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400 Images from HELLFEST 2018 Posted

Posted by on July 10, 2018 at 4:35 pm

Photos and words by Chris Bubinas 

The quaint community of Clisson, France, sporting a population of approximately 5,000 people, happily took its annual beatdown June 22nd – 24th as they once again played host to dozens of thousands of international metalheads, during the global pinnacle of heavy music festivals, the 13th edition of HELLFEST. View the entire photo gallery here.

Hellfest is enormous. It’s an event so massive, that the festival grounds alone, not including camping and parking consume over 25 acres. It’s so massive that groundkeepers work on new buildings, art installations and sculptures almost all year round, and when the time to hit the volume arrives, the festival requires 73 massive generators to power the beast. It’s an incredible weekend of music, pyrotechnics and art, colliding with the voracious fans who bask in the blast beats and throw back (literally) a hundred thousand gallons or so of beer and wine, and that’s just inside the festival.

The impressive lineup of 150+ bands is a three day metal marathon that has bands starting at 10:30 am and running across six stages until 2am, with many heart breaking decisions to be made as many excellent bands play at the same time as one another. It’s an experience so massive that the night doesn’t end with the headliners, Sunday night for example saw seven other bands perform after Iron Maiden had wrapped up their set, including Nightwish and Marilyn Manson.

Hellfest is a celebration of the metal community. Saturday morning the news spread like wildfire about the passing of Vinnie Paul, as fans lamented and shared stories with one another. While bands gave words of admiration and respect on stage, the most powerful moment came Saturday night when the massive video screens around the festival suddenly called for a minute of silence in Vinnie’s honor, a raucous crowd of 60 thousand suddenly became deathly silent and threw their horns in the air in respect, before a video montage of Vinnie’s legacy was placed. An incredibly emotional moment.

As an incredible weekend of weather and circle pits drew near to close, the festival played video footage across the grounds to tease out next year’s edition, the guys from Slayer appeared in video footage to announce that their final show in France would be at Hellfest 2019 and other bands – Manowar, Carcass, Mass Hysteria and Dropkick Murphys were also announced. For many if not most fans in attendance, myself included, it’s a “Hellfest for life” commitment once you fall in love with the experience for the first time, there is no turning back. And once again next year, the festival will be sold out before half the lineup is even announcement.

View the entire photo gallery here.