Cannes Lions Officially Postpones 2020 Festival to October

France remains a hotspot of the COVID-19 outbreak

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The advertising awards and programming festival typically attracts about 12,000 attendees. Cannes Lions
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Cannes Lions, the advertising festival first held in September 1954 that has evolved into the industry’s early summer tentpole, is officially moving its 2020 event back down the calendar.

With more than 7,700 confirmed cases and 175 deaths, France remains a hotspot in the global outbreak of the coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19. Cannes Lions organizers—who recently announced they were developing an October contingency plan for the festival, which had been scheduled for June 22-26—today announced the event in the French Riviera city of Cannes will now be held Oct. 26-30.

“The global situation is dynamic and changing rapidly,” said Philip Thomas, chairman of Cannes Lions. “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.”

The organizers remain in contact with public health officials, the Cannes mayor’s office and French authorities to stay on top of the disease’s spread, as well as the timeline for containment and recovery.

“Our community is facing unprecedented challenges, and collaboration has never been more important,” said Simon Cook, managing director of 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.”

Cannes Lions traditionally draws about 12,000 attendees, along with many non-passholders on its periphery.

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."