Music at Cannes Lions: 8 Speakers to Listen to

Alyssa McGregor-Hastie, CORD London.


Now in its 62nd year,  Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is unquestionably the most important event in the world of the creative communications. Guaranteed sunshine and endless networking opportunities aside, it’s the promise of seeing talks and panels led by advertising moguls, from WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell and Publicis boss Maurice Lévy,  to celebrity socialites like Kim Kardashian that justifies those 8am starts (assuming you’ve even gone to sleep in the first place).

For us, this year brings something different to the table, and not only because this weekend happens to coincide with the Fête de la Musique (free music events – need we say more?). Music’s increasingly important role in helping brands and agencies connect with consumers has led to a stellar line-up of speakers from the industry populate our itineraries. Here are the magic eight that will wave the flag for all musicians and music-lovers (and be the reason why we’ll be fangirling in the front row):

1.  Judging by ability to play fills at breakneck speed, it only seems natural to have legendary drummer and member of Metallica Lars Ulrich participate in the panel for “Music & Branding: Moving at ‘The Speed of Culture’ on Monday 22nd at the Audi A centre.

2. With collaborations boasting the likes of Amy Winehouse, Sean Paul and Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson has rightfully earned his reputation as one of the leading producers of the past decade. Catch / swoon at him at “Music in the Digital Age” on Wednesday 22nd at Grand Audi.

3. Up until recently, the concept of music has been exclusive to sound. Not anymore. Find out why at the “Beyond Sound – The Music Experience of the Future” on Sunday 21st at Audi A,  led by aesthetic philosopher and founding member of MAE (Multisensory Aesthetic Experience).

4. Not exactly one to need an introduction, Will.I.Am’s  latest entrepreneurial venture with Coca-Cola for EKOCYCLE has earned him a place on the panel for  “The New Engine of Creativity: Data Science” on Wednesday 24th in the Debussy auditorium.

5. Having had his fair share of lawsuits and media coverage, we’re looking forward to seeing how Marilyn Manson’s controversial views are bound to make the 9th Annual Grey Music Seminar one of the most memorable talks of the festival.

6. Snoop Dogg. Justin Timberlake. Quincy Jones. Gorillaz. Hans Zimmer. These are just a few names on Pharrell Williams’s endless list of collaborators and reason for his presence bring requested at “Creating Constellations: Unleashing Creativity Through Collaboration” on Tuesday 23rd.

7. Though we hope he’ll unleash his secret on how he keeps his hair so sleek, we’re also looking forward to hearing the most downloaded DJ in the world David Guetta share his wisdom at “Making the Brand: Authenticity and Influence through Celebrity Endorsements” on Thursday 25th in Grand Audi.

8. Our last personal encounter with Natalie Imbruglia was seeing her walk her dog in West Hollywood (true story).  In equally unusual circumstances, we’ll be seeing the Aussie musician/actress involved in an artist negotiation role play in “The Art of the Deal: Live!” on Monday 22nd at Audi A.

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