This year, the Read My World festival has been organized through very challenging months, and our reality isn’t only rooted in the Dutch context but also in the European one, since it is the focus we have chosen for this eight edition. The current pandemic is affecting all the layers of our work: behind the scenes from planning and programming, production, to what we present to the public through our communications and the programme we hope you – our guests and our audience – will attend live in Amsterdam at the Tolhuistuin or online wherever you are. We want to explicitly announce that we take all necessary measures to make sure your visit will be safe and inspiring. Our festival is fully coronaproof and in line with the new regulations as announced by the Dutch government on the 28th of September.

Since its inception, our festival always had a clear vision on the need for connection and getting people from different cultural and political contexts together in a same room to create spaces for discussion, exchange and creativity, to share the stories that our society needs to tackle urgent issues. Our purpose for next week, until our festival takes place on 9 and 10 October, will be to ensure these stories get told and heard. Our responsibility is to keep our guests safe, and we will absolutely do that (even if it means adapting certain programmes, having some of the guests joining us online instead of live in Amsterdam, or selling less tickets than expected). But these stories will be told.  And we need you for them to be heard. We are counting on your presence – live and/or online – because only your support will help us achieve this exchange.

In the meantime, we invite you to dive into the letters ten writers from current and previous editions of our festival, wrote during the lockdown period in our “With Love” series. They still resonate today and will for sure offer us solace in the weeks and months to come. Please be safe.

With Love,

The Read My World Team