Cannes Lions Festival Postponed Until October Due to Coronavirus

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A Cannes Lions session with Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg in 2019.

"We have made the decision to move forward with our contingency plan and the festival will now take place from Oct. 26 to 30," organizers said.

The Cannes Lions festival of creativity on Wednesday said it would postpone its 2020 edition until October due to the coronavirus.

"We have made the decision to move forward with our contingency plan and the festival will now take place from Oct. 26-30," organizers said. "As always, the health, safety and well-being of our community is our priority. The decision was made following productive talks with our valued partners and customers and following consultation with public health officials, the City of Cannes and the French authorities."

The MIPTV market in Cannes has also canceled its latest edition, while the Cannes Film Festival hasn't announced any changes to its plans.

The Cannes Lions event has evolved from one focused on advertising to one bringing together creatives from various disciplines.

"We have worked with the City of Cannes to make sure that the move from June to October is a smooth transition for everyone," said Cannes Lions organizers. "If you are an existing Cannes Lions customer, all passes, sponsorship arrangements and bookings will roll over and remain valid."

They added: "We recognize that this is a difficult time for the entire community and we will remain in deep consultation with many of our customers and partners as we continue to plan. We are now focused on planning the Festival and preparing for the Lions. It is our commitment to recognize the extraordinary spread of international creative work and its contribution to the development of people, business and society."

The Lions awards will be awarded during the new festival dates. "We are planning to extend the deadline and eligibility date and are currently finalizing the plans around this, with an update coming soon," organizers said.

Philip Thomas, chairman of the Cannes Lions, said: "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."

Added Simon Cook, managing director of the Cannes Lions festival: "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."