Day three of my Cannes experience raised some unexpected encounters… more fun, creativity and inspiration – and a little disruption of the not so inspiring kind.
Last night’s Microsoft party was a huge hit with queues for access until near closing time and a hit turn from US band Walk the Moon. Google hosted special guests at Tom Kitchen’s table once again and of course MailOnline continued their star-studded streak with appearances on their yacht from Chrissy Teigen and Kylie Jenner. WPP hosted Keith Weed and Unilever teams at the Mindshare Villa, and took a celebratory look at a year of shining creative work and success with Dove and Sunsilk and other campaigns; and Vice announced the launch of the inspired and defiant women’s news channel Broadly.com
For those without the right wristbands there were numerous and varied street performers to be found in the back streets. Musicians, capoeira dancers and street hawkers added to the eclectic and buzzing atmosphere of the festival.
There’s no doubt that the other topic of conversation amongst Lions this morning was the effects of the union strike action taken by taxi drivers in Cannes in protest at Uber. Buses are the only option, but gridlock at the airport is making it impossible to check-in on time and only those determined enough to get out and walk the last 10 minutes from the access road are making their flights. For those of us with professional support from excellent ground agents, like the wonderful team at Phenix, be-good have been able to look after VIPs and maintain event programmes.
The long term effects of this disruption and other local disputes may be further reaching than the taxi drivers and the local authorities understand. The mayor himself is said to be disappointed with how this reflects on business in his region. With issues of capacity, regulations along the Croisette and high prices in Cannes putting increasing pressure on event companies, there is always the threat that Lions may look for pastures new. The busy bars and small venues in the backstreets behind the 5-star hotels would certainly feel the brunt of such changes keenly. Market forces apply to even the most established events in the international calendar.
BUT we simply mustn’t allow this sideshow to detract from the wealth of work celebrated this week and the wonderful contributions made by brands, agencies and guests to another fabulous festival of creativity!