The Madrid Book Fair will return this friday May 26 with a new edition in the Parque del Retiro in Madrid that has been preceded “of controversy“, as the director of the event recognized in the presentation, Eva Orúeand You will not be able to count Queen Letizia, present at the inaugurations of recent yearsdue to the proximity of the regional elections.
“It has been a difficult edition to get going, with a complex process and not without controversy”, affirmed Orúe, although defending that record figures will be reached even before starting. For example, the editorial offer of this edition, number 82, is Nearly 1,000 stamps with the sums of those that go in the booth and those represented by the distributors.
Total, there will be 361 booths for exhibitors in the rows of booths distributed throughout the venue and another 24 in a central rowwhich recovers this format after the controversy two years ago in which some independent publishers protested for having been displaced there -understanding that it was a less visible place and with fewer sales-.
On this occasion, Three groups will go there (universities, facsimiles and countries with their own stand) with whom the organization has previously spoken to to form part of a “trial and error process”. The total for this year’s assembly will reach 1.3 million euros, while contributions go from 890,000 euros from exhibitors to 515,000 euros from sponsors, passing through 151,000 euros between the City Council and the Community of Madrid.
Part of the route will be covered by tarpaulins, although it will not be a continuous awning –in a measure focused on alleviating the heat at peak hours–. Despite the fact that the Queen will not be present on this occasion, the opening ceremony will include politicians, led by the Minister of Culture and Sports, Miquel Iceta, who will be received by José Luis Martínez-Almeida, mayor of Madrid.
Marta Rivera de la Cruz, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Sports of the Community of Madrid; Enrique Pascual, president of the Madrid Book Fair; María José Gálvez, General Director of Books and Reading Promotion of the Ministry of Culture; the deputy mayor of Madrid, Begoña Villacís; and the delegate of the Department of Culture, Tourism and Sports of the Madrid City Council, Andrea Levy, will be other representatives of national and Madrid politics on this opening day.
CONTROVERSY INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS
the fair has been marked by previous criticism from some independent publishers. Orúe already explained in statements to Europa Press that They take “note” of the “attention” call launched, for example, by three Madrid bookstores, which have called ‘Fair without Books’ with ten editorials “absent” from the literary quote.
However, he recognized that he was “strange” that they say that “the future points to a gradual decline in editorial presence” because “there are more publishers than last year.” “It is not true that there is an editorial decrease. We have more editorials than last year. Many things can be blamed on us, but saying that we want to reduce the number of publishers does not seem to me to be one of them,” he said.
The Polifemo, Sin Tarima El Rastro and Sin Tarima Antón Martín bookstores have announced that they will exhibit the books of ten publishers and will develop a program of cultural activities from May 20 to June 30. “It is a consequence and a wake-up call to the Madrid Book Fair to facilitate and promote attendance with their own presence for publishers who wish to do so.“, they have detailed.
Orúe has stressed on several occasions that his organization has made a “big effort” to accommodate the small publishers that had requested to participate. “I think there’s only one publisher (Barrett) that asked to participate and got out of the process. And then there is Minúscula, which in a post on its website indicated the reasons why it did not request to participate. The rest have not requested their participation“, he stressed.
IBÁÑEZ, LOYALTY AWARD
Cartoonist Francisco Ibáñez will receive the Loyalty Award in this edition to recognize his career –“Before youtubers and influencers put the fair’s reception capacity to the test, Ibáñez already asked us for a tent for himself“, Orúe has joked–.
And for the first time there will be two spaces with five signature spaces (instead of the usual four) and two municipal buildings for activities: Casa de Fieras and Pabellón de los Jardines Cecilio Rodríguez. Regarding the invited country, it will be the second edition after the previous one in which this is not available –Colombia was the last to attend in this capacity, in the year 2021–.