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The sober guide to Cannes 2022

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The sober guide to Cannes 2022

What could be better than a nice refreshing glass of rosé in the sunshine on the mediterranean coastline?

Well, how about a nice refreshing drink on the Côte d’Azur, without the hot flushes, guilt and next-day nausea? It’s entirely possible and — dare we say it — even more enjoyable than an alcoholic one. More and more ad execs are headed to the Cannes festival to focus on the festivities rather than the refreshments. 

“I feel the most important thing for organizers to embrace moving forward is options, so that we are all able to enjoy and maximize the unique Cannes experience safely, in a way that works for everyone,” said Fiona McKinnon, CEO of mental healthcare specialists The Moment Company. “I have experienced Cannes week as a drinker and a non-drinker, and I have to say my best experience was sober. It wasn’t easy the first time, the peer pressure is real, however, I took the week to fully immerse myself in being there — really there.” 

Here are a few recommendations for ways to have fun at the event — sober style. 

Mocktails for the win

If you’ve never asked for a mocktail in Cannes, try it, you’re in for a massive treat. The bartenders are all prepped and ready and usually have amazing tastes planned, said Tom Jenen, chief revenue officer at measurement platform Brand Metrics. He added: “I remember a Hawaiian blast at the RTL Beach and a classy drink on the Smart yacht.”

For those who want a cute response to the question “why aren’t you drinking?” look no further than these lowkey workarounds. If you want something that looks like rosé without close inspection, try half Pellegrino Blood Orange and half soda, suggested Jenen. Hopefully, however, it won’t get to the point where people feel compelled to know what you are and aren’t drinking — at least based on Jenen’s previous experience. “In my experience, nobody cares what’s in your glass, they just care that you came to have fun with old friends and make new connections,” he added. 

Stock up on fresh, local produce

Make sure that you stop off at some fruit vendors at the beginning of the week to stock up, advised Anthony Lamy, vp of client partners for VidMob’s EMEA business. The melons, strawberries and peaches are particularly excellent in Cannes at this time of year, he continued. Doing so saves you scrambling around each morning for something quick to eat. If you do have time then you could always start the day with a good coffee on a terrasse behind the croisette. There is plenty of shaded seating where you can take in the bustling morning atmosphere, said Lamy. 

There’s also more emphasis on ‘eating like a local’ among those execs who plan on having a sober Cannes. Cherries and apricots are in-season and make for an easy vitamin-packed snack to have while advancing those conversations, said Virginie Dremeaux,  vp of marketing and communications for FreeWheel’s international markets at FreeWheel. She added “And if you are keen to get involved in a discussion about mental wellbeing at work, look up FreeWheel’s schedule, as we’ll be hosting a dynamic conversation on the topic with SheRunsIt during the week.”

A sober Cannes, isn’t a boring Cannes

Far from it. Talk to any ad exec who has experienced Cannes sober and you’d be forgiven for thinking they were talking about somewhere else. The simple matter of waking up in the morning with a clear head seems to make the world of difference to those who’ve traded the cocktails for mocktails. Julia Linehan, founder and managing director of boutique PR agency The Digital Voice, is one such exec. Of the six times she’s been to Cannes, two have been booze free. Guess which was better? The sober one. Hands down, no  contest, said Linehan. “The atmosphere, the sun, the company, the networking, the food, the yachts, the villas, the incredible buzz are all the same,” she continued. “The only things missing are dehydration and headaches.”

Now more than ever it’s easier to enjoy the event in this way. Indeed, the world has changed since the last Cannes and organizers along the Croisette seem to have made a more concerted effort to make those execs who aren’t drinking feel welcomed. 

“Look out for the relaxing meditation sessions hosted by The Moment Company and pack in all the brilliant early morning sessions, such as Good Loop Pretty Green Lies,” advised Linehan.

Remember, water is your friend

Evenings are where things get tricky; the happy hours, yacht parties and liquid dinners mean the peer pressure to drink is never too far away. A top tip for Fiona McKinnon, CEO of mental healthcare specialists The Moment Company, is to carry a bottle of water with you as you head out. Having something in your hand already can be a security blanket, means you don’t have to head out the bar right away, and also makes it less likely you will be asked if you are drinking if you are already taking sips,” she explained. “I found this a huge help and, bonus, also meant I stayed hydrated.” 

Take advantage of a more mindful Cannes

There are more yoga, fitness and wellbeing sessions on the schedule this year. In fact, Outbrain has set up a wellness retreat at the Martinez where visitors can unwind during meditation or enjoy the Cannes sea by paddleboarding. Similarly, Amazon will be hosting morning workout and wellness sessions at its spot on the port throughout the week. If neither of those booze-free options are your thing then there are smoothies at sunrise on the Cognitive yacht for the first three days of the week. 

“This is my fourth time attending Cannes. But even in previous years, many attended bike rides, morning yoga, and other healthy activities,” said Michael Nevins, CMO at ad tech vendor Equativ (formerly Smart AdServer). “We’ve hosted healthy events in the past and had great attendance. But this doesn’t mean people still didn’t drink and dance until 3: 00 AM. I drink a lot of water to stay hydrated and sober.”

