Cannes Lions has conceded. After doggedly refusing to postpone June’s International Festival of Creativity in the South of France, Festival organizers have adopted their contingency plan of holding the Lions in October.
“Our community is facing unprecedented challenges and collaboration has never been more important,” said Simon Cook, managing director, Cannes Lions. “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.”
Late last week, Cook said they still planned on sticking to the June date, but announced a back-up plan that would see the event take place from Oct. 26-30. Organizers also said at the time that entry submission dates would remain unchanged. However, today’s statement said deadlines will be extended, with final details still being worked on.
Here’s the full statement from the Festival:
Cannes Lions to be postponed
Festival and Lions awards considering move to contingency dates in October
18 March 2020
Cannes Lions announces today that the annual Festival of Creativity will not take place in June as previously planned. We are now engaging our contingency plans for the previously published October dates.
The decision comes following much deliberation with our partners and customers, as well as, consultation with public health officials, the mayoral office of Cannes and the French authorities. We acknowledge the challenging circumstances facing us all as a community—we have and continue to be in deep consultation with many of our customers and partners as we adopt our contingency plans. The health, safety and well-being of our customers, employees, sponsors and partners remains our first priority.
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.
Philip Thomas, Chairman, Cannes Lions, commented: “The global situation is dynamic and changing rapidly, we felt it was critical to provide visibility on June as soon as possible. We will continue to liaise closely with our customers as we develop our plans.”
Simon Cook, Managing Director, Cannes Lions, added: “Our community is facing unprecedented challenges and collaboration has never been more important. 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.”