L.A. Festival of Books to Go Virtual Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

2019 Los Angeles Times Festival Of Books- Getty - H 2020
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The now-remote festival will launch on Oct. 18 and span over four weeks rather than its traditional two days.

Los Angeles' annual Festival of Books is getting the virtual treatment this year as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues. 

Instead of taking place on the University of Southern California campus as usual, the event — a partnership between The Los Angeles Times and USC — will be reimagined this year as a "virtual community-wide gathering," it was announced Friday. 

The virtual festival will launch on Sunday, Oct. 18 and span over four weeks rather than the festival's traditional two days. The Los Angeles Times is set to host author panels, readings and other events throughout the festival. To celebrate the festival's 25th year, there will be 25 individual virtual events. 

"Over the years, festival-goers have listened to Eric Carle read about a ravenous caterpillar; the late Congressman John Lewis discuss his lifelong work for racial equality; Julie Andrews reminisce about the Swiss Alps; Luis J. Rodriguez wax poetic about life in Los Angeles; Viet Thanh Nguyen expound on reclaiming historical narratives; Padma Lakshmi dish on food and life; and gone home inspired," a statement from The Times read. "This year, the festival will make that kind of inspiration accessible from home." 

A full programming schedule lineup of panels and authors set to participate in the virtual festival will be announced in mid-September.

News that the event is going virtual comes after it was announced in March that the Festival of Books originally set to take place in April would be postponed due to health and safety concerns amid COVID-19.

Next year’s festival is set to return to the USC campus on April 17-18, but will be adjusted accordingly as The Los Angeles Times continues to monitor public health and safety protocols.