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Coronavirus: Cannes Film Festival and Met Gala pushing ahead with plans despite pandemic

The show apparently will go on for both France's annual film festival and New York's fashion event

Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell at the 2019 Met Gala in New York on May 6, 2019. EPA
Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell at the 2019 Met Gala in New York on May 6, 2019. EPA

Coachella, New York's St Patrick's Day Parade and Saudi Arabia's Red Sea Film Festival are some of the events that have announced postponements in the wake of Covid-19.

But two large events on the fashion and film calendars are pushing on with plans, despite the ongoing spread of coronavirus around the world.

The 2020 iteration of the Cannes Film Festival, which is due to run from Tuesday May 12 to Saturday, May 23, is still scheduled to take place, despite countries such as Italy being placed in lockdown.

“We remain reasonably optimistic in the hope that the peak of the epidemic will be reached at the end of March and that we will breathe a little better in April," festival president Pierre Lescure told French newspaper Le Figaro on Tuesday.

However, Lescure added that the festival was not set in stone, adding: “But we are not oblivious. If not, we will cancel.”

Earlier this week, the French government banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people in an effort to curb the spread of the virus, of which France currently has more than 2,200 cases. Globally, Covid-19 has now infected more than 126,000 people; at least 68,304 have now recovered and the death toll stands at 4,633.

Festival organisers have not yet revealed how the government’s rules on public gatherings will be applied, considering that the biggest theatre in Cannes holds 2,300 people.

epa07584925 Indian actress Aishwarya Rai arrives for the screening of 'A Hidden Life' during the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, in Cannes, France, 19 May 2019. The movie is presented in the Official Competition of the festival which runs from 14 to 25 May. EPA-EFE/GUILLAUME HORCAJUELO
Aishwarya Rai arrives for the screening of 'A Hidden Life' during the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival in 2019. EPA

Across the Atlantic in New York City, organisers behind the Met Gala, often deemed the world's most fashionable evening, also confirmed it plans to go ahead.

The gala, which raises funds to benefit the city's Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, is due to take place on Monday, May 4.

“We are proceeding as planned and look forward to a wonderful evening,” Nancy Chilton, chief external relations officer at The Costume Institute, said. “We will, of course, continue to keep a close eye on the situation.”

This year's Met Gala has the theme About Time: Fashion and Duration, and will be co-chaired by designer Nicolas Ghesquiere, Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda, actresses Emma Stone and Meryl Streep, and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.

Should the event be postponed, it is likely it would not take place until 2021. The gala is traditionally held on the first Monday in May as it is the only day besides Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s that the museum shuts down.

It is typically attended by the biggest names in entertainment, sport and fashion; the 2019 event attracted Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Katy Perry, to name just a few.

In Monaco, meanwhile, the country's royal family has cancelled its annual Rose Ball, which was due to take place on Saturday, March 21. The society gala has been held every year since it was established by Princess Grace of Monaco in 1954, and raises funds for the Princess Grace Foundation.

A statement on the Rose Ball website details: "Due to the stricter precautionary measures related to Covid-19, we are forced to postpone this event. We will schedule a new date depending on how the situation develops."

Updated: March 12, 2020 03:50 PM

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