Re­stric­tions on bar en­try at Cannes could ‘kill en­ergy’

Campaign UK - - NEWS - By Si­mon Gwynn

A stricter ad­mis­sion pol­icy for bars and ho­tels at this year’s Cannes Lions risks chang­ing the na­ture of the event, in­dus­try lead­ers have warned.

Day­time ac­cess to pop­u­lar ho­tel bars will now be re­stricted to fes­ti­val pass hold­ers and their guests. The rule cov­ers five ho­tels along the Croisette – Hô­tel Bar­rière Le Ma­jes­tic, In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal Carl­ton, JW Mar­riott, Grand Hy­att Cannes Hô­tel Martinez and Le Grand Hô­tel – and lasts un­til 8pm. En­try is open to all af­ter that time.

James Mur­phy, co-founder of Adam & EVE/DDB, said or­gan­is­ers need to be “wary they don’t ac­ci­den­tally kill off the unique magic” of Cannes, which has room for ev­ery­one from “cor­po­rate high rollers” to en­trepreneurs and cre­atives on place­ment.

He added: “Lock­ing them out, and mak­ing it the pre­serve of the gi­ants, will kill some of the en­ergy and edge.”

Those with­out a pass who wish to en­ter the bars as guests of del­e­gates will need to gain “ho­tel ac­cess” via the Cannes Lions app.

En­try to the har­bour will also be re­stricted to pass hold­ers between 8am and 6pm each day.

The change runs the risk of mak­ing the event “a lit­tle bit more bor­ing and cor­po­rate”, Andy Nairn, found­ing part­ner at Lucky Gen­er­als, said.

But he in­sisted that the city be­yond the Croisette was just as im­por­tant: “Some of the nicest, most con­struc­tive meet­ings we’ve had have been very in­for­mal, out­side the main drag.”

Mean­while, Pete Markey, Aviva’s brand com­mu­ni­ca­tions and mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor, ar­gued that it wouldn’t be a huge is­sue if the pol­icy had an im­pact on the fes­ti­val: “It’s a re­ally in­ter­est­ing time for events like this to de­fine what they’re about.”

With so many events for mar­keters to choose from, each one needs a clear iden­tity, he added: “If do­ing this sharp­ens up what Cannes is about, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. What it can’t do is be­come all things to all peo­ple.”

The Cannes Lions web­site states that the change is in re­sponse to “very high de­mand” for ac­cess to ho­tel bars and restau­rants. How­ever, a spokes­woman told Cam­paign that plans are still be­ing con­firmed.

Passes for the fes­ti­val, which runs from 17 to 24 June, start at €3,115 (£2,650) for the full week.

Cannes: sev­eral bars will be open only to del­e­gates and their guests in the day

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