Cannes Lions has cancelled its annual Festival of Creativity, which was set to take place in October. According to a press release, Cannes Lions said it has become clear that its customers’ priorities have shifted to the need to protect people, to serve consumers with essential items and to focus on preserving companies, society and economies. This comes two weeks after the organiser said it will be postponing the event to 26 to 30 October. It had also previously said the event is set to proceed on 12 March. The next edition of the festival will happen on 21 June to 25 June 2021.
The decision was made after in-depth consultations with its partners and customers, and seeks to remove any uncertainty about the running of the awards and event for our partners and customers. Philip Thomas, chairman, Cannes Lions, said it realises that the creative community has other challenges to face and is not in a position to create work that will set the benchmark. "The marketing and creative industries, in common with so many others, are currently in turmoil, and it’s clear that we can play our small part by removing all speculation about the Festival this year," Thomas said, adding that it has tried to make this decision as early as possible.
Simon Cook, managing director, Cannes Lions, said it looks forward to celebrating and honouring the work in 2021, when the world will hopefully feel more stable, and the creative community can give their work the focus it deserves. "Cannes Lions will continue to bring the global creative community together and provide inspiration where we can find it. Our recent call for inspirational creative stories from around the world has already garnered hundreds of accounts of our community uniting and showing progress in this crisis," he added.
Cannes Lions is the latest global event to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) postponed the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games. The olympics is set to be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games, and the international community. The leaders have also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, and the Olympic flame will stay in Japan.