Series Mania, one of Europe’s biggest and most prestigious TV festivals, has pushed back its 2021 edition by two months, setting new dates of May 28 to June 5.
Remaining in Lille, northern France, the event’s industry centerpiece, the Series Mania Forum, will be held at the Lille Grand Palais over June 1-3.
Series Mania was originally slated to run over March 19-27 next year. The Lille Dialogues, one of the Forum’s most anticipated events, joining political decision-makers and leading industry executives, will take place on June 1. Series Mania Digital, the online platform launched by the festival in March, will serve to complement the live events, “especially for those who may still not be able to travel,” Series Mania announced Thursday.
The announcement was made by Rodolphe Belmer, president of Series Mania, and Laurence Herszberg, its founder and general director.
Belmer ascribed the later dates directly to “ongoing uncertainly surrounding COVID-19. We believe these dates in the warmer months of May and June are the perfect timeframe for Series Mania 2021,” he said.
Dates, however, are part of a part of an event’s brand. For its 2022 edition, Series Mania will “return to its dates in March for which it has become known,” Belmer commented.
With its late Spring berth, Series Mania has secured plum dating real estate for its festival in a city whose limited hotel space and popularity as a convention center makes any change of dates a large challenge.
The new timeframe can be seen as another sign of enthusiastic support for the event from France’s Hauts-de-France region whose president, former minister Xavier Bertrand, as well as Lille’s town hall, aim to consolidate the region as one of Europe’s most vibrant regional audiovisual hubs. Series Mania is a already launching a bouquet of initiatives to become a year-round event, leveraging its brand.
Last year’s even saw 3,000 delegates attend Series Mania in Lille which, when unspooling in Paris had been far more of a boutique event.
The new dates also mean Series Mania, as things now stand, will begin just a few days after the Cannes Festival, which is currently scheduled to take place over May 11–22, and the Annecy Intl. Animation Festival, which has set dates of June 14-19.
“With this opportunity to move our annual in-person rendezvous to June for 2021, Series Mania will be in the coveted position slated between two other major international events, Cannes Film Festival and Annecy Festival. We are among great company,” stated Herszberg, adding that she hoped that the 2021 edition would be “bigger and better than ever.”
Scheduled to launch from March 20, Series Mania was the first big event in Europe to announce and launch a virtual marketplace. The large question now is whether now its date push-back with be the first announcement in a stampede to grab the safest late spring/summer dates of 2021. Cannes Festival organizers have already set up a contingency plan with local authorities to block out three separate sets of dates in July and August should the edition have to move back.