Coronavirus in Scotland: Glasgow's Aye Write book festival cancelled

One of Scotland's biggest literary festivals has been axed after just one day of events due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Crime writer Val McDermid was one expected to be one of the star attractions at the Aye Write festival in Glasgow.
Crime writer Val McDermid was one expected to be one of the star attractions at the Aye Write festival in Glasgow.

Glasgow's annual Aye Write event said a string of cancellations from special guests had forced it to cancel.

Organisers of the two and a half week long event said it had become clear over the last 24 hours that it would not be possible to delivering "anything like the festival we had promised.

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The festival, which hopes to run some events at a future date, said it would be contact all ticketholders as soon as possible.

Around 270 writers had been booked to appear at the 15th annual event, which was due to be staged at venues like the Mitchell Library, the Royal Concert Concert and Glasgow University until 29 March.

Authors due to attend included Val McDermid, Christopher Brookmyre, Joanna Trollope, Andrew Greig and Bernardine Evaristo.

Broadcaster Stuart Cosgrove, chef Prue Leith, film critic Peter Bradshaw, Strictly Come Dancing star Anton Du Beke, playwright Rona Munro and comedian Greg McHugh were also in the line-up.

A statement from the festival said: "In recent days we have been receiving an increasing number of cancellations from people due to take part in Aye Write who are understandably concerned by the constantly evolving coronavirus situation.

"In the last 24 hours it has become clear we can no longer deliver anything like the festival we had promised and in the interests of our audience, authors, publishers, volunteers and staff we have taken the decision not to carry on with this year’s festival at this time.

"We're considering potential options for running some of the programme in the future and will contact ticket holders directly as soon as possible."