fair took place amid a bitter dispute with the government and, in particular, President Javier Milei, who was criticised in the event's inaugural speeches made by the president of Fundación El Libro Alejandro Vaccaro and acclaimed author and writer Liliana Heker.

President Milei was due to present his latest book at the event, though he eventually cancelled, alleging "Kirchnerite sabotage."

In all, the fair hosted 328 stands and 672 booksellers, both local and international, featuring 1,620 publishing houses. The exhibition was broken down into nine themed pavilions and 12 event halls, with 10 auditoriums.

International participants included the presence of 11 countries (Armenia, Brazil, Chile, Italy, Cuba, Uruguay, Peru, Paraguay, Ecuador, Spain and Ukraine). On the other hand, 10 Argentine provinces and two cities, including Buenos Aires and Lisbon, had their own space at the event.



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