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Update on Festival contingency planning – Covid-19


As the situation evolves around the world, we continue to monitor the developments on a daily basis. The health and safety of our community, our staff and the people of Cannes are our main priority. As of today, based on the advice from the city of Cannes, authorities and World Health Organisation we are still working towards Cannes Lions 2020 taking place as planned on 22 – 26 June.

  • We have been advised to proceed and continue planning for the Festival in June. The French authorities have advised us that the current ban on gatherings of 1000+ people will be lifted on 15 April.
  • We have worked with the city of Cannes and all our stakeholders to secure alternate dates for the Festival should we need to postpone. These dates are 26 – 30 October 2020. All passes, sponsorship arrangements and bookings would of course, roll over and remain valid.
  • On our decision-making timeframe, we will commit to making a call on this by 15 April at the latest. If we can make the decision before then, we will.
  • The Lions are obviously a huge part of what we do and provide an annual benchmark for the industry. It’s a responsibility we take very seriously. Regardless of when the Festival takes place, there will be Lions in 2020. Work will be judged, and Lions will be awarded using the same rigour we’ve come to be known for.

Our primary focus continues to be creating a safe space where our community can come together to do business, learn, and continue to recognise world-class creativity. We look forward to seeing you in June – or in October if we believe that to be safer. We’ll continue to provide you with very regular updates.

Please read our full statement and watch an update from Chairman, Cannes Lions and president of Ascential Marketing Division, Philip Thomas.

Cannes Lions provides an update on contingency planning for the Festival, in light of the evolving global situation regarding Covid-19.

The Festival is still scheduled to take place, as planned, from 22-26 June in Cannes, France. We continue to monitor the situation closely and follow all guidance from health and government officials. We remain fully committed to ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of our customers, employees, sponsors and partners.

The Festival, working closely with the Mayoral office of Cannes and the French Authorities, has secured alternative dates of 26-30 October 2020, if changing circumstances require us to postpone the event from June. If we do make that decision, we will announce to our customers no later than 15 April 2020, sharing weekly updates ahead of any announcement date.

Irrespective of the timing of the Festival, we want to reassure the global creative community that we are fully committed to awarding Lions in 2020: all entries will still be judged and awarded by our global juries. As things stand, anyone who is submitting a Lions entry for 2020 should follow the existing process and timeline. If anything about that process changes, we will issue a further announcement.

Simon Cook, Managing Director, Cannes Lions, commented: “As we stand today, all of our plans are proceeding as scheduled and we are still working towards Cannes Lions 2020 taking place as planned on 22 June. However, as the global situation is evolving constantly, we want to be open about our contingency plans. We have consulted with our customers and partners and have prepared accordingly by putting measures in place to allow flexibility, should we need it. As always, the safety of all those involved is our utmost priority, and any decision we take will reflect this.”

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