Hellfest - Starting the Second Decade
|Event:||Hellfest Open Air 2016|
|Written by:||Darkside Momo|
Hellfest 2016 by Darkside Momo (47)
Ahhh, Hellfest… The biggest French metal festival, and for a time the only one. We here in the MS towers have quite a few fond memories of it. We weren't here last year for this tenth anniversary edition, but by all accounts it was a success.
And, as you'll have guessed, we (well, at least I) will be there, so expect a report about it sometime during July.
Now, I won't really introduce y'all to Hellfest once again - there's this two-years old but still relevant article, and a string of reports with a shitload of galleries for that . But for those too lazy to check, here are a few numbers:
- More than 140 bands playing on six different stages (well, seven if you add the small Metl Corner one near the campsite);
- More than 50000 audience per day during 3 days - which is admittedly quite a lot;
- And, as you can guess, it's already the eleventh edition (oh my...)
Quite impressive for a festival in a land where metal was and still is non-existent to the mainstream audience. Sure, they started small (22000 persons in total in 2006), almost got bankrupt after that first edition, then the climatically catastrophic 2007 could have ruined it all. Yet the music was good, and then metalhead flocked en masse to the 2008 edition, which proved to be the best Hellfest ever for most of those involved. The rest, as they say, is history.
Site and sights in 2008:
And in 2014:
What'll be new in 2016 and other polemics
The cashless bars (with pre-charged specific 'credit cards') already ain't new anymore, as they were introduced last year.
Same as the extensive visual ornaments - a Hellfest trademark, that are more and more expansive as the years pass. Check for example this French newspaper article for two pics of last year's decorum.
What, what? Is that Lemmy on the sketch? Yep. They're planning a 15 meters tall statue in hommage to him. We'll be sure to bring you a picture of it
Still, this huge decorative business (which, in 2015, costed 4 million € out of a total budget of 16 million €) has its detractors, who don't like the 'metal Disneyland' feel or the impact on the 3-days pass prices. Visuals are good, a nice bonus, and have always been a part of Hellfest, but we're here for the music, right?
As far as usual criticism and opposition goes, Catholic extremists still maintained their anti-Hellfest campaign, but they're more and more subdued and inaudible - at last. What made much more noise was that Down / Phil Anselmo affair. Remember that one? It started with a white power gesture, and ended with Hellfest defending Phil, the French regional administration yanking the small financial support they gave (all here) and Down cancelling everything.
Nothing out of the extraordinary these days :-/
To finish on a lighter note, let's mention the Hellfest - Deezer partnership. Called 'Deezer Open Hell Stage', it's basically a contest to get your band playing at Hellfest! Submissions are open until mid-May, then nine bands will be chosen to play this year at Hellfest on the Metal Corner stage (the one near the campsite, remember?). Out of those, the one with the most votes from Hellfesters will win a custom Gibson guitar and, more importantly, a slot on the mainstages for Hellfest 2017!
Nice, don't you think? Find more about it here!
Hellfest often tried to bring rare bands on the bill, alonside more mainstream ones or old reccuring friends (see Phil Anselmo, above - or Walls Of Jericho, who are here every year or so), like Coroner in 2011. This year, we'll have - among others - Solefald, the Korean folk / post / noise band Jambinai, whose 2012 album Différance was loved by quite a few people aroud these parts, Ratos De Porao, No One Is Innocent, and the first Ludwig Von 88 show since 1999…
Ludwig who? Yeah, I guess they're not that known outside French-speaking countries, yet they were a really influential punk / rock with lots of funny and sometimes quite stupid songs about everything and nothing, including serious subjects like drugs and war, but almost always sung about in a derisive or satirical way.
Oh, and they're not fascists, far from it. Typical punk spirit once again
That's how they announced their return. "FIFTEEN YEARS AGO, THEY WERE BEAUTIFUL. Today, are they... old? Julio Iglesias fans? In Paradise with Lemmy Bowie? Married to Lauren Bacal? Members of Rotary Club? In hospice care? Rich assholes? In a hippie monastery in Goa or Kathmandu? Pascal Sevran's personal assistants? Playing live the 18th June at Hellfest?"
Want some mainstream? Powerhouse Rammstein will (finally) be in the place; you'll also have Black Sabbath on their last tour - same for Twister Sister btw - and the usual Slayer, plus The Offspring (but I'll be much better seeing Converge, mind you).
Full line-up is here.
Yeah, it costs quite a bunch (200€… well, 197€ to be precise). But it was almost sold-out even before the first bands were announced - that's how big Hellfest has become in French metal culture. Its success gave birth to other, smaller festivals (Motocultor, Xtreme Fest, Sylak Open Air, Fall Of Summer…) which is quite awesome in our non-metal country.
So, let's drink beers and wine - Kingdom of Muscadet ftw! - and check some great bands live!
||Written on 28.04.2016 by Once your regular Hellfest reporter, now retired. I (strangely enough) listen to a lot of metal. And enjoy good beers, comics, novels and role-playing games.|
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