Whisper it: think of Cannes’ more restorative qualities

This won’t be for everyone, but there’s something to be said about doing at least some prep. Book talks and workshops, with a view to embracing everything the festival has to offer, not just copious amounts of free flowing rosé and late boozy nights. It’s easier said than done, of course. That said, there are hacks to avoiding as many of those situations as possible. 

As McKinnon explained: “I avoided the long boozy lunches by scheduling early afternoon meetings and events, and reminded myself what a privilege it was to be able to hear from world class speakers.  In previous years I had used an afternoon session to enjoy a nap in a dark aircon room – I know I was not alone in this strategy.”

If you’re in need of an afternoon pick-me-up that isn’t an Aperol Spritz or want to avoid the festival’s rosé ice-lollies then why not take a walk into town for some gelato or even go shopping at one of the boutique stores on the Rue d’Antibes — a seven minute walk from the Croisette. No wonder Wavemaker’s global chief strategy and product officer Stuart Bowden goes there each year to break up the day.

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are
A player shouldering the ball



(Image credit: EA)

FIFA 23 might be the best game soccer game yet for terrible sports fans, as it lets you turn off commentary that criticizes your bad playing.

Now that the early access FIFA 23 release time has passed, EA Play and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can hop into the game ahead of its full release. But as Eurogamer (opens in new tab) spotted, they’ll find a peculiar option waiting for them.

FIFA 23 includes a toggle to turn off ‘Critical Commentary’. The setting lets you silence all negative in-match comments made about your technique, so you can protect your precious ego even when you miss an open goal or commit an obvious foul. The more positive commentary won’t be affected. 

Spare your feelings

A player dribbling the ball in FIFA 23

(Image credit: EA)

The feature looks tailored toward children and new players, who don’t want to have their confidence wrecked within mere minutes of picking up the controller. But even experienced players who just so happen to be terrible at the game might benefit.

It’s not perfect, though. According to Eurogamer, the feature didn’t seem to work during a FIFA Ultimate Team Division Rivals match, with critical comments slipping through the filter. Still, who hasn’t benefited from a light grilling every now and then?

Polite commentary isn’t the only new addition in FIFA 23. It’s the first game in the series to include women’s club football teams, and fancy overhauled animations that take advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S’s new-gen hardware. EA will be hoping to end on a high, as FIFA 23 will be the last of its soccer games to release with the official FIFA licence.

If disabling critical commentary doesn’t improve your soccer skills, maybe building a squad of Marvel superheroes will. Although you might not do much better with Ted Lasso wandering the pitch.

FIFA 23 is set to fully release this Friday, September 30.

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games. 

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch
The backs of the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro



(Image credit: Google)

We’re starting to hear more and more Google Pixel 7 leaks, with the launch of the phone just a week away, but tech fans might be getting a lot of déjà vu, with the leaks all listing near-identical specs to what we heard about the Pixel 6 a year ago.

It sounds like the new phones – a successor to the Pixel 6 Pro is also expected – could be very similar to their 2021 predecessors. And a new price leak has suggested that the phones’ costs could be the same too, as a Twitter user spotted the Pixel 7 briefly listed on Amazon (before being promptly taken down, of course).

Google pixel 7 on Amazon US. $599.99.It is still showing up in search cache but the listing gives an error if you click on it. We have the B0 number to keep track of though!#teampixel pic.twitter.com/w5Z09D28YESeptember 27, 2022

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According to these listings, the Pixel 7 will cost $599 while the Pixel 7 Pro will cost $899, both of which are identical to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro starting prices. The leak doesn’t include any other region prices, but in the UK the current models cost £599 and £849, while in Australia they went for AU$999 and AU$1,299.

So it sounds like Google is planning on retaining the same prices for its new phones as it sold the old ones for, a move which doesn’t make much sense.


Analysis: same price, new world

Google’s choice to keep the same price points is a little curious when you consider that the specs leaks suggest these phones are virtually unchanged from their predecessors. You’re buying year-old tech for the same price as before.

Do bear in mind that the price of tech generally lowers over time, so you can readily pick up a cheaper Pixel 6 or 6 Pro right now, and after the launch of the new ones, the older models will very likely get even cheaper.

But there’s another key factor to consider in the price: $599 might be the same number in 2022 as it was in 2021, but with the changing global climate, like wars and flailing currencies and cost of living crises, it’s a very different amount of money.

Some people just won’t be willing to shell out the amount this year, that they may have been able to last year. But this speaks to a wider issue in consumer tech.

Google isn’t the only tech company to completely neglect the challenging global climate when pricing its gadgets: Samsung is still releasing super-pricey folding phones, and the iPhone 14 is, for some incomprehensible reason, even pricier than the iPhone 13 in some regions. 

Too few brands are actually catering to the tough economic times many are facing right now, with companies increasing the price of their premium offerings to counter rising costs, instead of just designing more affordable alternatives to flagships.

These high and rising prices suggest that companies are totally out of touch with their buyers, and don’t understand the economic hardship troubling many.

We’ll have to reach a breaking point sooner or later, either with brands finally clueing into the fact that they need to release cheaper phones, or with customers voting with their wallets by sticking to second-hand or refurbished devices. But until then, you can buy the best cheap phones to show that cost is important to you.

Tom’s role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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