French metal festival Hellfest has been postponed until 2022: "We hoped for the best but the worst is coming"

France's huge Hellfest – which was due to take place in June – has been pushed back (again) and will now happen in summer 2022.

French metal festival Hellfest has been postponed until 2022: "We hoped for the best but the worst is coming"
Emily Carter

Following the cancellation of Glastonbury last month, summer is looking pretty bleak for the second year in a row as organisers of huge French metal festival Hellfest have announced that their event has been pushed back until 2022.

The 2021 iteration of Hellfest was set to take place from June 18-20 in Clisson, with Deftones, Faith No More and System Of A Down headlining, but the festival crew have confirmed in a statement that, "The uncertainties about the health situation and the latest government regulations are forcing us to cancel the 2021 edition of the Hellfest."

They reveal that in a "final meeting" last Thursday, February 18, a "verdict was returned" regarding the COVID-19 situation, with the French government allowing festivals under "drastic conditions: 5,000 seated people and social distancing".

"These requirements make the organisation of our 2021 festival impossible and force us to postpone once again our anniversary edition," Hellfest's statement reads. "We do not wish to blame the government. We are well aware that the health situation requires everyone to be cautious. However, these measures are more or less the same as last year resulting in a 'dead summer' for the festivals and culture in general.

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"A year has passed since the outbreak of the epidemic and it seems that little has been done for a return to a 'normal life' despite a greater knowledge of the disease, the vaccinations, the tests… We asked for answers, we had them… We obviously cannot be happy about those restrictions, which goes against the rock'n'roll experience we want to offer to our festival-goers. A festival should be a place of freedom, where social interactions and spirit of celebration cannot be sacrificed.

"We cannot imagine the Hellfest festival with 5,000 festival-goers drawn out of the 60,000 3-day pass holders, seated and distanced. It is a heresy. Unfortunately, through this decision and new regulations, we see once again that musical aesthetics appreciated by young people are going to be hit hard next summer.

"Unlike other festivals, we make the hard choice not to accept these overly restrictive rules. It would go against the very DNA of the festival. We owe our festival-goers consistency in the project we want to offer them and for which they have agreed to pay a high price. Hellfest was born out of a desire to gather all the 'extreme' music lovers together in communion and a spirit of celebration. Living with the virus shouldn't be giving up what makes us happy.

"The future of Hellfest is compromised and once again it is your trust and solidarity that will get us through this storm."

Read the full statement below.

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