2:30pm: Apart from a few old ladies, the odd Russian prostitute and the absolute cock who zooms around the block continuously in his probably rented matte black Lamborghini, the Croisette is strangely quiet. A large crane opposite the hotel is assembling huge sections of what I’m told will be ‘Spotify Beach’, a place where I assume you’ll be able to listen to music or share your playlists in some cutting edge digital programmatic way or something. Either way, I don’t have a wristband to get in there. There are people walking around with armfuls of them. Fuck knows how as the thing hasn’t started yet. I presume they’re just thin, coloured strips of paper designed to get them laid.
7:46pm Serious jetlag and free Rose are a hellish combination, especially when you’re meeting up with your fellow judges for the first time. We’re all wearing our plate-sized passes, but some people have put them on backwards by mistake. This leads to me spending an inordinate amount of time excitedly talking about mixed reality and digital with one of the people who work here. To their enormous credit they nod and smile politely until I stumble off into the wrong toilet. I eventually find the cyber group, an absolutely wonderful group from some of the best agencies in the world. We bond over stories of research groups and endless pitches before staggering off into the night. Someone suggests double whiskies at the Gutter Bar. This decision will cost me heavily in the morning. But hey, everything costs you heavily in Cannes. The whiskies alone were about thirty euros.
3:45am Wide awake and deeply hungover. I can’t get back to sleep so I attempt to read but the words are multiplying thanks to the delightful cocktail of whisky, jetlag and rose. I lay in silence. In the distance, someone’s having a loud party. Welcome to Cannes.
9:00am Judging. We sit in absolute silence and watch hundreds of case study videos. Most of them start with the line ‘We live in a divided country.’ That’ll be the Trump affect kicking in. The Nurofen Plus is kicking in too. Thank god for that.
8:55pm I’m stuck on my hotel balcony, a balcony that’s literally inches wide. Like a fucking idiot I’ve closed the glass door behind me and to my horror it’s clicked shut. As my hotel door is also locked and I don’t have my phone, I’m seriously facing the horrific and deeply embarrassing prospect of having to sleep out here in my boxer shorts. I’m genuinely considering crawling along the ledge to get into the next room but as I’m not Jason Bourne I decide it’s a stupid idea, especially as if the room next door is empty I’ll have to crawl back again. I try to wave for help as I can see someone walking around in a dressing gown in one of the rooms opposite. For a brief moment, our eyes meet. As he closes his curtains with an angry flourish I immediately realise that all he would have seen is a middle-aged man wearing next to nothing sort of waving him over for an impromptu party or something.
9:20pm I need a wee. Badly. Normally, public urination isn’t my thing but I’ve had a few beers earlier and the situation is becoming urgent. As I lean over the guardrail and prepare to go for it I realise that the light breeze will probably mean everything will splash onto the balconies below me and I have absolutely no idea who’s down there. It could be anyone. Knowing my luck, it’ll be David Droga. I’ve heard the man’s an absolute gentleman, but I think that would change pretty fucking quickly after a shower of beery wee. I decide to hold on, making the whole situation even more miserable.
9:55pm I’m saved. A maid has just walked into my room to drop off some bottled water (so much for locking your door from the inside, they can still get in.) As I violently bang against the window she looks up and laughs long and hard before letting me out. It’s precisely this pause that leaves me with absolutely no doubt that she’ll immediately tell the entire staff, thus completely destroying the rather cultured and professional image that I’ve been trying to put across over the last two days. I’m now going to be ‘the idiot in room 358.’ Fuck it. I’m changing hotels in a few days.
12:34pm Wyclef Jean is judging sound and causes a ripple of excitement when he turns up at our little juror lunch area. I say ‘Don’t look, but I think that’s fucking Wyclef Jean’ to one of my fellow jurors only to find that he’s literally standing behind me. To add insult to injury, I find myself looking down at his pass to check his name WHILST HE’S WATCHING ME DO IT.
That’s just the kind of thing I do.