Clisson, Frankrike

17/6 – 19/6

HELLFEST OPEN AIR er en festival de fleste metalhoder snakker om gjennom hele året. Alle som skal på festival, snakker om Hellfest. Enten er det om den fantastiske line upen de har hvert år, eller det er om den dårlige organiseringen de har hatt i sine første leveår. HELLFEST OPEN AIR har vokst opp og de har lært av sine feil de første årene og ting er lagt mer til rette for publikum. Fortsatt er de best i klassen når det gjelder booking, for makan til line up skal du lete lenge etter. En flott blanding av punk, rock, prog og metal i sine mange herlige utgaver.

Hellfest foregår ved den franske byen Clisson, som ligger lokalisert sørøst for Nantes, nesten helt ute ved kysten helt vest i Frankrike. Hellfest Open Air har 4 scener der totalt 118 band skal spille. De første konsertene begynner på formiddagen og så går det normalt slag i slag til klokka 02:00. Problemet med en slik festival er at her spiller flere band samtidig og det er omtrent uunngåelig at band du gjerne vil se kræsjer og spiller samtidig. 

IGGY AND THE STOOGES – Headliner fredag 17. juni

I år koster et festivalpass til HELLFEST 139 Euro, noe som tilsvarer omtrent 1100 norske kroner. Det er ikke noe å si på, med tanke på line upen og banda du vil få se spille. Elleve hundre kroner for å se IGGY AND THE STOOGES, SCORPIONS, OZZY, ROB ZOMBIE, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, JUDAS PRIEST, DOWN, APOCALYPTICA, MR BIG, THE CULT, THIN LIZZY, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, IN FLAMES, CORONER, OPETH, MORMID ANGEL, KREATOR, THERION, MAYHEM, BOLT THROWER, CRADLE OF FILTH, MONSTER MAGNET, BAD BRAINS og KYUSS LIVES er alene helt latterlig billig. Det faktum at du i tillegg får muligheten til å se ARCHITECTS, U.F.O., ANGEL WITCH, DUFF MACKAGAN’S LOADED, MESHUGGAH, SODOM, DESTRUCTION, MUNICIPAL WASTE, WHIPLASH, ANATHEMA, ATHEIST, POSSESSED, BELPHEGOR, VADER, PRIMORDIAL, TRIPTYKON, 1349, SEPTICFLESH, DARK TRANQUILLITY, KORPIKLAANI, MORGOTH, GRAVE, THE MELVINS, CLUTCH, C.O.C., CHURCH OF MISERY, CONVERGE, D.R.I., HAWKWIND, ELECTRIC WIZARD, KYLESA, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER og BUZZOV EN gjør det ikke mindre bra. Dette er jo bare en del av banda som spiller på denne fantastiske festivalen. Tenk dette, hvis du forviller deg inn i det største teltet, dvs den tredje største scenen på fredagen, og blir der, så får du se SVART CROWN, MALEVOLENT CREATION, DHG, KRISIUN, PRIMORDIAL, VADER, BELPHEGOR, POSSESSED og MAYHEM…og det høres for meg ganske så greit ut egentlig. 

Norske innslag denne gangen er AUDREY HORNE, MAYHEM, DHG, 1349, TSJUDER.

Intervju med Ben
(Av Roy Kristensen og Paul Kearns)



Intervju med Jeff
(Av Sigve Torland)

June sees one of the biggest metal festivals in Europe, HELLFEST in Clisson, France, and we felt it was time to round up some questions and go looking for answers where they could be found without too much hustle (red: research ).

HELLFEST… Could you please provide us with a brief overview of the history of this massive festival?

Everything started in 2006 with the first Hellfest Open Air which was actually not the first event organized by Ben and Yoann (the 1st and 2nd of the festival). Both guys also organized the FuryFest from 2003 to 2005. The first Hellfest edition was not perfect, it was not so big and full of people but well years after some years the team managed to improve the festival and finally we’re where we are now… a big and massive festival, one of the biggest and finest one in Europe. With a lot of work and passion, you can do great things, Hellfest is the proof.

To make all this come together one would probably need more than one body and more than one mind, tell us a bit about the crew behind the festival, how do you make this all happen?

