The Hellfest heavy metal festival, one of the biggest in Europe, took place this year under the scorching sun of Clisson, a small village just south of Nantes.
Every year thousands of fans of all heavy metal sub-genres gather for three days of what may be described as “heavy sound therapy” near this quiet French village.
Or as one of Hellfest’s regulars describes it: “People from all social backgrounds mix here in a perfect child-like harmony, at this festival with a rebellious soul.”
So what does another of those regulars, Yannick, love so much about Hellfest?
“I like the relaxed atmosphere, where everyone has fun the way he wants, the good mood among all the fest-goers, people are laid-back, you can talk to anyone without any problem, everyone’s respectful and in solidarity with each other.”
Rebellious and also really quite laid-back.
“You can go to anyone in the crowd who are all similar at the end of the day. And that’s great. You meet new people, meet new groups, it’s a great bubble of liberty in fact. Three days of liberty, with no schedule constraints, you live as you want, and do whatever you want,” Yannick said.
In twelve years Hellfest has grown from a small local event into a full scale international festival, with a three day avalanche of non-stop hard and heavy music from bands from all over the world.
The oldies of the rock scene, such as Blue Oyster Cult, Aerosmith and Deep Purple get on stage along with some younger groups, such as the French black-metal band “Regarde les hommes tomber”.