Preview of Hellfest 2016 and highlights from Hellfest 2015

Picture Credits : Adrian Hextall 

It’s that time of year again, longer days, warm weather and the summer festival season. All around Europe, tents are being purchased, camper vans are being stocked with beer, touring schedules are being organised and the hordes are on the move.

One of the European highlights is the French festival Hellfest. Never really considered a country that ‘does’ metal, Hellfest eschews the wine and cheese stereotyping of the country and delivers the beer and the music over the course of three days. Situated in the small town of Clisson, 35 miles south east of Nantes, it can be seen as the perfect template for the festival experience.

No matter what style of rock or metal you like, Hellfest caters for it. It might seem at first glance quite heavy on the extreme end of the spectrum but the ignores then, most of the bands that play the main stages. Last year saw Alice Cooper, Nightwish, Scorpions, Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, NOFX, Korn, Faith No More, Billy idol and many more grace the main stages Check out our galleries below for some of the highlights, including the rather wonderful Fuel Girls and Pyrohex to keep the crowds entertained.

Highlights from Friday

Highlights From Saturday

Highlights From Sunday

Now in its 11th year, it is perhaps one of the most chilled festivals I’ve ever attended with both the local populace and the French police adopted a relaxed friendly and very very welcoming approach for the week of turmoil and chaos that events like these naturally bring.

This year’s line-up comprises Rammstein, Black Sabbath and Twisted Sister at the top of the bill. The latter two acts performing for the final time in each country they play this summer. Of the 140 bands playing the event, notable highlights include: Slayer, Anthrax, The Offspring, Ghost and Down.

To see Down on the bill is either a good or bad thing depending on your viewpoint surrounding Phil Anselmo’s recent outbursts. If acceptance and forgiveness is what binds the metal crowds together then Hellfest promoter Ben Barbaud’s refusal to remove Down from the bill despite pressure from local authorities (which cost them a €20,000 subsidy) should be highly respected. Some would see it as madness to waive such large subsidies but if you pull the band then surely social media and pressure in the face of the public becomes the winner. Anselmo has apologised for a serious lapse in judgement, his band mates are not to blame and suffer if they do not play so let the show go on !



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