The 2021 Malta Book Festival – The Bookshop is set to return in a few weeks’ time with an in-person festival hosted at the the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre (MFCC) in Ta’ Qali. The guidelines and regulations issued by national health authorities will be followed to the letter to ensure the best experience possible for all those visiting.
With a wide range of participants from all sectors of the book industry and a cultural programme suited to everyone’s interests, the Malta Book Festival is the biggest celebration of book culture in Malta. The Events Programme for this year’s edition includes more than 70 events spread across the five days of the Festival and organised by the National Book Council in collaboration with 40 participating exhibitors.
The Bookshop – do I need to book?
The Festival will be taking place across two distinct areas each dedicated to their particular function – the central Bookshop area, and peripheral halls which will be hosting a range of events according to the Events Programme.
The Bookshop area gathers all the exhibitors participating in the Festival under one roof (publishers, booksellers, self-published authors, NGOs and other entities). Visitors at the Malta Book Festival bookshop at the MFCC will be able to browse through thousands of titles, including all of the latest local and foreign publications. Visitors to the Bookshop area will be subject to a temperature check at the door and must wear a face mask at all times. The presentation of a valid vaccination certificate or of a negative PCR test is not required. No pre-registration is required to visit the Bookshop area. No events will be held at the exhibitor stands.
Event halls – is pre-registration required?
Events will only take place in four dedicated halls, each with their own separate entrances and exits, hosting readings, discussions and performances. Since pre-registration to all events is a compulsory prerequisite this year, consult the online Events Programme for information about the registration process for each event. Admittance to all Festival events, except those for children, shall be exclusively upon presentation of a valid vaccination certificate.
Children’s activities – will there be morning visits for students and family shows in the evening?
In addition to the various activities for children being organised by the exhibitors, including animated readings, puppet shows and performances, the National Book Council has curated a programme tailor made for students and families visiting the Festival.
On weekday mornings, school children opting for the online programme will have access to the new interactive quiz video ‘Books are Where the Magic Happens’, populated with stories, authors and characters from celebrated works of children’s literature. Students visiting the MFCC will have the opportunity to visit the Bookshop area and make use of their vouchers.
How do I book for the shows?
On every afternoon for the duration of the Festival, Danusan return with their live show for the whole family, ‘Il-Kotba Jieħdu l-Ħajja’ (Books come to life). The show will run at the MFCC at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and with two longer performances on the Saturday and Sunday at 4:30 pm. Places can be booked on showshappening.com. For these theatrical performances, as well as other children’s events and performances in the event programme, registration is mandatory but the presentation of a valid vaccination certificate is not required for the children or accompanying adults.
Educators can chose to register their students for an in-person visit to the MFCC or to follow the online programme.
Who can redeem the €5 book voucher?
Each registered student (whether visiting in person or online) will be receiving a €5 voucher which can be redeemed from the Bookshop area during all hours of the Festival, or from exhibitors’ online stores. For all students, the vouchers are also redeemable online. As of this year, post-secondary students in Malta and Gozo are also eligible to receive a book voucher on the occasion of the Festival.
Register for your events by clicking here and check in each event description for all details. For more information visit the Malta Book Festival 2021 – The BookSHop edition Facebook page and the NBC website.
The Malta Book Festival – The Book Shop runs between 3-7 November at the following opening hours: on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9am-1pm and 5:30pm-9:30pm; on Saturday from 9:30am-10:30pm, and on Sunday from 8:30am-8pm.