Like every year, I look at the Hellfest lineup and think, “where do I begin.” Tickets go on sale as early as October (and in limited supply at the festival the previous year) and then the waiting game starts. Unfortunately, the festival sells out in a few weeks before the announcement of the lineup.
The first major announcement was Aerosmith as a headliner with their “Aero-Vederci Baby!” tour and later, posting almost the entire lineup at once. The lineup consists of bands from almost every imaginative genre of metal. The next step is just waiting until the festival begins. Every time I look at the lineup, I see a new band I want to see and that is the only bad thing about this festival – so many great bands and not enough time to see them all. With two of the headliners Deep Purple and Aerosmith doing their final tours, it resembles last year’s headliners with Black Sabbath and Twisted Sister calling it quits. The third headliner Linkin Park will get a shot at rocking the crowds on the Sunday. Prophets of Rage featuring members of Rage against the Machine, Cypress Hill and Public Enemy will bring a massive set, seeing as their going on to invade Europe later and I expect them to bring the noise.
When you are competing to be the best festival in the world, you got to have a few extras nobody else has which includes French heavy metal outfit TRUST and an exclusive US production show by Rob Zombie. Zombie and his band featuring John 5, Piggy D and Gingerfish will perform on the Friday, the 16th of June at the festival. Metal fans come to Hellfest from all over the world to join the massive party and it is an amazing experience for everyone.
The festival itself has 6 stages; 2 mainstages, The Temple and The Altar, The Valley and The Warzone. All of them have a variety of bands playing on them with the warzone focusing on Punk, The Temple and Altar focusing on black/folk/death Metal and the Valley entertaining Stoner/Doom bands.
This is my third visit to Hellfest and I must say that I have enjoyed it every time. The main stages are right next to each other so that when a band finishes on one stage, the next band starts on the second stage. This year we can count on 100+ bands to entertain the masses, including Slayer, Steel Panther, Apocalyptica, Pretty Maids, Ministry, Saxon, Sabaton, Alter Bridge, Obituary, Autopsy, Alestorm, Behemoth, Opeth, Blue Oyster Cult, The Damned, The Dillenger Escape Plan, Primus and more. I’m excited and you should be too.