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D&AD cancels its festival for 2020, moves its awards online

It joins the list of events that have been impacted by COVID - 19. The judging of the renowned D&AD Pencils will now happen online.

D&AD (Design and Art Direction) has announced it will cancel its annual awards festival slotted to take place from May 19 to 21, 2020 in London, England. This decision was taken keeping the COVID - 19 viruses in mind. However, it said its awards will continue but online instead of in-person.

Patrick Burgoyne, CEO, D&AD said in a letter posted on the festival website, “At D&AD, as everywhere else, our priority is the health and well-being of our people; then to address some of the challenges facing the organisation as well as we can in the circumstances. Our physical events clearly can't happen as they did for the foreseeable future. So we will not be holding the D&AD Festival this year and we will be contacting all our speakers, partners and ticket holders with more information about this.”

The New Blood Festival which is to be held in June is also under review.

Since 1962, D&AD Pencil has represented the best of design and advertising. Winning one is considered a stellar achievement in anybody’s career. The D&AD Black Pencil is considered the ultimate prize and is awarded to a handpicked few who deliver ground-breaking work.

About the awards, Burgoyne said, “So, we believe that the best work of the last twelve months still deserves to be awarded. Our distinguished jurors will assemble - digitally of course - to judge this years' entries (though we are hopeful that in-person judging will still take place for some categories). And we are exploring new ways of celebrating our Pencil winners with our community, wherever you are.”

The organizers have extended the date for entries to 3 April 2020.

This isn’t the first event that has fallen victim to COVID - 19. Cannes Lions had announced that it's moving its Festival of Creativity to alternative dates in October 2020 instead of its original schedule in June 2020.

The One Club too moved its Creative Week online from in-person keeping in mind the impact of virus’ spread.

As of March 30, 2020, COVID - 19 has infected over 7.23 lakh people and claimed over 34,000 lives. A vaccine for the virus isn’t available yet.