In 2017 Twinmusix were lucky enough to get press passes for Hellfest, Liz and I walked into Hellfest to receive our press passes. What was next was not what we expected! We walked into an area decorated with Giant Butterfly covered Skulls, water fountains and the famous Hellfest sign, there was a press tent to the left that had a panel room, and there was a private bar positioned at the back behind a water fountain (that looked like it was taken out of the game “Assassins Creed”).
When I walked out of the press area into the festival I noticed two stages, one to my left and one to my right. There was a sea of people in black and colour that walked through the main gates. The Bars were getting filled by the second with thirsty festival attendants, driven by the warm summer French air. The official merchandise line was so long you could hardly see the products from where I was standing at the back of the que, though the happy fans didn’t seem to mind as they joined the line to purchase.
As we made our way to the food area, I realised, I have never seen such an amazing array of food in one space at a concert. All the food was being cooked freshly and you could only imagine what was there, there was a selection that ranges from Indian to Brazilian, the smell had your jaw dropping at every turn. In the words of ‘Sabaton’ “You can tell the quality of a festival, by the quality of the food!” and I have never seen such an awesome display of food at a festival in my life.
Then it finally hit me… my twin and I had done it!
We had made it to Hellfest, and not only did we make it, Twinmusix had made it to the Press area!
The one place we had only dreamed of being, the one thing we had wanted to do together since we were 16 years old.
With our dreams coming true, it didn’t stop there, I finally got to ask Steel Panther some of the burning questions that I have always wanted to know, and I was so excited to be involved in a Panel style interview with so many other Great journalists, fans and photographers. I was excited to ask Steel Panther about their history, as I have been a massive fan since I they were called ‘Metal Shop’.
Liz and I also got the chance to sit down with the one and only Ben Barbaud, the entrepreneur behind the massive success of Hellfest. We were privileged enough that we got to do a private interview with him, I was on cloud nine when I finished the interview. He gave us an insight on how Hellfest worked and what it takes to pull through and succeed when creating a festival of this size.
While I was with Steel Panther, Liz was also making her dream come true, after 10 years she finally got to watch Emperor, her favourite band of all time. As Emperor came on stage her face lit up and she could hardly believe what she saw. The Emporer set included all their second album, but that wasn’t the amazing part. Smaller shows don’t have the same budget, and can’t give you the same special effects and experienced roadies who know how to operate them to their best effect. The stage was transformed by huge smoke machines into a cloud, and the lighting effects of green and red lights, seemed hyper-realistic. It was a transformative experience, crafting them into gods, and the crowd into their devoted worshipers. Not only had we seen amazing bands such as Aerosmith, Steel Panther, Linkin Park, Airbourne, Prong and Ugly Kid Joe, just a few to mention a few under an extensive line up. But we were also able to discover some bands that we never had never been exposed to before
Clisson itself is extremely supportive of the event, a local taxi company transports fans to a from the festival from dawn till 5am the next morning, so fans can attend all the events, some of which run as late as 2am. The small tent city that grows from a few days prior to the festival, and slowly breaks away over the next week, is full of the best of metal fans from countries all over Europe and beyond, many will wander the nearby streets where locals have tapped kegs of German bier and fantastic roasted meats, served with fresh French bread rolls.
We are still stoked we got to attend such a major festival! And we loved every minute of it! Hellfest is the best festival I have been to in my life! The line ups are amazing, the fans are always willing to give each other a hand and everyone comes together as one. I can safely say that being press or a fan at this festival is a once in a life time experience (though I think you should make an effort to attend every year). We are Twinmusix from Sydney Australia and we cannot wait to be in the press area again next year!.