With the intensity of the Young Lions competition behind them, Augusta Grayson, James Davidson, Nicole Hetherington and Simon Fowler take a walk on the wild side of Cannes. The Kiwi contingent may have come away empty-handed from the Young Lions competition, but Cannes is not just about winning gongs. It’s also about seminars. And parties.
Sometimes roaming in a pack, sometimes breaking away from the pride to hunt alone, our young charges have been feasting on all the goodness that Cannes has to offer. By day, the Young Lions devolve into a sponge-like state, soaking up as much as their oversized brains will allow from the dozens of seminars and workshops that are on daily in the Palais de Festivals.
The nights, however, are a different matter. With the gentlemen resplendent in their finest Euro manpants and the ladies their most exquisite gowns, they prowl the streets of Cannes in search of that rarest of beasts – the A-List after party. Some parties are easier to find – and get into – than others. Tuesday night’s Gala Opening Party saw over 1000 delegates, jurors and VIPs cram onto Carlton beach for an epic party of gargantuan proportions.
There were silly hats. There was Lithuanian sexy dancing. There was an impromptu haka. There was free flowing alcohol and canapés. It was like the fall of Rome, only with fewer togas. Global recession? What global recession? Everyone was partying like it was 1985 and we were still in the middle of advertising’s mythological golden age of excess.
With only the Axis Awards as training, our Young Lions never-the-less battled manfully on into the wee small hours. By morning expert Zulu trackers were called in to hunt them down and return them – disorientated and suffering from mild head trauma – to their respective hotels, ready for another day of invigorating seminars and workshops.