Amid security concerns prevailing in the country, the venue for the fifth edition of Lahore Literary Festival (LLF) has been changed for third time and now it will be held at Faletti’s Hotel on Saturday. Originally, it was a three-day event scheduled at Alhamra Art Council but the organizers revised the festival in a single-day only because of the wave of terrorism that emerged recently. The organizers earlier shifted the festival from Alhamra to Avari Hotel but now they have decided to hold the fifth edition of LLF at Flaetti’s Hotel.
Talking to Pakistan Today, one of the members of Board of Governors of LLF Nusrat Jamil confirmed that it will be single-day event at Faletti’s Hotel. “The numbers of sessions will definitely be decreased as it was a three-day festival originally but now it will be held only for one day,” She told this scribe.
The founder and CEO of LLF Razi Ahmed said in a statement that the revised, robust program celebrates the written word, the arts, and activism from Pakistan and abroad. “We are certain that Lahore’s audience will be thrilled with our latest edition,” he added. Razi Ahmed was of the view that the Punjab government has supported the LLF since its founding in 2013.
This year’s lineup includes Ahmed Rashid, Arfa Sayeda Zehra, Ayesha Jalal, Daniyal Mueenuddin, Dr. Syed Adib-Ul-Hasan Rizvi, F. S. Aijazuddin, Hameed Haroon, Kamila Shamsie, Mohsin Hamid, Nayyar Ali Dada, Rameeza Nizami, Salima Hashmi, Sarmad Khoosat, Shabnam Ghosh, Syeda Saiyidain Hameed, Tahira Naqvi, Tehmina Durrani, Zehra Nigah, Alex von Tunzelmann, Anita Anand, Dwight Garner, Gillian Slovo, Jeff Koehler, Julie Tieke, Katie Hickman, Margaret MacMillan, Max Rodenbeck, Michael Palin, Molly Crabapple, Pippa Virdee, Salam Kawakibi, Simone Willie, Teju Cole, William Dalrymple, and more.
The festival will start at 10 a.m. and conclude at 7 p.m while seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis in the three halls of Flaetti’s Hotel.
The venue of LLF was also changed last year during the 4th edition of the festival and the fate of LLF was also uncertain at that time because the City District Government Lahore was reluctant in issuing the No Objection Certificate (NOC) and Lahore Commissioner Abdullah Khan Sumbal played an important role to let the festival proceed. The festival was held at Avari hotel last year and it may be mentioned here that it was also scheduled earlier at Alhamra Arts Council but could not be held there due to security issues.