In the hell of Clisson (Loire-Atlantique)
Despite the stifling heat, our computer hasn’t melted yet… We’ll be able to tell you what the passage through the gates of hell really looks like, where tens and tens of thousands of festival-goers have been burning since this Friday morning under a blazing sun. Satan. After two years of silence due to the pandemic, the boiling atmosphere of Hellfest is back in Clisson, a small town in Loire-Atlantique (placed in orange vigilance), where the thermometer showed 34 degrees at 2 p.m. Already energized by what the teams of the biggest festival of extreme music in Europe have presented as “the edition of the century”, the participants suffocate to the rhythm of the first guitar riffs, both literally and figuratively: “We come to the Hellfest for that! The sweat, the heat, the chaos, howls Sylvain. This is really extreme, but hey… We’ve been waiting for too long, so we’re taking full advantage! »
If seasoned Hellbangers have already experienced scorching temperatures here, the record may be broken this Friday or Saturday, with a thermometer that could approach 40 degrees. That night, several giant foggers arrived in extremis on the site, placed in particular around certain scenes. All around, there is a crowd in front of the water curtains and the many taps, after water bottles and other bottles (generally prohibited, so that they are not used as projectiles) were finally authorized. Eva squarely put on her underwear to fully soak her body. “You have to stay hydrated,” smiles the student. We’ve got a week to go, we’re not going to burn out in the early hours! “Behind the two main scenes, the firefighters are also on the alert to water the crowd which gathers in front of the barriers.
The small shielded shady wood
Because the heat wave does not crush the determination of the addicts to this meeting, which has never borne its name so well. It is 3 p.m. and the audience in the War Zone, the most extreme stage, is agitated under the eyes of Lemmy Kilmister, the leader of Motorhead, whose new metal statue has been erected right next to it. But the highlight of this 2022 edition, it must be said, is still the little wood of Muscadet, shady, where there is no longer a place available.
Julien, 46, leaned against a tree because he couldn’t sit down. Unlike the majority of festival-goers who opted for as little fabric as possible, he wears skull rings, big black shoes and a dark long-sleeved shirt. “I don’t want to damage my tattoos by exposing my skin too much, he justifies about his surprising dress. And white, I don’t have that in my wardrobe! I hope the body will hold. Luckily I have a hat…”
For the other recommendations, not sure that they are all followed to the letter. And in particular that of the prefect of Loire-Atlantique, who called for vigilance by avoiding… consuming alcohol. Sitting in the grass, a big smile and his face glistening with sunscreen, Antoine and his friends are on their fourth pitcher of beer, motivated so that the 2019 record (440,000 liters of beer sold) falls quickly. It’s 5 p.m. and the weather app on his phone shows 37 degrees. Several heat strokes have already been reported at the aid station. Not sure that the group Offspring, expected around 6:30 p.m. on the Mainstage, will bring the temperature down.