As a first time goer to one of the biggest European metal festivals, Hellfest‘s 13th edition was for me a time to remember. Starting with the grounds filled with all kind of rustic buildings, pyro & bonfires all around and continuing with the killer lineup, this was an experience I am already looking forward to repeating. Over 150 bands and around 60,000 people took over the small, picturesque town of Clisson, France on from 21 – 23 June, 2018.
Day 1 at Hellfest: June 21
Because of the late arrival on Thursday night, I joined the festival pretty late on the first day, starting the “hell” experience only late in the afternoon. The layout of the stages was pretty much easy to get to. There were two large side by side stages for the main acts and three smaller covered stages, each focused mainly on specific genres. The valley hosted more sludge, stoner and psychedelic rock and roll bands such as Neurosis, Eyehategod, Crowbar, Bongzilla, Church of Misery, Kadavar, and Lucifer while the other two, The Temple and Altar, rotated exclusive death, grindcore and black metal acts. The Warzone stage was dedicated to punk rock and hardcore and this was fairly far from the other stages.
After crossing down the bands I wanted to check, I noticed that I would have to stay more around Temple, Altar and Valley as bands like Napalm Death, Carnivore A.D., Solstafir or Satyricon were on my “don’t miss out” list. So I did start the day with Nordjevel, a Norwegian black metal band whose debut album “Nordjevel” I had the chance to listen to in 2016 and I have in my playlists even nowadays. Unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to stay for the whole set as I had to run for the next band on my list. At this point I realised that I will not get the chance to properly enjoy the acts of my favourite bands as the timeframe between bands was pretty short and besides that the queue to get in the pit was also… remarkable. New challenges in my photography roads and pit stories. Only get to shoot one song, if you are lucky (or early) enough to get in the pit because before all of us, priority media badges occupied the pit.
Nevertheless, I was lucky enough to get quite some bands before my lens in my first day, even though that meant only staying for half the time of their acts.
Friday was therefore for me a nice mix of black, death and grindcore metal, spiced up with heavy and alternative acts on the main stages, seasoned with great names in punk /hardcore. This way I got to explore all the festival site and the highlights of my evening were Stone Sour, Napalm Death and Satyricon.