Mediterranean Book Festival in Split Welcomed 40% More Visitors than 2018

Daniela Rogulj

The Mediterranean Festival of Books in Split, the largest Dalmatian festival of books, was completed on Sunday evening. This year’s edition saw a forty percent increase in visitors at Split’s Gripe arena compared to the previous year, and its reanimation and organization of engaging panel discussions, which brought famous names of the Croatian literary scene, proved to be more than successful, reports Dalmacija Danas on May 13, 2019.

“Special significance was given to the creation of future readers thanks to a children’s program designed to foster imagination and the love for reading. It has been shown that Split has the potential to make this cultural step sustainable,” said organizer Mišo Nejašmić.

“We believe that the forthcoming festival releases will be at an even higher level. This year’s program was exceptionally attended and met all expectations. The last day of the fair, many visitors were sad that the festival must end.

This edition of the festival was really colorful. Along with the quality literature, thanks to sponsors, Black’n’Easy coffee, radlers and beers from Laško brewery, CedeviteGo and Kala water were distributed all day. Meeting acquaintances, new friends and socializing with books is what adds value to the Mediterranean Festival of Books.”

The organizers of the festival were particularly pleased with the number of visitors, who came via catamarans from the islands and on buses from Makarska, Šibenik, Sinj, Herzegovina,and Montenegro. And no one left the festival empty-handed – thanks to a varied offer, visitors could enjoy everything from Alan Ford hardcovers for 10 kuna to “Anima Delmatice” which dropped from 750 to 199 kuna. 

“Even panel discussions with topics that were not for the wider audience, such as those on architecture or libraries, were exceptionally attended – and the organizers even made sure to include gastronomy and stand up comedy in the whole story. When the mayor of Split arrives in civilian clothes the day after the opening, then you know that you have done a good thing,” said Slavko Kozina, the head of the Association of Publishers and Bookstores of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to Andro Krstulović Opara, the festival also welcomed many other famous names, including Dalija Orešković, Ivano Balić, Tisja Kljaković Braić, Viktor Ivančić, representatives of local and county authorities, Ivan Pažanin, Matko Marušić, Ivica Ivanišević, Jurica Pavičić, Marko Tomaš, Tanja Mravak, Emir Imamović Pirke, Damir Karakaš, Pavao Pavličić, Nebojša Lujanović, and Julijana Matanović. 

The Mediterranean Festival of Books, organized by the Association of Publishers and Bookstores of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) and under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, Split-Dalmatia County and the City of Split, was held from the 8th to the 12th of May, 2019.

A record 100 exhibitors offered discounted books of up to seventy percent off, with around 10,000 titles to choose from.

The entrance to the festival was free, and visitors could see the latest publications covering a space of more than two thousand square meters in the large hall of ŠC (Arena) Gripe. 

Fifty program activities were prepared, with as many as 35 promotions of the latest works of some award-winning and acclaimed authors taking place. 

The panels consisted of prominent lecturers who spoke about important local topics, as well as a multitude of workshops for the youngest among the festival’s visitors on offer. 

The Mediterranean Book Festival was organized with the support of numerous partners such as the Split Tourist Board, Split University, Split Student Centre, the Split Sports Facilities public institution, Hotel Zagreb – Split, Cukarin Gripe, Slobodna Dalmacija, Europlakat, Mandis, CineStar, Barcaffè, CedevitaGo, and Kala.

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