Is Hellfest the best metal festival in Europe?

Hellfest organisers announce plans for their 10th anniversary festival

Is Hellfest the best metal festival in Europe?

Photographer: Bob RoseVirtual Festivals on 20 November 2014

The successor of Fury Fest, the 25,000 capacity Hellfest is held in Clisson, about 35 km south-east of the city of Nantes in the west of France.

We can think of many reasons you should do Hellfest next year but these are just our top Six (Ed: Six Six?).

1) The big festival names

Ozzy Osbourne, KISS, Aerosmith, Iron Maiden and Guns N’ Roses rank among the long list of Hellfest alumni and this year’s line-up certainly hasn’t shied away from the big name metal and hard rock acts. Slipknot, Faith No More, Scorpions, Limp Bizkit, Korn, Marilyn Manson, ZZ Top, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Alice Cooper and Nightwish lead the first, rather long list of acts announced this week for the festival next June. The organisers promise there are over 30 more acts still to come.

So Slipknot will bring their brand new stage production - their first new live production in nine years, Faith No More will premier some new material - their first in 17 years, and Scorpions will Rock You Like a Hurricane. What more do you want?

2) Worship at The Altar

The Alter and The Temple stages are dark. I mean really chisel your eyes down to the core dark. This year you can enjoy At The Gates, Cannibal Corpse, Triptykon, Dying Fetus, Necrowretch, Coffins and everyone’s sing-a-long favourites, Cock and Ball Torture. Which might just leave you deaf, dumb, blind and in tears.

3) The Get Up Punks

France has always had a strong homegrown hardcore scene and Hellfest draws upon this with a bill that includes local acts like Les Wampas alongside international legends like Dead Kennedys, The Exploited, OFF!, NOFX and Rise Against.

4) Ice-T, Billy Idol and the trolls

What do West Coast gangsta rapper Ice-T, English rebel rocker Billy Idol and Finnish folk metal band Finntroll all have in common? Nothing, in fact. Nothing at all. But then we noticed the ‘Troll-Kings’ were billed alongside Ice-T’s metal band Body Count and White Wedding fave Idol, real name William Michael Albert Broad, at next year's Hellfest. Could we expect a troll invasion during Body Count’s set? We doubt it.

5) The site

Like Wacken Open Air in Germany, Graspop in Belgium and Sweden Rock in (still guessing?) Sweden, Hellfest prides itself on fostering the spirit of the alternative rock and metal scene within its hallowed perimeter walls. The site is divided into districts, complete with some epic builds and installation art. Expect markets, bars, clubs, tattoo shops and even a ferris wheel (probably made from extra heavy metal).

666) The big tenth birthday party

2015 will mark Hellfest’s 10th anniversary and the occasion is sure to make for a birthday party like no other. Those looking for late night revelry should head to The Metal Corner and catch a host of DJs playing hardcore, metal and anything that rocks hard throughout the festival weekend.

Hellfest 2015 takes place in Clisson, France from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 June.

Where do I stay at Hellfest 2015?

The campsite is free and it’s right next to the festival. The campsite doors open at 2pm on Thursday 19 June at 2pm upon presentation of your ticket.

How do I get to Hellfest 2015?

Clisson is the nearest train station to the Hellfest site and is regularly served by Nantes, which is approximately 25 minutes away by train - depending on the service. Train fares are typically 5 EUR each way.

Infrequent train services do run between Paris Montparnasse and Clisson, requiring a change at Nantes. This journey takes approximately three hours.

A shuttle bus service operates from Clisson train station direct to the gates of the festival. No reservation is needed and shuttles cost 2 EUR per person per one-way trip. Shuttle buses will be parked in front of the station for each train arrival from Thursday morning.


Alternatively, if you’d rather avoid the train ride from Nantes, you can book a return shuttle journey from Nantes station. You will need to email the festival (hellfest.navette@gmail.com) and specify the full names of each festival-goers who will take the shuttle plus day and arrival time as well as information about your train (from which city and time of arrival at Nantes train station). The shuttles will be parked at “Nantes Gare Sud”. You'll receive a confirmation of your reservation by email which you should print and bring this email with you.

Driving from London to Clisson, taking the Channel Tunnel crossing, will typically take just over nine hours - not allowing for stops.

Is there disabled access at Hellfest 2015?

From Thursday at 2am there will be a reception for persons with reduced mobility who can use special parking and a campsite with adapted toilets and showers (behind the Metal Corner). Moreover, there will be many adapted toilets on the festival, two platforms with benches and chairs near the Mainstages and the Warzone. For the tents of the Altar, The Temple and The Valley, an access will be available on one side of the stages.

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