Cannes canned: Cannes Lions to be digital-only event again this year (but awards return)

Organisers of the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity have announced this year’s iteration will be fully digital once again.

The popular annual event for advertising marketing and media professionals usually takes place in person over five days in Cannes, France.

However, Cannes Lions chairman Philip Thomas said the festival will “move fully” to the digital format for 2021 following consultation with customers.

“[It] will have all the celebration, inspiration and participation of Cannes Lions – to unite the global community virtually during Cannes Lions Live this June,” he said.

Simon Cook, managing director of Cannes Lions, said the virtual event will also signal the return of the Lions awards.

“After the benchmark of the awards was paused last year, we want to be able to give our community the chance to immerse themselves in the creative work once again.” He said.

“We’ll be championing the work on a huge scale; tracking progress throughout the week, analysing 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.”

Cannes Lions will launch its new membership platform next month, which includes complimentary access to Cannes Lions Live.

Annual Lions membership is priced at €249 ($389), and all past and present Lions award winners will be gifted complimentary membership.