Cannes Lions reschedules event to October
The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has been rescheduled to Oct. 26 - Oct. 30 from June 22 - June 26.
The festival said in a statement that the decision follows "much deliberation" with partners, customers, public health officials, French authorities and the mayoral office of Cannes where the event is held annually. Cannes said it would continue to have conversations with all involved as it adopts its contingency plans.
"The health, safety and wellbeing of our customers, employees, sponsors and partners remains our first priority," Cannes said. "Cannes Lions will continue to monitor the rapidly changing developments associated with the coronavirus outbreak. Although we have sound mitigation plans, we shall continue to monitor this situation carefully and continue to engage closely with our customers, as we start to work in collaboration to ensure we can recognize the world’s best creativity in 2020."
Cannes noted that it is working with the City of Cannes "to make sure that the move from June to October is a smooth transition for everyone. If you are an existing Cannes Lions customer, all passes, sponsorship arrangements and bookings will roll over and remain valid."
The renowned Ascential-owned Cannes Lions, founded in 1954 and held annually in Cannes, France, is the world's biggest awards show and conference for the creative and marketing community. The festival said today it is focused on "planning the festival and preparing for the Lions" and remains committed to "the extraordinary spread of international creative work and its contribution to the development of people, business and society."
The festival said the awards for the 2019 year will be handed out in October and it is finalizing plans "to extend the deadline and eligibility date ... with an update coming soon."
"The global situation is dynamic and changing rapidly, we felt it was critical to provide visibility on June as soon as possible," Cannes Lions Chairman Philip Thomas said. "We will continue to liaise closely with our customers as we develop our plans."
"Our community is facing unprecedented challenges and collaboration has never been more important," Simon Cook, managing director of Cannes, added. "We are focused now on planning the festival – and our beating heart, the Lions – to ensure our community is able to recognize the extraordinary work it contributes to business, organizations and society."
The industry had been anticipating the postponement, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to worsen worldwide, and especially in places like Europe. Cannes had also warned its community earlier this month that it could shift the event to October, and would alert everyone no later than April 15. As of this writing, there is no word yet of the Cannes Film Festival scheduled for May postponing.