Palais des Festivals et des Congrès de Cannes, where the Cannes Lions is being held this week, is an amazing building. While there is a huge amount going on, there are two auditoriums where the main presentations are taking place – The Grand Audi (seating 2,309) and The Debussy (seating 1,068). To get a seat for the hottest tickets during the week (yes, that probably means Kim Kardashian or Pharrell…) means lining up at least an hour in advance. Then when you are in, you are pretty much stuck there – which is a shame given the schedule clashes of great presentations during a packed week.
However, in the basement are two rooms that live screen all the presentations from the two main auditoriums. So far those rooms are pretty quiet. For example, I really wanted to see what Marilyn Manson had to say, but after 10 minutes wondered what Viola Davis and the producers of Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder etc had to say during the McCann panel about creativity, which was scheduled at the same time. Walk eight feet and get a front row seat for what (in my humble opinion) was a much more instructive and interesting discussion.
There’s also a myriad of small panels and workshops taking place in the basement, which also includes a showcase of all this year’s great work (which is why everybody should be at Cannes) – as well as the Cannes Archive. So tip of the day is – if you want to save time from queuing and want flexibility in the talks, then the screening rooms of the basement in the Palais is a great option.