Cannes Film Festival plagued by ticket headaches and travel issues – The Hollywood Reporter
The streets around the Martinez Hotel were lined with fans on a scorching Wednesday. Eva Longoria, L’Oreal ambassador, made a glamorous lunchtime outing, trailed by photographers, wearing a bright orange Victoria Beckham dress.
Minutes later, an exasperated power agent was feverishly texting the sidewalk a few feet away, trying to get an ensemble to wear for a Palace premiere that evening. The representative’s luggage was lost in transit, another example of the tragedy that has plagued countless festival attendees.
Such is the juxtaposition of Cannes – breezy glamor and intense stress – that was on full display during the 75th edition of the festival. By far the most pressing nuisance, however, has been ticketing issues. The festival’s online ticketing portal has been a hot issue, plagued by server outages all week. The drama unfolded on opening day, Tuesday, as the news site continued to clock and crash completely.,
Fest officials released a statement linking technical difficulties to bots and blaming “acts aimed at saturating the site with ticket requests, thereby preventing festival-goers from accessing it.” Officials worked to remedy the problem, eventually releasing a new link for the press. On Wednesday, however, more than a hundred festival-goers were spotted queuing in a hallway of the Palace to try to access the festival computers, which at the time was the only way to get tickets.
“I hope they find a way to make the system work as well as it always has,” Picturehouse COO Jeanne Berney said. THR, confirming that she and company CEO Bob Berney fought against the system. “Especially now that we are entering the modern era.”
Tickets weren’t Berney’s only concern this week. “It was our first dinner in Cannes, and we were sitting outside on the sidewalk. I put my bag on the back of my chair, and when we left, [my phone] was missing,” she revealed of the theft, something she never experienced while attending the festival. “I followed it, and it was somewhere on the highway outside of town. I should have been more careful.
Caution could not have prevented further misfortunes this week. Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Helen Hoehne reportedly faced major travel issues, as did countless festival attendees who traveled from New York, where there was a major storm earlier this week.
A THR the examiner’s train from Paris to Cannes was due to arrive at 4:30 p.m. on Monday. But at 3:30 p.m., during a stopover in Toulon, the attendant announced that there would be an “indefinite delay” due to problems on the track which prevented the train from continuing on its way.
Upon hearing that delays could reach nearly five hours, travelers rushed to the exits in droves, frantically searching for taxis and rental cars or logging onto ride-sharing apps, some of which charged more than $300. In a bizarre turn of events, after many secured the transport, the technical issues were resolved and the train resumed its course, arriving in Cannes around 80 minutes after its original arrival time.
Claudia Pacella, designer of cashmere brand UAVI Republic, traveled to Cannes to attend DPA’s luxury gift show, but her luggage didn’t. “I had to write all my business cards by hand. It’s unconventional, but it’s possible,” she said of sailing without her things for three days. “I hear it’s very common these days because airports and airlines are having staffing issues due to the pandemic. Everyone seems stressed lately.