Thursday, June 21st
Time for the festival season to start has come. What better way to start it then to be a part of the 13th edition of Hellfest! And for my own count, the 8th time at this amazing festival. Before one name was even known to us, I knew it had to become special, the trailers on the site made me even more curious as I normally am to know with which surprises they will come up with on the next edition. Now judgement day is here and with names as Hollywood Vampires, Joan Jett & the blackhearts, Body Count, Kataklysm, Nordjevel, Limp Bizkit, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and the list goes on, it can’t go wrong!
3 days of music, seeing back friends, meeting new ones, good weather & beer lies ahead.
Our journey starts at 6.30 am, when a friend and fellow photographer picks me up and the 4 of us drive about 700km towards the gates of hell in Clisson!
Quite surprised how easy the ride went we arrive somewhere in the early afternoon, driving to the closest camping spot where we could drop out our stuff and make base camp. That went pretty easy as well; even parking didn’t seem to be an issue!
Setting up our tents and then making our way to the entrance, we arrive around 4pm; hour said that the gates would finally open! After a year of waiting, that couldn’t go fast enough!
As always lots of people already standing there waiting, hoping to be the first to enter. As we make our way to pick up our wristband and passes, security is nice enough to hand out bottles of water to keep us hydrated. Luckily for us, it is not as hot as last year.
Once we have the passes we continue towards the “metal square” at Hellcity where it is quite packed already. The line of people wanting / hoping to score tickets for next year already is crazy to say the least! You have to admire the dedication of all these people, waiting for hours in line to get tickets, even though this edition still need to start, they want to be back next year without even knowing one single name of the line up! But I guess it is no secret that Hellfest always seems to surprise us with the most amazing line up.
Since we are still “off duty” we are enjoying a few drinks, meeting up with friends, etc.
Walking over the camping, I notice pretty fast that it is quite packed already and knowing the line of people still waiting to get in, I’m pretty sure there will be no space left in no time.
New this year is that you charge money to your wristband. My guess, that this is a scoop for a festival? Also a good thing to know is that if you didn’t use all your money, you can easily ask for a refund of it. So having a smart phone, Internet and credit card, it should be fixed to get on there in no time right? Sadly no… for some reason, Internet connection is almost ZERO, which will be like this the whole weekend sadly… I remember last year, the connection was excellent, makes me wonder if the phone companies in France wanted to punish us or if there were issues of some kind!? I also gave the free Wi-Fi a try but didn’t seem to work either, or it was overcharged. I hope that gets fixed next year though! Especially in times where people are meeting up through social media rather then text or call. Also a good thing to know is that if you didn’t spend all your money, you can easily ask for a refund of it.
Luckily most festivalgoer took advantage of pre-loading their wristband with their ticket number, so the cashless lines were very small and you had money loaded in no time!
And every time you ordered a drink or something to eat, the staff was kind enough to let you know how much there was left to spend.
As tradition it wants, Thursday evening is bands playing in the metal corner. I kind of wonder if there is some line up known for this? I only figured it out through an event I seemed to have RSVP for on Facebook, but no idea if it is actually mentioned in the official Hellfest booklet, which I seem to have missed picking up this year.