Every year in June Clisson becomes the destination for all metalheads around the globe, located in the Loire-Atlantique department in western France. Since its last year’s 10th anniversary celebration Hellfest started with a blast and all the credit goes to the incredible team behind the festival. the line-up of bands and the variety of the program was outstanding as always, over the three days over 150,000 fans gathered for Hellfest 2016.


The first day started with the Dutch female-fronted band Delain on the main stage, the charismatic Charlotte Wessels and Delain deliver a set of their best hits.

And over 6 stages, the usual 2 main stages joined by The Temple, Altar, Warzone and The Valley hosted a variety of bands such as MONOLORD, MOONREICH, AUDREY HORNE and NASHVILLE PUSSY which all delivered an awesome performance for the fans.

By midday the line-up started to heat up as HALESTORM stormed the main stage 1 with an intense show and next on the same stage ANTHRAX delivered a great show with so many classics that made the fans entertained all the way

On the other side of the festival fans enjoyed a great performances by VADER, OVERKILL, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, ABBATH and TESTAMENT

The main headliners on the two main stages were THE OFFSPRING who closed the night for the first day but the main highlight was RAMMSTEIN, thousands of people started to gather an hour before the show just to get a good view for probably one of the best shows on earth, as the show was about to start it was hardly to move between the crowds, RAMMSTEIN started with the song RAMM 4 and finished with a Depeche Mode cover of their classic Stripped just to return for an encore which consisted of their classics Sonne, Amerika and Engel.

The spectacle of the show was as usual, intense and full of heat, incredible design theme that wowed the fans through out the whole setlist.

Hellfest 2016


Day two of HELLFEST started as early as 10:30 AM, it was a hot day and the line-up was even hotter, the four side stages hosted shows for variety of genres including bands MOONSORROW, TERRORIZER, NAPALM DEATH, DARK FUNERAL, ENTOMBED A.D. and FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE

And on the main stages the heat started around lunchtime when GLENN HUGHES delivered an awesome show full of his incredible high-pitched screams, and right after on the same stage SIXX AM lead by NIKKI SIXX and DJ ASHBA delivered an incredible show promoting their new album Prayers for the damned and also playing classics such as Life Is Beautiful.

FOREIGNER was up next on the main stage 1 who also performed a setlist full of their classics over 40 years career, the band ended their show with a great gesture by their frontman Kelly Hansen who said: with all this hatred around the world today let us celebrate the music who brought us all together, I want each person to put his right hand on the shoulder of the person next to them. All the fans embraced and signed their heart out to classic ballad I WANT TO KNOW WHAT LOVE IS.

As we were approaching the night JOE SATRIANI deliver a show from another planet, the fans were indeed surfing with an alien and on the main stage 2 DISTURBED performed a show that took the fans by surprise when the band performed Shout At The Devile, a MOTLEY CRUE cover joined by SIXX: AM on stage and right after they performed BABA O’RILEY by THE WHO also joined by another guest on stage, GLENN HUGHES

The highlight of the second night was of course TWISTED SISTER, it’s the band’s farewell show in France, no more TWISTED SISTER Which Dee Snider had a funny speech when he told the fans that’s it, 40 years and Fuck it, unlike Scorpions or Ozzy, that’s it for us, It’s the end of TWISTED SISTER, their show was entertaining and the fans shared the mic with Dee for classics such as (You Can’t Stop Rock n’Roll and We’re Not Gonna Take It, the show surprise was the tribute to LEMMY where Dee invited Phil Campbell on stage and performed MOTORHEAD’s Born To Raise Hell

Another highlight of the night was the night closure, HELLFEST had prepared a surprise end to the second night and we were al informed just shortly before it start’s through the HELLFEST mobile app, an incredible firework display in honor of the late LEMMY KILMISTER who passed earlier this year (RIP LEMMY) at the end the entire festival clapped and shouted for LEMMY.

Hellfest 2016


The third and last day of HELLFEST hosted a great list of bands on THE TEMPLE stage DEICIDE, ENSLAVED and TAKKE entertained the crowed while on the ALTAR Stage bands such as PARADISE LOST, KATATONIA and INSOMNIUM delivered a great performances and on the VALLEY AND WARZONE stages a different genres of bands such as PUCIFER, HEAVEN SHALL BURN, JANE’S ADDICTION and WALLS OF JERICHO burned their stages and gave the fans entertainment all day long

On the main stages it was busy the last day, very busy, I myself was running from stage one to stage two none stop just to catch what I can, there was really no time to breath, take break or go eat, the French band NIGHTMARE on the main stage 2 delivered a great performance with their new lead singer MAGALI LUYTEN.

DRAGONFORCE had a bad day and specially their new singer, a lot of problems and pauses during the show.

GOJIRA on the main stage 1 were on fire as usual, a great performance which was followed on the main stage two by BLIND GUARDIAN who delivered as usual one of the best power metal shows anyone can see, a lot of classic song such as THE BARD’S SONG where the entire crowd were singing along to it.

Up next was SLAYER on the main stage 1, the band looked a great shape with their new guitar player GARY HOLT and played a great set included South Of Heaven, Angel Of Death, Raining Blood and Mandatory Suicide.

On the main stage 2 Viking metal band AMON AMARTH delivered a fantastic and energetic show full of smoke, fire and dragons and as well as the biggest mosh pits anyone can think of.

Hellfest 2016

Thrash metal giants MEGADETH deliver an incredible performance with the new line-up and promoting the new album DYSTOPIA and also playing classics hits such as HOLY WARS, HANGER 18 and Dave Mustaine dedicated TRUST to his former band mate drummer NICK MENZA who passed earlier this year.

Swedish heavy metal band GHOST were up next just before the fans witness another emotional moment where it was time for BLACK SABBATH to hit the stage, another legends, the father’s of heavy metal are bidding farewell with their THE END tour is the last thing we will ever see from BLACK SABBATH, the band was in great shape, OZZY, IOMMI and BUTLER were on fire, delivered a performance that the fans will always remember.

The closure of the third night and HELLFEST was lead by the almighty KING DIAMOND, what a show! The stage was incredibly decorated and with an unbelievable performance by KING DIAMOND as he was in a great shape and he sounded better than ever, I was entertained from the first minutes till the last with classics such as ABIGAIL, Sleepless Nights, Halloween, A Mansion In Darkness and The Possession, it was a great choice to conclude the festival.

As the lights were going down slowly people started marching to the camp sight where the party there will continue until morning, this is a HELLFEST tradition.

–  Sharbel Kanoun

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