Ten Reasons Why Hellfest Will Kick Arse
Going to Hellfest this year? There's more reasons to love it than the headliners...
The earth shakes. The maw of a sweaty, unwashed demon extends to its fullest before engulfing the idyllic French commune of Clisson. This is, of course, Hellfest. Now celebrating its tenth birthday, the blasphemous bash has morphed from a mid-tier affair to a monolith that wrangles with Download and Rock am Ring in terms of appeal. Here's why...
The Line-up Is Ridiculous
It's a mish mash of every metalhead's varying musical fetishes. Think Marilyn Manson is nothing more than Nicolas Cage dressed as a vampire? Go watch Venom or Biohazard. Can't stand Slipknot? Have your pick between Dead Kennedys or Norway's very own Shining. From black to thrash, nu metal to punk and prog to death metal, Hellfest is one of the most expansive weekenders out there, catering for the needs of mainstream rock audiences but still maintaining their steely underground ethics. With that being said, the Alice Cooper/Cradle Of Filth/Mastodon/Children Of Bodom clash is fucking horrendous.
It's All Very Compact And Superbly Orchestrated
The arena itself is a beer can's throw from the campsite – don't actually litter your empties, they're proper eco-friendly – and, once inside, all the stages are more or less a minute's walk from one another. Well, apart from the Warzone stage, which can be accessed via a suitably magical forest. Staggered stages ensure that none of the acts on either main stage clash: Motorhead, Five Finger Death Punch, Alice Cooper, Lamb Of God, Judas Priest and Slipknot one after the other, with barely five minutes in between to scrape our ruptured ears from the floor? We'll take it. Bands also play from 10:30am until am the following morning, ensuring everyone gets ample bang for their buck (well, Euro).
It's Hotter Than England
You could say this about pretty much any other summer festival – or even Soundwave, in Australia's summer – but France straddles the line between British weather and uncomfortably sticky heat found closer to the Equator. In short: the perfect festival climate.
**The Exchange Rate Is Pretty Decent At The Moment
**We went down to Foreign Exchange with £120 and came out with €165. That's a sizeable amount of extra beer to be consumed.
**Everyone's Bloody Lovely
**Were a group of metalheads to stroll past a school in England, they'd probably be subjected to a violent volley of homophobic slurs and bits of leftover lunch. In Clisson, we walked past a primary school and the kids were cheering and raising the horns from the classroom window. That is fucking metal.