Ben (Hellfest boss) started to organize shows in 2001, when he still was a student. He met Yoann and they managed to organize the FuryFest. With time, as you can guess, they met people good (and bad ones) and they built their crew. Today, we’re 7 working all year long for the festival. I manage the promo, the other ones the technical aspect of the fest, the artistic side etc etc. It’s good team, we all work in a really good and friendly atmosphere.

We have been present in Clisson since the 2nd year of the festival and have seen the festival grow over the years. Are you at all worried that this will grow out of proportion?

Absolutely not, because we just don’t want it! Hellfest’s main force is its size and we won’t change it. Ok, next year, as you maybe know, the festival will have to move (the city of Clisson will build a school where we are now) but we will probably stay in town and if everything goes well we’ll probably extend a bit the area. Don’t worry though we’ll never be a new Wacken… 30 000 people by day should be the maximum (we’re at 25 000 now) and you’ll have loads of new things and surprises at Hellfest… a pretty good move in my opinion! 😉

SCORPIONS – Headliner lørdag 18. juni

Booking bands could be a problem for any organizer, with a festival like HELLFEST I suppose this is not a relevant issue, or is it?

To say the truth, it’s a lot easier for Ben to book bands now. I mean, Hellfest is a famous festival, the bands want to play at this festival so, if you can pay them, if they’re available, they will come! Though, of course you all have to know that everything is not possible. That’s not possible to ask to an American band which is not touring in June to come for a one shot. Well you can do it for one band, not for 10… because it’s expensive, you see what I mean. Other than that, it works pretty well, this is the reason why you can see more than 100 bands on the bill each year.

What is the top ten moments of the festival thus far?

If you’re talking about bands I would say that Manowar, Kiss, Twisted Sister, Slash, Alice Cooper or stuff like the Kyuss "reunion" last year or Carcass come back were great stuff. But there are so many good shows each year, it’s just impossible for us to give a list…

Have you suffered, like so many other festivals, from the financial crisis that struck Europe like a brick wall? If so, how?…if not, why not…?

Not really. Since 2006 Hellfest has become bigger every year! And this is still the case… we probably found the good recipe 😉 I don’t know it just works really well for us… Let’s hope that it will be for a long time! But hey, apparently you like to come every year so you could talk about it too…  🙂

Any dream acts past or present that has still to be on stage at HELLFEST?

We all agree on the fact that it would be great to have Maiden or Metallica on the bill one day. But it’s not so easy, they’re big bands they receive big offers from really big fests each year… But well, we’ll see, it will maybe happen one day!

OZZY OSBOURNE – Headliner søndag 19. juni

Heavy Metal has once again grown in popularity during the past few years, any thoughts on the matter?

This is maybe the case in Europe but not in France… Hellfest is sold out because we have loads of metalheads in the country but nobody talks about the music in big generalist medias and the concerts in the clubs are rarely sold out. Well Metal never died and will never die but is it back to the top, like in the 80’s? Probably not… Though the scene is still alive and probably bigger than at the end the 90’s… Probably because some newcomers like Gojira in France for example found a way to propose something new! And probably because Metal is just the thing 😉

What do you think is the benefit for any given band to play a venue like HELLFEST?

Well at first this is a good way to have a mega promotion in France, but I think that the festival is respected by metal fans and musicians all over the world now. In the end, if you play in a respected event, you’re respected, you see what I mean? Play at Wacken, and you could say that you’ve played in the biggest metal event. Play at Roadburn, you’ve played in THE "classy" festival… what about Hellfest? Well maybe a mix between these two fests actually… a "big" one but with a really cool and eclectic line up.

For 2011 what are YOU looking forward to the most?

Coroner without a doubt… This is one of my favorite bands! Apparently their first reunion show at Impetus festival last weekend was terrific! So I hope, really, I hope that I will have some free time to see them. It will be great!!! 😀

Any last words of encouragement as to why people from Norway should journey to France this year for HELLFEST?

You know what? We’re planning to visit Bergen and the Hole In The Sky next summer. So let’s do something: Norwegian people, come to France in June to show us how good you are and you could see what we’re able to do in your country in August! Seems to be good deal to me… but if you just want to know why you should come to Hellfest… visit our website (www.hellfest.fr) check the line up, check the pictures and you’ll understand why this is the place to be 😉

Oh and just to piss some editor off… What is your favorite choice of ice cream, and why?

Haha simple as fuck! Vanilla! Because this is a bit like Manowar… simple… but it always work!