In January, Cannes Lions announced that it would carry on with plans for this year’s International Festival of Creativity to take place as an in-person event in June, despite ongoing concerns around the safety of international travel and large-scale events during the pandemic.
Organisers recently issued an update confirming that Cannes Lions will be a digital-first hybrid event in 2021. While the physical festival will still take place, it will have a "significant digital component" with live and on-demand content and experiences. Through a statement on the Cannes Lions website, organisers state that they are monitoring the fast-changing situation together with industry groups and French authorities.
A safety plan has been outlined for the physical event which will lean on four safety pillars: physical distancing, protect and detect, cleaning and hygiene, and communications.
Measures will include enhanced deep cleaning before, during and after events; non-contact registration; distancing and crowd management; and the deployment of screening and protective equipment.
Proof of vaccination will not be required to attend the festival but evidence of a negative Covid test will be needed to enter the Palais des Festivals. Organisers say they are currently making arrangements for Covid-19 antigen tests to be available at locations across Cannes. Those who have been vaccinated will also need to be regularly tested for the virus.
The event is set to take place in person from 21-25 June. This year's awards will cover two years of work, in light of the postponement of last year’s event. Work released between March 2019 and April 2021 will be eligible for the awards.
In January, it was also announced that the jury presidents who were originally appointed for last year's awards will remain this year, with the addition of three new ones: Bozoma Saint John of Netflix, Merlee Jayme of Dentsu Mcgarrybowen and Geoff Northcott of AKQA.