About

The Fairway Galle Literary Festival, since first launching in 2007 has become one of the most anticipated literary events in south east Asia for both authors and literary enthusiasts around the world.The festival is celebrated annually, in and around the historic Dutch Galle Fort, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, located on the southern shores of the tropical isle of Sri Lanka (Ceylon).

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2012 Galle Literary Festival Participant - Richard Dawkins
"I have spoken at dozens of book festivals around the world, and Galle was perhaps the most welcoming and memorable. Please invite us back."

Professor Richard Dawkins (Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2012)

It’s intimate format allows visitors the opportunity to appreciate the works of Sri Lankan and international authors, to take part in literary discussions and enjoy other writerly, readerly, archeological, ecological, philosophical, cultural, musical, artistic, and culinary activities in a beautiful and unique setting.

During the day the Fairway Galle Literary Festival features writing workshops, panel discussions, topical debates, poetry readings, cooking classes, theatre workshops and literary lunches, while during the night there are poetry slams, jazz performances, wine tastings, art showings and photographic exhibitions, which take place at historical landmark locations, boutique hotels, and private properties, making this festival truly an immersive cultural experience that celebrates literature and the arts.

"I appreciate the Galle Literary Festival for bringing readers and books together without creating a flea market atmosphere. It underscores the connection of communities and ideas. At the heart of every discussion is an examination of how literature helps us more effectively share our world."

Gregory Pardlo (Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2016)

The Fairway Galle Literary Festival was the first ever international literary festival to be held in Sri Lanka, founded by adventurer/hotelier Geoffrey Dobbs in 2007. This ambitious venture launched with an impressive line-up of accomplished international and local authors such as the late great Arthur C. Clarke, Kiran Desai (winner of the Man Booker Prize, 2006), Sir Mark Tully and Romesh Gunesekera.

Geoffrey Dobbs noted that people’s reaction to his idea was: “You’re completely crazy!” But crazy things do happen and successfully with the correct drive and vision, especially when the voices of skepticism fall on deaf ears as it did with the founder. It was clear by the third day of the inaugural event that the enthusiasm generated amongst the attending Sri Lankan and international literati who had flocked to the venue had surpassed the expectations of even it’s organizers.

Fiona Shaw - Galle Literary Festival 2016
“Why is the festival great? It uses one of the most beautiful places on the planet to make a marketplace of thought and an oasis of feeling. I loved being there because the scale is human, and the humans are kind and welcoming, the food wonderful and the balmy evenings allow long conversations on any subject into the night”

Fiona Shaw (Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2016)

By 2011, The Fairway Galle Literary Festival had been dubbed by Harpers Bazaar UK as the ‘No. 1 literary festival in the world’ and continued it’s growth through 2012, with the attendance of literary contemporaries such as Joanna Trollope, Tom Stoppard and Richard Dawkins. The festival then took an 3 year hiatus, but made a triumphant return in 2016 with the support of title sponsor, Fairway Holdings (Pvt) Ltd.

The Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2016 hosted 83 participants, both local and from around the world. Authors, historians, explorers, environmentalists, actors and poets took part in 102 sessions across the four days of the festival. The 2016 festival also debuted 2 mini-festivals which took place in the cities of Kandy and Jaffna. The FGLF 2016 also launched the ‘Fairway National Literary Award‘ which recognizes the best Sri Lankan novel in the languages of Sinhala, Tamil and English, in addition to being selected as the venue for the presentation of the 2016 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, which was won by attending author Anuradha Roy.

Fairway Galle Literary Festival Participant Sebastian Faulks
“The FGLF throws people, cultures, hot ideas, hot food, laughter, poetry and arrack together in a beautiful country. Pointless to resist.”

Sebastian Faulks (Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2016)
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participant testimonials

Sir Tom Stoppard

“The festival was just what one wishes a literary festival to be, a treat and a tonic.” (Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2012)

Joanna Trollope

“Galle literary festival is a remarkable experience. It’s not just in a marvelous place, but also manages to be both distinguished and intimate. It’s focus is, quite  properly, on reading and writing rather than celebrity, and the audiences are a treat – warm, highly literate and curious.“ (Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2012)

Romesh Gunesekera

“The Galle Literary Festival has made literature amazingly exciting in Sri Lanka. It is a wonderful space for all of us—writers and readers—and a tribute to the importance of books in our lives. The encouragement it gives to reading and writing in Sri Lanka is immense!” (Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2007)

Festival Reach

After a 3 year hiatus from the festival circuit, the Fairway Galle Literary Festival returned in 2016 with over 4,500 visitors in attendance. The 2017 festival saw up to almost 5,500 attendees, making the FGLF a very lucrative venue for local and regional brands to achieve highly targeted consumer marketing objectives in Sri Lanka.

