World Press Photo Festival and Awards Show 2020 cancelled

World Press Photo Foundation cancels the Awards Show and Festival because of COVID-19

We have decided, after intense deliberations, that the global situation surrounding the COVID-19 virus, requires us to cancel the World Press Photo Awards Show 2020 and the World Press Photo Festival 2020, due to be held in Amsterdam on 16-18 April.

We are devastated that we will not be holding two of our major events that honor and showcase this year’s contest winners in person. Both events have become pivotal occasions for the visual journalism community to come together and we are all going to miss this moment.

We were well advanced with the planning for these events and to bring that to a stop is not an easy decision. Combined with the on-going uncertainty about the scale of the COVID-19 virus, this means it is not possible for us to postpone the events until later in the year.

However, the safety of our community, staff and society outweighs all other considerations.

We have been following the assessments of trustworthy sources such as the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and they report that in the coming weeks there is a moderate to high risk of more countries reporting more cases and clusters. ‘Social distancing’ is the way the risk of the COVID-19 virus is being managed, and we have concluded we can not hold events where international guests are invited to join local participants in a mass gathering.

The winners of the 2020 Photo Contest and the 2020 Digital Storytelling Contest - including the winner of the World Press Photo of the Year and the three other major awards - will be announced on the evening of 16 April 2020 (under embargo until 22:00 CET) and presented to our global audience through a wide range of online and media channels.

We will be working hard to give those winners the recognition they deserve. The nominees for those awards can be seen now at, the worldwide exhibition tour continues, and we are also looking forward to finding new ways of fulfilling our mission: connecting the world to the stories that matter.

For further information please contact the Communications team at