The Frankfurt Book Fair has claimed a victory, despite losing out to Reed Exhibitions in the battle to put on a London book fair next April. Juergen Boos, c.e.o. of the Frankfurt Book Fair, said the organisation was "very pleased that [its] principal goal--a book fair for London in a central venue--has been achieved." But it has abandoned its effort to run a London fair.
Boos accused EC&O Venues, which runs Earls Court and Olympia, of reneging on its deal with Frankfurt. He said: "We believed we had an agreement with EC&O Venues which was subsequently broken by them. We are therefore no longer able to pursue The Book Fair, Earl's Court, London 2007. We are currently evaluating with our lawyers whether legal action can be taken."
Boos said that Frankfurt would continue to "work towards a greater international presence in the book fair world". Frankfurt's Cape Town fair kicks off in June.
Frankfurt announced last week that it was to set up a rival fair after Reed's move from Olympia to ExCel was heavily criticised. The Book Fair Earl´s Court was due to run from Monday 16th to Wednesday 18th April 2007. But Reed announced yesterday that it had reached an agreement with EC&O Venues to take over the slot.
Jeremy Probert, a spokesman for Earls Court, denied to the Independent that it had broken any agreement: "Do you see the words 'signed an agreement' anywhere on the Frankfurt press release?" He told Bloomberg that negotiations between Frankfurt and EC&O Venues, owner of Earls Court and Olympia, "came to nothing". He added: "Obviously, we are sorry to disappoint the Germans but we do have a long-standing relationship with Reed Exhibitions."
Most of the UK's leading trade publishing groups threw their weight behind the new Book Fair Earls Court, including Hachette Livre, Random House, HarperCollins, Penguin and Macmillan. But no contracts had been signed--with publishers signaling that it was the venue not the provider, which was the problem.
PA president Stephen Page said of Earls Court: "The location feels much better, and it's culturally much more representative of the trade. The show needs to be in London, and Earls Court is 10 minutes from the best restaurants and the centre." Agent Stella Kane, whose anger over LBF's move to ExCeL prompted her to launch a rival rights centre in Mayfair for 2007, was also positive about it: "[Earls Court] is a fantastic alternative."
From The Bookseller