West Hollywood Book Fair May Be Back This Fall

The West Hollywood Book Fair may be back.

The City Council decided in February to put the book fair on hiatus, citing the rising cost of the event and its declining attendance. A report by city staffers said attendance at last year’s fair fell by a third while city spending on the event grew by 38 percent to $150,000. While the book fair once attracted an estimated 15,000 people, attendance has fallen in recent years to 7,500, and last year it attracted only 5,000 people, the staff report said.

West Hollywood Book FairFor the last three years, the city has contracted with the Authentic Agency, a West Hollywood-based event producer owned by Liam Lynch, to produce the book fair. City Councilmember John Heilman, a creator of the book fair, which launched in 2002, criticized Authentic at the February Council meeting for what he said was its poor management and promotion of the event.

Heilman is proposing that the Council authorize spending of $125,000 for the event this fall and establish a committee consisting of members from the city’s Economic Development, Arts and Cultural Affairs and Public Information departments to plan it. Councilmember John D’Amico earlier had proposed a more modest event such as a single performance or book reading by a noted entertainer or author on the book fair weekend.

At its peak, the book fair has drawn over 10,000 attendees and more than 150 authors. The Council will consider Heilman’s proposal at its meeting Monday night.

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7 years ago

i like that event, but the last few years it has taken place in 90 degree + weather and there is a shortage of shade and water. it makes attending very unpleasant, there needs to be better planning on how to attract and keep a crowd.

Larry Block
7 years ago

Please come to tonights city council meeting and support the Book Fair.. and Sunset Music Festival.

7 years ago

I agree with you @jimmypalmieri, not all of us have decided to read online, not have books and go all digital nor does the “event” need to have more than just the minimum. It’s educational, a great way to build bonds with people that love to read and learn.

I’ll be honest, I don’t read alot, but have a collection of books.

I guess what I’m saying and agree with you also is that this doesn’t need to be an elaborate event, but its an important one imo to “throw some education into weho” so to speak.

7 years ago

this event should have remianed as it was when it first began. as everything else, it was turned into a large scale event and failed. leave it small, and community oriented. not everything needs to be the oscars.

7 years ago

I really hope it comes back. And I see by living here and not knowing until the last minute that there wasn’t enough promotion. But $125 k is quite alot to spend as well, however I hope in my lifetime that we still have printed books readily available at the library and elsewhere. So the money can do alot to enrich the lives of people living or visiting here. Not to mention the great authors who have come to the event. I don’t know anything about revenue made but the education is worth the cost.

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