1 festival, 3 days, 6 stages, 150 bands, 115.000 festivaliers. That was Hellfest. One of the best festivals in Europe and worldwide. This year it was undeniably a Must, as it had one hell of a line-up, meeting the taste and needs of every single metalhead. Metalpaths couldn’t miss this party. So, we packed our bags and got ready for three days full of metal.
It was Thursday afternoon, and after quite an eventful trip, we arrived in Clisson. Many shuttles were waiting for the metalheads, coming from all around the world, to take them to the festival grounds. That was very convenient indeed! So we got into one, and as we went through the streets of Clisson, we noticed how green the town is, and of course the beautiful castle and the magnificent cathedral. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time to explore them, but it would be worth it.
Hellfest was located about 10 minutes outside Clisson. There were already hundreds of people waiting in line to get their pass-bracelets and get settled in the camping area, so we followed. The first impressions were that the camping area was very well organised. Grass covered a very large space, every camping section had its own toilets, so you didn’t have to wait for hours, and it was well illuminated. Right before the entrance, there were bars and canteens that served the traditional fast food for the hungry ones. The guitar lovers had the chance to participate in a competition and perform in front of the crowd, on a bus, and win guitars. Football addicts were also taken care of, as there was a video-wall showing matches of the Euro 2012. But as we were exploring the possibilities, we bumped into the first problems. Where would we find water? You had the option to buy a certain bracelet for unlimited access to water points, but there were no water points to be found. And there was no one that could help you. At a festival that attracts people from all around the world, I find it unacceptable that the personnel couldn’t even speak average English. After a bit of searching, we found out that the water points were very few inside the camping area, as well as in the festival area, and not spread around. But after we found our way around, there was no problem.
The only thing that was left to decide was what to see during these three days. The six stages offered great variety. The “Warzone” was for punk and hardcore fans and the “Valley” for stoner and doom fans. The “Temple” and the “Altar” were under the same huge tent had a death/grind and black line-up respectively, and if you stood at the right spot you could see both with just a turn of your head. The two mainstages, the one right next to the other, were housing the more mainstream bands and bigger names. The choice was very difficult, and not to mention that in our program we would have to fit some interviews and press conferences. But with three bands playing at the same time, in the end I believe we did well.
So we stocked ourselves with beers and water and waited for Hell to break loose.