Dublin Book Festival 2020 has come to a close, and I think we can all agree that it was a DBF like no other. Our ideas of what literary events are, and can be, morphed entirely this year, and the Irish festival scene has thrived.
DBF2020 set out to be a collaborative effort with some of Ireland’s best and most engaging book festivals, venues, publishers and authors.
Although we missed being able to see you all in person this year, going digital opened up new possibilities to us. In Autumn, we brought you the DBF Autumn Series, a collection of weekly events to entertain you as the evenings drew in. We welcomed Graham Norton, Dr Marie Cassidy, the amazing team at Banshee Press and partnered with Poetry Ireland to bring you a specially curated podcast, Trumpet: Fear & Release.
With interest growing in online events, and winter in full swing, the DBF Snug offered a cosy refuge. This week of specially curated events included the launch of Winter Papers Volume 6, a special event on managing Coronavirus anxiety with Dr Malie Coyne, Dr Brendan Kelly hosted by Dr Trish Murphy. The DBF Snug wrapped with a poignant discussion between the Journal.ie’s Aoife Barry and Former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese.
On 27th November, our 10 day festival began – a record for us! We had interviews, podcasts, live discussions and plenty of laughs across the ten days. We kicked off with a weekend of events. Our launch event with RTÉ Arena featured Christine Dwyer Hickey, Roddy Doyle and Kevin Barry in conversation with Seán Rocks along with music from Uly. Niall MacMonagle interviewed Emerging Writers Elaine Feeney, Alice Lyons, Doireann Ní Ghríofa and Patrick Freyne, Marian Keyes sat down with Róisín Ingle and we presented our first Children’s event of the festival. You can read more about our first weekend of DBF2020 at this blog post.
During the week, Louise O’Neill spoke to Dil Wickremasinghe, Niamh Fitzpatrick joined us to discuss her debut Tell me the Truth About Loss, and Rick O’Shea hosted a very special event in celebration of Voices: an Open Door book of Stories featuring interviews with Helen Ryan of NALA and Carlo Geblér. Read about the entire week at this blog post.
For younger readers, our Children’s & Family Programme ran throughout the festival period, offering children the opportunity to draw along with Peter Donnelly, Una Woods, and Sally Caulwell, and learn about farm animals with Darragh McCullough. We partnered with Children’s Books Ireland, Fighting Words and Paper Lanterns to bring you very special events for young readers, writers and book lovers.
Our Schools’ Programme, whilst different this year than most, was a huge success. Authors Catherine Doyle, Helen Corcoran, Jacqui Hurley and more joined us for live online school events.
To celebrate DBF2020, we’ve put together a video of our favourite highlights from DBF2020.
The best part of being online was seeing our Irish audience being joined by people from all over the world. We welcomed audiences from the USA, the Philippines, Denmark, the UK… the list goes on. It was a joy to have you with us.
That’s all for this year folks! Thank you again for joining us, and for your continued support. Most of our events are still viewable on our website and Youtube Channel. Check out the list of available events here.
We wish you and yours a very happy, healthy and safe Christmas. We’ll be back next year with more events for book lovers. Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear our news.
Til next year…