D&AD cancels 2020 festival

Paige Murphy
By Paige Murphy | 30 March 2020

D&AD has cancelled its 2020 festival due to the spread of coronavirus but its awards program is still open.

The three-day festival was due May 19 to 21 in London.

"As we all make our way through as best we can, we need to get things in perspective," says D&AD CEO Patrick Burgoyne.

"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, due to be held in July in London, is also under review.

Entry for the D&AD Awards has been extended to April 3 with a date yet to be decided to announce winners.

The eligibility criteria for work being submitted has also been extended. The work must have been commercially released between January 1, 2019, and April 19, 2020.

To reduce the number of physical submissions, it was has also introduced digital submissions for all categories.

The only exceptions are Book Design, Magazine & Newspaper Design, Graphic Design and Packaging Design, which still have physical material options but can accept digital submissions in the event that sending physical materials is not feasible.

Virtual judging will take place from May 12 to June 5, 2020.

For Book Design, Graphic Design, Magazine & Newspaper Design and Packaging Design, where in-person judging is critical, D&AD says it is implementing changes to minimise the size of the gatherings and international travel.

Burgoyne says emerging talent will still be recognised by D&AD, even if the New Blood Festival is unable to occur physically.

"We believe that this years' emerging talent still deserves to be given its chance to impress and access the industry," he says.

"So, with our partners and our universities network, we are exploring new routes to provide that interface and, with our generous sponsors, helping a new generation hit the ground running and become productive and successful. Without new blood, our community loses."

D&AD also has plans to expand its digital campus and develop digital versions of other learning products.

"Just as we have always supported the industry with our surpluses, so it has always supported us. We continue to thank you all for that," Burgoyne says.

"Stay safe and see you on the other side."

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