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17 June 2024

And so it begins...

by Jason Stone


Technically, the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity is already underway, but the Sunday always feels like the calm before the storm... and, although by the evening's end, revellers were spilling onto the Croisette in dangerous fashion, it was nothing compared with the madding crowds of later in the week.

There are those who feel the opulence of Cannes is jarring at a time when so many companies are struggling, and you can't really argue with that perspective. Especially, as the Cannes Lions show rolls on with little on no regard for such considerations.

A press release distributed by Cannes yesterday boasted that this year the awards have received 26,753 entries across all the categories.

Submission fees vary from 650 (the 'early worm' price in around 20% of categories) to 2,580. It seems probable that the average submission cost of these entries sits somewhere around 1,100. That's roughly 30 million of revenue from submission fees alone.

There's tremendous belief in the power of celebrity during the festival, and all kinds of famous people will be speaking on panels and being exhibited on stages both inside and outside the Palais. (It's just as well for UK attendees that these appearances are on both sides of the delegate threshold... very few of those who've travelled from London will be lanyarded at any point this week).

Sharing a table with DAVID on the Carlton Terrace tonight was our great friend Sophie Gold of Eleanor Films. This is her first visit to Cannes for five years, and we were reflecting on the tremendous changes, both personal and corporate, that have occurred between now and then.

As we spoke, we were being sized up by those floating between the tables, manifestly hoping to make a vital contact that might justify their investment before the week has even begun.

DAVID is, in that regard, an inevitable disappointment, and their concentration switched wholly towards our charismatic companion upon discovering that we are not in a position to dole out any work.

According to the prevailing wisdom, Cannes isn't as good as it used to be. The villains of this transformation are often held to be the tech companies that dominate the landscape, figuratively and literally, but it's not clear exactly how their land grab has altered the routine of those attending, which still largely revolves around swimwear and socialising.

One thing's for sure though, as the sun set on a day of blue skies and warmth, Cannes is not a bad place to be, and no one privileged enough to attend should complain about it, because there are many holding the forts back home who would rather be here than there.

David Reviews is hand-crafted at 7 Seven Sisters, Lenzie, Glasgow, G66 3AW. Editor: Jason Stone. Phone: 0141 776 7766. E-mail: jason@davidreviews.com.