Shyam Selvadurai, Deshan Tennekoon, and Richard Dawkins at the GLF in 2012.
Word on the Facebook is that the 2013 Galle Literary Festival is cancelled. They say it’s because of cancellations and time constraints. Usually what makes these things break down is money, so I really don’t know. It is a shame. The GLF has survived nationalist complaints, weak international boycotts and pulled of an entertaining and enlightening event for years now. They say they’ll be back in 2014. I hope so.
Organizing events is not easy and it’s a wonder more don’t get cancelled. The GLF has already been delayed once, which is not a good sign, and now they’ve posted this to their FB page:
We wish to advise all friends of the Galle Literary Festival that following a number of unforeseeable cancellations, and given the rigid time constraints in the organisation of a festival of this size and stature we have decided to take a break for the Festival in 2013.
The Festival Team are currently working with our valued sponsors and partners towards creating a stimulating and inspirational programme for GLF 2014. We are planning a different format for the 2014 festival with an exciting list of authors.
We are sorry for any incovenience caused but we very much hope you will be able to make the festival in 2014. The dates for the 2014 festival will be posted on the website shortly. (The Facebook)
Which looks about as official as these things get. I can’t find a phone number anywhere to confirm.
I say it’s a shame because it is a shame. People did complain about the GLF (quite vociferously) but everything wrong about it was far outweighed by its value overall. Yes, many presentations were pompous and/or boring and overpriced. However, you also got a great many moments of wonder where you actually learned something new, or heard something challenging. The Tom Stoppard thing and the Dawkins thing in the last GLF especially stand out.
The GLF definitely attracted its share of haters, saying there weren’t enough local speakers (I think there were too many, for an international festival) that it was too expensive (I dunno, so is airfare and stuff), or that it overlooked the war (it certainly didn’t). Far more people, however, came and loved or liked it. Hell, even the haters loved hating it.
It was a good scene. Here’s hoping the show is on for 2014.