Another of Europe’s premier hard rock/heavy metal festivals, Hellfest, takes place in Clisson, France from June 19-21, 2015. One of the major European festivals, Hellfest has been in operation since 2006 and, therefore, is celebrating its tenth festival this June. Boasting over 150 acts and 6 stages for the 2015 event that will mark The Meister‘s first experience at France’s Hellfest I’m super stoked to add this event to my bucket list. Clisson, France is located about 40minutes away by car from Nantes and about four hours drive from the French capital of Paris. The Meister‘s first Hellfest (I have a feeling not my last) will begin with my arrival on June 18 in Nantes after spending the two and a half weeks prior tooting around European countries visiting and making friends and hopefully seeing a live band every night! Well, that’s my goal anyway for my “Euro Rock Trip 2015”, even if it’s just a guy with a banjo, I’ll count it as a live band! Thanks to a dear UK friend who I’ve travelled on The Monsters Of Rock Cruises with in past years, I was hooked up with Argon Events (Argon Events) once I decided to extend my European visit in 2015 and take in this fantastic event as well. Through Argon, I was able to obtain my festival ticket and also a hotel including day to day transportation to and from the festival grounds all in one neat package.
A few of the highlights on my hit list for Hellfest include some old standby bands such as Scorpions, ZZ Top, Judas Priest and Alice Cooper, all bands that I can never see enough live although ZZ Top I haven’t seen since the 90’s. There’s also bands like Airbourne who blew me away when I saw them in Toronto a couple of years back. Orange Goblin, Orchid, The Answer and Armored Saint are all bands whose music I’m familiar with but have not seen live. On top of all this, discovering many new acts from all genres of rock and metal is something high on my list as well and I have no doubt will run rampant over these three days. Probably the most exciting thing for me, however, are two bands that appear in the 2015 Hellfest roster: Motorhead and L7. Somehow I seem to have succeeded in missing Motorhead live every time through all these years of concert going, so hopefully Lemmy is healthy and I finally get to experience the Aftershock of one of the greatest and most influential bands in rock history. L7 is a band that I got into with their 1992 Bricks Are Heavy album (I’m hoping more than a couple of songs from this make the list), but have expanded from there to include their entire six album discography. The all-female punk/grunge outfit is known for their on-stage antics so this could be interesting, I hope they don’t make my “Shit List”! Just look at the promo poster, there’s more than enough rock and metal at this event and I’m ready to experience it all….or as much as my tired old fueled by alcohol bones will allow.
It appears from some internet reading on the handy but also evil and often untrustworthy Wikipedia website that Hellfest is billed as an extreme music festival and, therefore I would imagine, be subject to more scrutinization, drawing the wrong kind of attention. According to that, it appears that religious and right-wing groups have asked festival sponsors like Coca-Cola and Kronenbourg beer to withdraw their support of the event in past years. Wikipedia also says that “On June 9, 2010, the AFC (Associations Familiales Catholiques) sued the Hellfest, asking them not to allow people under 18 years old to attend the festival and to give them the titles of the songs to be played during the 2010 edition. On June 14, the judge refused their demand.” In any case Hellfest, arising from the ashes of the Fury Fest festival which took place from 2002-2005, started out as a three-day, two stage event in 2006, expanding to three stages for 2007. The year 2009 saw four stages and since 2011 has now grown to the six stage, 150 band production I’m about to experience in a couple of weeks!
The official Hellfest app has been downloaded and installed on my phone (hope there’s lots of free WiFi about as data use will most likely negate me having to sell my house to pay for it) I’m ready to rock in France, bring on “HeavenFest”…..with a lineup like that it definitely can’t be Hell!
If you’re attending this event and want to meet for a chat/beverage be sure to hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org. For those wanting to live vicariously through my trip, stay tuned to my personal Facebook (button below) and, of course, the Decibel Geek pages to follow my adventures. Full reviews of the complete experience and concert sets to follow here on Decibel Geek upon my return to Toronto.