Fair and Loathing – Blog Jamie Byng

Fair and Loathing – Blog Jamie Byng

„If you are tired of Frankfurt, you are tired of life.“


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I love Frankfurt with a passion but one of the best things about it is that it does end! This year I decided to fly back home on Saturday morning so I’m writing this from the relative calm of London but the last 24 hours have been pretty crazed. Each year the punishing schedule that everyone is on takes its toll and come Friday you start to see casualties. Voices are mashed, eyes are red, people are late for appoin tments, and some have trouble stringing their words together! The tempo escalates in the course of the week culminating in particularly wild carousing on Friday and Saturday night.This year has been no exception.

It was at a birthday dinner on Tuesday night that I had spoken at length with Claudio Lopez Delamadrid about Matt Haig’s „The Radleys“ which he was loving. After dinner we decided to give the zoo with alcohol that is the Frankfurter Hof a big layby as it’s just not pleasant around midnight, preferring the relative calm of Jimmy’s Bar.

The first person I see there is Andrew Wylie and so I introduce him to Nick Cave, aware that they are both close to Lou Reed. They seemed to get a kick out of the meeting, Andrew’s opening line about Lou being „Lou gave me my first fix“ and Nick texting me this am to say „I loved meeting The Jackal – he’s got a good look going, great predatory smile“. More and more great people turn up and the margaritas start to flow and there’s a real party atmosphere building. The only spanner in the works is the piano player who murders a version of „Happy Birthday Mr. President“ and does even worse crimes by encouraging some Germans to start singing along to show tunes.

Frankfurt is exhausting and exhilarating. Every year I get to the end and I am knackered but also feeling mellow because I am tired and relaxed and I have worked and partied incredibly hard and covered a lot of ground. More than anything I have just loved reconnecting with hundreds of friends from around the world who inspire me, make me laugh and from whom I learn so much. The thought of publishing without Frankfurt is inconceivable to me and I come away from it every year reinvigorated, reminded of why publishing is such a gorgeous struggle and humbling privilege.

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