Onlookers look at actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson as they leave the Palais des Festivals after a screening of the film “Asteroid City” on May 23, 2023 in Cannes, southeastern France.
In Cannes, the black market for invitations is in full swing, with tickets selling for more than $2,000 to see the latest “Indiana Jones” or more than 20,000 to hit the red carpet and spend an evening with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Accredited professionals and journalists have free access to screenings by reserving their tickets online, but dozens of people in tuxedos or ball gowns are already stationed each night in front of the Palais des Festivals in this city on the French Riviera.
Everyone hopes to get tickets that will allow them to climb the stairs like the stars and discover select feature films.
“I’ve seen three movies without paying anything. Nice people have given me tickets each time,” says Sienna, a 30-year-old Italian resident in Berlin. Looking for tickets.”
For his part, a 25-year-old Finn, who wishes to remain anonymous, assures that he is willing to “make an effort” to see “the last of Almodovar or Scorsese” despite having “little money”.
That night he was desperately looking for a spot to see Karim Ainouz’s “Firebrand” when a young man from Cannes, claiming to be a “municipal employee”, offered him a ticket.
– WhatsApp group –
Others are trying to cash in their tickets: An AFP journalist was offered a ticket to “Black Flies” for 50 euros on Thursday.
Not far from there, Jenny, a young American from Miami, says she’s a member of a WhatsApp group that “brings together about 600 people, sellers and buyers of tickets and invitations.”
In several screenshots you can see conversations in which an invitation to pay is offered, such as a ticket to the screening of the fifth installment of “Indiana Jones” for 2,000 euros.
A member of the group wrote in English, “I have a ticket to the Campari party. I can give it away.”
A certain Alex replies: “Can I have a ticket to Campari?” And the seller says: “Hello, yes, 300 Euro. Can you pay with cryptocurrency?”
Another seller offers a party invitation with Leonardo DiCaprio at “20,000 euros per person” or other party invitations at prices ranging from 9,500 to 16,500 euros ($10,000 to $17,000).
Natalia “finds two tickets to the red carpet on May 25” and would like access to luxury brand Chopard’s private party at the Martinez Hotel.
According to Jenny, the buyer of the most expensive ticket “impresses millions of followers who just want to be seen.”
“For him or the brands he promotes, 2,000 euros is nothing,” he says.
A regular at the festival, who did not wish to be identified, explains that the invitations are “given by brands to professionals, they are not paid for.”
“If these invitations, usually in the form of QR codes, end up on the black market, it is because they are resold by unscrupulous professionals who make money this way,” he says.
For their part, the organizers indicated that “as soon as the Cannes Film Festival becomes aware of a proven ticket resale, we act in consultation with the police and judicial authorities.”