The Memory Remains (2)

Hellfest in France by A French Girl

I just love Hellfest. I went there three times and I plan to go back there this summer. The first time I went there it was in 2007. There was a big fuss because on the first day there were huge problems concerning the organization. Some bands didn’t play, and there was a very long delay of several hours on the main stage (at this time there was one main stage, one middle-size stage and a small one in a tent). The weather really sucked, it was muddy all over the place. And it’s because of the weather that they had technical problems (water + electricity = not a good combination) on the main stage.
What I remember is that despite the weather, the wet socks, the “sleeping in the car because it was so muddy and dark we didn’t want to camp after all”, I really had a lot of fun! The billing was great, I think it was the best billing I’ve ever seen! Well I guess I’m exaggerating a bit, but believe me, seeing Emperor on the last day was totally magic, literally. I just remember I was never bored.

I went back there in 2008 and 2010. The billing was great as well (otherwise I wouldn’t pay 130 fucking Euros) and the weather as well! The organization got better and better. Still the toilets/showers are not perfect at all but I think you can’t expect much from metal festivals, or even from festivals in general. Since 2008 they’ve added some fancy decoration, at night it really looks great! (You certainly have to google it!) Sound quality is average. Sometimes it’s really good, sometimes it really sucks, especially on some scenes. It’s a pity because almost all the black and death metal bands play under the “Rock Hard” tent, but I found that the sound was always awful. So when you really like black and death and don’t really want to see the bands on the main stage, you’re quite fucked.

Oh that’s something I really love about Hellfest: the billing is REALLY various. I think there are all metal genres. I love the balance between straight-forward metal (hard rock/heavy/black/death), punk/hardcore, and doom/stoner/sludge. I personally like stoner rock a lot and the festival always offer some great stoner bands! Some years you can think there’s not enough black metal, that’s why some of friends don’t want to join. But as I enjoy other genres like stoner, I’m almost always happy about the billing.

On the other hand I think there are too many bands. Therefore there are some bands playing at the same time and when you like them all you really have to choose.

One huge downside is that food is so fucking expensive in Hellfest. I am French and Hellfest is a French festival, and man, I can tell the prices are a joke. A big joke that isn’t funny at all. Fortunately the drinks are not too expensive.


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