Ascential’s Cannes Lions organization announced today that the 2021 Festival of Creativity will be a fully digital event.
The organization had hoped to return to a live event in Cannes, France in June (with some digital elements) after the cancellation of last year’s live Festival due to the pandemic.
But the COVID-19 crisis is far from over. Last week, with infections rising, France imposed a new lockdown that will last at least through April and possibly longer, making the prospect of a live festival this year unlikely.
Philip Thomas, Chairman, LIONS, said: “Over the last year, we’ve been consulting with our customers and working on our plans, including the development of Cannes Lions Live as part of the new LIONS Membership platform. We are now able to move fully to this format for 2021 - which will have all the celebration, inspiration and participation of Cannes Lions - to unite the global community virtually during Cannes Lions Live this June.”
But the awards portion of the event will return (it was cancelled last year) and cover two years of work, confirmed Simon Cook, Managing Director, LIONS.
After last year’s cancellation, said Cook, “we want to be able to give our community the chance to immerse themselves in the creative work once again. We’ll be championing the work on a huge scale -- tracking progress throughout the week, analyzing the winners, delivering insights, identifying new talent -- it’s the return of the benchmark and a moment for the industry to reflect but also look forward.”
The LIONS Membership platform will launch in May, with all LIONS members receiving complimentary access to Cannes Lions Live as part of their membership. Annual LIONS membership is priced at €249. All Lion winners, past and present, will be gifted complimentary membership.
The organization will be releasing further information in this year’s event over the coming weeks as plans are finalized.