CANNES — Cannes Lions has been criticized for becoming a boozy boondoggle and party paradise for ad execs rather than its reputation as a ground-breaking conference where creatives converge.
That criticism is just so unfair. Here’s an almost-comprehensive list of the infinite parties taking place amongst the important industry panels at the five-day rosé-infused festival.
Every major media, tech or ad shop has a presence in Cannes Lions, including Facebook, Google, Twitter, Spotify, Hulu, iHeart Media, MediaLink, Condé Nast, Page Six, LiveNation and Snap.
The programming kicks off Monday with several events opening the festival, as the daytime panels and presentations commence, the dizzying list of parties pile up.
WarnerMedia is throwing an opening night cocktail party at its venue on La Croisette, Cannes’ seaside boardwalk. And Snap will host a more demure opening at La Malmaison with artist Alex Israel.
MediaLink Chief Executive Officer Michael Kassan, dubbed “the King of Cannes” by media types, will host a party with Google and Condé Nast on the promenade, also on Monday.
Spotify and Hulu will also kick off Cannes at a private villa in the hills with a performance by Ciara. The music streaming company will also throw parties on Tuesday and Wednesday nights on the Spotify beach almost adjacent to the Carlton Hotel with surprise special performers.
On Tuesday, Snap will host a seaside luncheon for women at Cannes with board member Joanna Coles, who will be joined by Jeremi Ann Gorman and Betsy Kenny Lack.
Later that night, MediaLink and IHeart Media will throw its annual VIP executive dinner bash — traditionally the toughest ticket to get at Cannes Lions – at Hotel du Cap Eden-Roc in Antibes with a performance by Mumford & Sons.
Meanwhile, designer Rebecca Minkoff will also host a pantsuit party to celebrate women’s creativity and entrepreneurial spirit on Wednesday. Pop star Charli XCX, who is releasing her first album in nearly six years, will serve as the evening’s special guest.
Also on Wednesday, June 19, Page Six is hosting its inaugural Cannes Lions beach party with performances by DJs Steve Aoki and Samantha Ronson. The exclusive invite-only bash starts at 9 p.m. at Open Mic Beach.
Page Six’s calling card — and ad slogan — has traditionally been, “If you don’t want to be on Page Six, don’t do it.” However, in honor of this party, we’re temporarily changing it to, “Be at Page Six, do it anyway.”
If your Cannes Lions crew doesn’t need a month off after that, LiveNation and Citi will team up again for its annual party on Thursday at Villa Alang Alang, a sprawling mansion in the hills above Cannes with a so-far secret performer. Facebook and Google are also throwing bashes at their private beaches along the Croisette that night.
On Friday, the final night of the festival, for those who have super-human stamina, Google Beach will host a Google Pride event that’s open to the public, beginning at 4 p.m.