We hoped for the best, but ultimately the worst is brewing for this year.
Faced with the uncertainties of the upcoming health situation and the latest government regulations for festivals, we are forced to cancel the 2021 edition of HELLFEST on June 18, 19 and 20.
Your incredible mobilization during our “rant” a few weeks ago has alerted public opinion and the media to an entire sector which is suffering the full brunt of this health crisis (like many others).
The State reacted quickly and we were thus able to meet virtually the services of the Ministry of Culture in the company of other French festivals. First of all to explain our situation, then to ask for answers, if not solutions in order to organize festivals this summer with peace of mind.
During a “final” meeting this Thursday, February 18, the verdict fell: summer festivals will be authorized but with draconian conditions: 5,000 people seated with social distancing… No doubt that it will be possible for many classical music, dance, theater and other events to adapt. But concerning us, these criteria make it impossible to organize our event in 2021, thus forcing us to postpone our anniversary edition once again.
We do not wish to blame the government gratuitously for the strong choices it has decided to take. We are well aware that the health situation requires a certain form of caution. We note, however, that these measures are more or less those that were in effect last summer, resulting in a summer that we would dare describe as dying and deadly for festivals and culture in general.
A year has passed since the arrival of the epidemic and it seems that little has been done before a return to a “normal life” ... and this despite a greater knowledge of the disease, despite the vaccination which advances, despite the presence of tests ...
We asked for answers, we got them. We are not going to lie to each other, they are hardly encouraging for “party animals” but they have the merit of putting an end to the uncertainties of many festival organizers. We obviously cannot rejoice in this very restrictive framework which goes against what we want to offer our festival-goers, what a resolutely “Rock'n'roll” event is.
A festival must be a space of freedom, where social interactions and the spirit of celebration cannot be sacrificed on the altar of an epidemic. What is proposed is to organize sanitized and lifeless festivals to say that it is allowed.
All this is the opposite of what unites us and makes us a community. To imagine a Hellfest with 5,000 festival-goers drawn at random out of the 60,000 already provided with a 3-day pass, seated and distanced is at best fanciful, but more really a heresy.
Unfortunately, through this decision and this framework, we see once again that musical aesthetics, mainly aimed at young people, will be severely affected next summer.
Unlike other festivals, we make the hard choice not to accept these overly restrictive rules because that would be absurd. We owe our festival-goers consistency in the project that we want to offer them and for which they have agreed to pay a high price.
Hellfest was born from a desire to bring together all lovers of so-called “extreme” music in a framework of collective communion and a spirit of celebration. Finding a resilient model is a utopia, to think so would go against the very DNA of the festival.
Living with the virus shouldn't be giving up what makes us happy. The future of the festival darkens a little more and once again it is your trust and your solidarity that will allow us to weather this storm.
Like last year, we suggest that you keep your 3-day or 1-day pass purchased in 2020 and valid for Hellfest 2021 in a safe place. Your pass will be valid for the 2022 edition, which will be held on June 17, 18 and 19, 2022. .
You don't have to do anything if you want to keep your ticket. This strong choice will allow you to fully support the Hellfest Productions association in the preparation of its future edition in 2022.
A year 2022 which will have to respond to this desire to live together these great moments! We are aware that in these times of economic crisis, this financial effort will be too heavy to bear for some of you, which is why a reimbursement solution will also be offered. We will get back to you shortly on the terms, including the specifics related to the different transport packages (train, bus, etc.).
Until then, you can also use the site of our partner Ticketswap to resell your ticket safely to another festival-goer, so you will support the festival and will no doubt make people happy for next year.
This new blow did not bring us down, and believe us, we need a lot more to overcome our will. Next year, we will be offering you a “physical” return to Hellfest which will meet all your expectations after these two years of absence. No doubt this will be a historic moment of reunion between you the fans, the artists and our teams! In the meantime, we will start now to think about a way to exist this summer. Many surprises (including one in particular ...) are to be expected next June ... so stay tuned! We could not finish this new (sic) cancellation press release without having a thought for our employees, technicians, volunteers, artists, service providers, patrons and partners who will suffer one more year from the cancellation of Hellfest. Know that we are not alone in this storm and that our motivation and our desire will come out tenfold to offer you a show worthy of this too long wait.
Stay Safe, Stay Strong Hellfest Crew