09.05.2011 0

Features: May is THE month to star gaze on the Riviera but with the Monaco Grand Prix and Cannes Film Festival not clashing for the first time will a little magic be missing?

Three weeks of madness

Traditionally, May is the month when things on the Riviera really start to hot up, and it's not only the weather that raises the temperature on the ground. At no other time of the year will the shores of the Côte d'Azur be so packed, and its hotels so booked up, with the world's rich and famous.

 That's because anyone who's anyone, from the A-list to the Z-list, lands in Cannes for its annual film festival and in Monaco for its famous grand prix. And they are not alone, along with the celebs, come the film industry professionals, the Formula 1 teams and the hoards of movie fans and car racing enthusiasts. It inevitably leads to 14 days of mid-May madness and one particularly crazy weekend.

That was until now. This year, for the first time in recent history, the Monaco Grand Prix falls not on the third Sunday of the month but on the last. So what exactly does this mean in layman's terms?

1) Less film stars at the GP & less F1 stars watching films
One of the genius' of the two events coinciding was that the Hollywood glitterati promoting their wares at the Festival de Cannes could pop over to Monte Carlo to enjoy a spot of rubber burning action from the track side without having to book any additional flights. This revved up the glamour stakes at an already high profile affair. Likewise, when Lewis Hamilton (pictured above) or Jenson Button wanted to take a break they could always wash off the grease and swap the pits for a swanky premiere.

With the grand prix taking place a week after the festival finishes however, many of the A-listers will have already jetted back to LA. And if Hamilton wants to watch a flick he'll have to cough up for a ticket at Monaco’s Cinema Sporting. Of course, there will be those who fall between the two camps - Paris Hilton, J-Lo, Hamilton's girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger - and they’ll no doubt use the opportunity to extend their stays on luxury yachts just off Saint-Tropez.

2) More work for the paparazzi
Whereas they could get two jobs done in one before, they'll now have some days to kill between snapping Brangelina on the Croisette and Albert and Charlene on the palace balcony. Poor lambs.

3) An extra week of public transport disruption
Local commuters will love this one, seven more days of disrupted timetables, getting squashed on buses and platforms and absolutely no chance of snaring a seat on the train.

4) Even bigger profits for hotel owners, taxi drivers and ice cream vendors
Some tourists will no doubt book in for longer holidays on the Riviera so that they can catch both extravaganzas - this can only be a force of good for local businesses at the start of the summer. 

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