Will the Cannes Yachting Festival Go Ahead?

Who owns the right to host the Cannes Yachting Festival ?

Will the battle between the Fédération des Industries Nautiques (FIN) and Reed Expositions France (REF) over who owns the right to host the Cannes Yachting Festival be drawn out further?.

The Paris Court of Appeal announced on 15 April that it was now postponing its decision until 27 May 2021.

Reed continue their preparations for this years Yachting Festival to be held in September as planned, independently of this deferment and can only hope that the court will find in their favour.

The Court of Appeals decision centres around the legal proceedings started by the Fédération des Industries Nautiques (FIN) in 2016 following ending its contract with Reed Expositions France. 

This legal action aims to cancel a contractual undertaking made by the FIN with Reed Expositions France (REF) in 2011, which guaranteed to REF the right to organise the Cannes Yachting Festival until 2041.

Initially, the Paris High Court (Tribunal de Grande Instance) found in favour of the FIN in January 2019.

 But because this decision was not enforceable, Reed Expositions France continued to organise and stage the Cannes Yachting Festival, having lodged an appeal.

The 2020 edition of the yacht show was cancelled amid COVID 19 concerns.

As the saying goes: “The Show Must Go On” and Reed are busy with preparations for this years event.

“We are preparing the next Cannes Yachting Festival with the same professionalism and the same passion, in the primary interest of our French and international exhibitors and our partners”, declared Sylvie Ernoult, show director.  She added, “The postponement of the Court of Appeal’s decision, does not change anything with regards to our preparation of the 2021 Festival, which is already well underway.”

The organisation of any boat is complex, even more so in the context of the current health situation, and requires significant advance planning and strict respect of the schedule.

In terms of exhibitors, Reed are, according to a statement they have issued “Observing a high demand from the shipyards, after the 2020 edition was cancelled, and we start facing, as usual, questions of placing the in-water boats”.

In order to ensure a smooth running of the edition in September 2021, Reed have instigated a great number of measures adapting them to the exceptional situation currently experienced by the global pandemic.

The organisers have drawn up a rigorous and approved health protocol, to comply with those demanded by the French government in regard to trade fairs being held from September 2021.