In response to 2019’s capacity and ticketing problems, the festival is making needed changes to accommodate screening capacity for the record numbers of attendees expected this summer.
After record-breaking 2019 attendance (12,300 badge holders) caused unprecedented event venue capacity challenges, the Annecy Festival organizers are taking proactive steps to lessen the chance of a repeat this coming summer. Changes needed to address frustrating screening and presentation access problems festivalgoers experienced last summer are on their way. Mickaël Marin, Citia CEO, has just sent out word that for the festival’s upcoming 60th anniversary, significant changes are being made to increase the number of venues and amount of seating available to passholders.
According to Marin, “Along with Dominique Puthod, President of CITIA, and Marcel Jean, Artistic Director, our priority is to enable each festivalgoer to access the theatres in the best possible conditions. For the 60th anniversary, and in order to respond to the significant growth of the last editions, we wanted to considerably increase our seating capacity. Annecy 2020 will offer more screenings, more theatres for a Festival that must address the next decade with the ambition of sustainable growth that puts the comfort of the festival-goer at the heart of its policy.”
In order to improve theatre access to guarantee the best possible experience for badge holders, the festival is implementing the following changes:
- An overall 26% increase in the number of seats - 21,700 extra seats will be available for festivalgoers
- New venues, new theatres and 10 additional screenings per day starting from 8:30 or 9:00 am (at the Bonlieu Grande salle and Petite salle for example), creating the opportunity to satisfy a greater number of festivalgoers
- The salle Pierre Lamy will open its doors as soon as 7:00 pm directly after the Work in Progress
- 2 new cinema theatres will be added to the Festival program: the Auditorium Seynod and Le Rabelais, Meythet.
- Badge holders will have exclusive and privileged admission to Bonlieu for all the screenings.
Having attended more than 20 Annecy festivals, I’ve seen firsthand how the event has grown in size, stature, and importance; each year, the dedicated teams of organizers, staff and volunteers work diligently to provide a meaningful and successful festival experience for all attendees. Marin, Puthod and Jean’s efforts to address logistical problems that surfaced last year is a welcome measure that hopefully provides all 2020 festival badge holders with access to the great programming they’ll be planning to enjoy.
This year’s Annecy Festival runs June 15-20, 2020.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.