EVENTS UPDATE: Southern Festival of Books decides to go virtual again in 2021

On Wednesday, Humanities Tennessee announced that the 2021 Southern Festival of Books would take place virtually again this year. (Art Provided)

STATE EVENT NEWS | Nashville —On Wednesday, the Southern Festival of Books announced that in “an abundance of caution” the 2021 festival will now take place completely online and free-of-charge.

“With COVID-19 at its worst in Tennessee than at any other point during the pandemic, causing severe stress to the Davidson County healthcare system, we felt it was necessary to transition this year’s festival to an online event to preserve the health and safety of our attendees, participating authors and staff,” said Tim Henderson, Executive Director of Humanities Tennessee.

In July, the Festival announced their 2021 line-up and sounded excited about the 2021 festival being an in-person event but as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Nashville and Tennessee, Humanities Tennessee felt it necessary to transform their event to a virtual event for the second year in a row. All festival sessions will be livestreamed through the Humanities Tennessee website and on the Southern Festival of Books Facebook page and YouTube channel. The full schedule of online festival events will be available on Friday, September 10. Click here to access that list.

Some in-person events will still take place at private venues with partner organizations. These events include:

Oct. 2: Sharon Cameron and J.T. Ellison at Parnassus Books

Oct. 4 Jess Walter at Parnassus Books 

Oct. 5: Daniel de Visé at the National Museum of African-American Music

Oct. 5: Alix Harrow at Parnassus Books

“We are thankful to our event partners and sponsors for their support of the decision to move the festival to a virtual platform,” said Henderson. “The health and safety of our staff, participating authors and attendees is our priority and the pivot to a virtual format allows booklovers from across the country to engage in the festival from the comfort and safety of their own homes.”

For more information on the Festival, please visit •

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