Sad but true: the recession has hit the upcoming Cannes Film Festival
in the South of France
next month, an international symbol of glamorous excess. Cutbacks are being made everywhere, from ritzy parties to the type of food being served, the AFP tells us
. For starters, Vanity Fair
has canceled its annual star-studded party, the social highlight of the festival, while the VIP nightclub Jimmy'z lost two key sponsors, Fendi
, and Louis Vuitton
said it would skip AmFar's big-ticket AIDS charity fundraiser.
"We're experiencing an unprecedented world crisis and it's also affecting the Riviera
and Cannes," says Michel Chevillon, head of Cannes' hotel association. "Companies are sending fewer people, for shorter periods." 70% of the area's hotels have frozen their room rates compared to last year, and many are taking bookings for less than the full 12-day period, something normally unheard of at festival time, Chevillon tells the AFP.
Overall attendance at the festival is expected to be down for the first time in decades. "People are afraid it will hurt their image to be seen in a place associated with wealth," Cannes
deputy mayor David Lissnard tells the AFP. Yacht
charters are also suffering, as brokers struggle to find clients in Cannes' port, where all 60 berths for megayachts were booked up in anticipation. "There's a lot less demand this year for yacht rentals and a lot of pressure on prices," says broker Valerie Ruiz, who rents out yachts up to 200-ft. for the festival.