Cannes: Exposing the not-so-chic side of the Côte d’Azur

Photo credit: Akira Yamaguchi

Most people will have heard of Cannes – on the South-East coast of France – in relation to the annual film festival that takes place there. But what of the other 11 months, when (most) of the A-listers have left for more exotic shores and the eager, but probably not so well-off tourists come to soak up the sun and the sights?

The fading glamour that recedes into the sunset post-film festival can certainly be felt in the summer months. Red carpets are rolled up and security guards, outside Louis Vuitton and the like, become more stern and unwelcoming. The heat remains glorious and in the immediate vicinity of the town there is sufficient entertainment to sustain one’s interest for up to two weeks. Art galleries and theatres are less abundant in comparison to the country’s capital, Paris. However, the night life is extravagant and certainly enjoyable – that is if one has the pocket to sustain the hedonism.

Palais Club is an excellent 6000 capacity venue with big acts such as Sean Paul and 50 Cent performing on an almost daily basis, as well as more rock’n’roll gigs in the early evening. Be prepared to pay €50 on the door though, and approximately half of that for a drink.

Further out, Gotha Club (run by the same promoters as Palais), is often free entry and one is equally as likely to see famous artists such as Jamie Foxx here. It is quite evident which of the two aforementioned clubs is recommended for a travelling student on a budget!

Whilst the clubs are vibrant – with dancers and fabulous décor, one must be aware of the danger that comes with reality’s dawn at 6 or 7am. Lost souls wandering at night are vulnerable to the villains that creep the beach, stealing handbags and occasionally injuring those who get in their way. The beauty and tranquillity of Cannes during the day is starkly contrasted at night.

Cannes is most certainly a conflicted town. Natural peace and harmony are its welcoming traits whereas the rampant hedonism and overindulgence leave a bad taste in the mouth. These opposing atmospheres sit literally alongside one another. However, should this be seen as shocking or unique to Cannes, as surely these are characteristics of many of the world’s most famous tourist destinations?

Photo credit: Akira Yamaguchi



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