 

Event Attendance

Galle Literary Festival Attendees

• 2016 Attendees: 4,500.
• 2017 Attendees: 5,500.

Website

Galle Literary Festival Website Statistics and Reach

 • Avg. Page Views: 11,200 per month (organic).

• Avg. Unique Visitors: 2,800 per month (organic).
• Avg. Page Views per Visitor: 3.97.
• Blog Subscribers: 370

Social Media

Fairway Galle Literary Festival Sponsor Statistics - Social Media

• Facebook: 17,000+ followers.
• Instagram: 574 followers (organic).
• Twitter: 249 followers (organic).

Email Newsletter

Fairway Galle Literary Festival Sponsor Statistics - Email Newsletter

Subscribers: 680+ (organic).

 

Sponsors have the opportunity to not only reach festival-goers at specific event venues during the festival, but also to communicate and build relationships with the same audience prior to the festival through the festival website, social media channels and email newsletters.

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festival Audience

The attendees of the Fairway Galle Literary Festival are a very engaged community. They comprise of Sri Lankans, expatriates living in Sri Lanka and literary fans from overseas. They are a highly desirable demographic with strong ties and influence in their social and business communities

2017 Fairway Galle Literary Festival Audience with Colm Toibin

Attendee Demographics

  • Gender: 46% Men and 52% Women
  • Age Range: 18-65 years.
  • Education: College educated or higher.
  • Interests: Literature, Education, Travel, Food, Art, Music, Film, Fashion.
  • Average Single Ticket Purchase: LKR3,250

Primary audience

  • 25-65 years.
  • Professionals and entrepreneurs.
  • Middle and high income groups.
  • College educated.
  • Sri Lankans and expatriates living in Sri Lanka.
  • Tourists, visitors and literary fans from around the world.
  • Spend on accommodation, excursions, entertainment, food and gifts.
  • Like to stay in and around Galle Fort for the duration of the festival.

secondary audience

  • Age Range: 15-21 years.
  • Students and youth of Sri Lanka, who are currently studying at school or university.
  • Make use of the discounted student ticket rates.

media

  • Journalists at the festival, both traveling & literary.
  • Local media, which plays an important role in exposing the Festival to a wider local audience.
  • Lifestyle media are always looking for new brands and establishments to report on.

secondary audience

  • Age Range: 15-21 years.
  • Students and youth of Sri Lanka, who are currently studying at school or university.
  • Make use of the discounted student ticket rates.
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audience engagement

Audience engagement begins 6 months prior to the festival in January. Our website blog and social media are used to create buzz, inform and directly activate our audience. Our channels have proven very effective, and are primary drivers for direct sales of event tickets and for driving awareness and traffic to fringe events taking place around the festival. Sponsors have the opportunity to engage our audience through these channels

Email Newsletter

Fairway Galle Literary Festival Email Open and Click Rates

Newsletter is received by 680+ subscribers with higher than average open rates of 34.6% (53.6% high) vs. an industry average of 16.87% and click-through rates of 7% (21% high) vs industry average of 1.8%.

Facebook

Fairway Galle Literary Festival Facebook Page Engagement

Facebook is the festival’s most active social media platform. Content is carefully curated and published so that it is always of relevance and interest to our followers. Our Facebook post engagement is significant across all our audience age groups: 25-34 yrs (27%), 45-54 yrs (20%), 35-44 yrs (18%), 18-24 yrs (17%), 55-64 yrs (11%), 65+ yrs (3%).

twitter

Fairway Galle Literary Festival Twitter Share by Christina Lamb

 

 

A favorite channel used by authors and members of the literary community, Twitter has proved to be great platform to connect with followers of participants around the world and has increased awareness of the festival and what Sri Lanka has to offer.

instagram

Fairway Galle Literary Festival Instagram Post with Amish Tripathi

Instagram is an active content distribution channel among festival-goers and participants alike. This social media channel has contributed significantly in increasing awareness of the festival, its events, participants and sponsors.

Website Blog

  • Blog posts are received via email by 400+ subscribers and growing.
  • Posts are SEO optimized for search engine rankings.
  • The FGLF website has a high PageRank providing strong back links to referred websites.

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