the 2020 D&AD Festival is cancelled, but the award show will go on!

The D&AD festival is cancelled. Those who have already purchased a ticket for D&AD Festival will be contacted with information on how to claim a refund or credit. Meanwhile, the D&AD Awards deadline has been extended in response to community requests. The  eligibility period and digital submissions has been extended to all D&AD Awards categories. The D&AD has moved to online judging for most categories.

No one needs to be told we are living in an unprecedented crisis - a strange and frightening drama being played out in all too familiar surroundings. But the evidence from Asia says we will emerge at the other side and normal life will return; perhaps a more thoughtful normality than before.

As we all make our way through as best we can, we need to get things in perspective. 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 is also, of course, under review.

But, inasmuch as we are able, we also want to continue to do the very best for the creative community we have served for the last 58 years. D&AD has always stimulated and celebrated creative excellence, in the belief that great work is always worthwhile, producing as it does better outcomes for all. If this was important before it remains important, and will be important again. 

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. 

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

And we are expanding our digital campus and developing digital versions of our other learning products, including Masterclasses, so that creative people everywhere can continue to benefit from the skills and experience of our business's greatest practitioners.

Details of all this will follow as we work it out. And, optimistically, perhaps some of the things we are being forced to do by circumstances will come to be seen as best practice; and we will carry on wanting to do them as the crisis recedes, to everyone's benefit.


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.  

Stay safe and see you on the other side.


Patrick Burgoyne, CEO, D&AD

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