Citing concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, organizers of the New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University canceled their inaugural event for 2020 scheduled to take place March 19-21 on the Uptown Tulane campus. Festival organizers, including co-chairs Walter Issacson and former New Orleans First Lady Cheryl Landrieu, have indicated it will be rescheduled for 2021.
Tickets already purchased for keynote addresses by novelists John Grisham, Michael Lewis and Malcolm Gladwell are scheduled to be fully refunded within the next ten days.
Tulane University announced earlier today that it would reduce the concentration of people on its campus and would begin online classes for instruction beginning on March 23.
“We were thrilled to have such a diverse and exciting lineup scheduled for our inaugural festival, but we of course must do what is best for the health and safety of our community and our nation,” said Isaacson.
“We are obviously heartbroken and disappointed to cancel what we believe was going to be a spectacular first-time event,” said Landrieu, who also serves as executive director. “We have been blown away and extremely inspired with the amount of interest, both locally and nationally, from authors, book lovers and volunteers for our book festival. Our 2021 dates are already set for March 18-20, and we will do our best to make sure it is a tremendous event.”