Ben Barbaud, director of the Hellfest extreme music festival. - JS.Evrard / AFP

  • The 15th edition of Hellfest has been postponed for a year due to the coronavirus.
  • This cancellation will cause heavy losses for the festival.
  • A dispute now opposes his insurance which would refuse compensation for losses.

The Hellfest will not take place in 2020. The management of the famous festival of extreme music of Clisson (Loire-Atlantique) confirmed this Thursday the cancellation of its 15th edition scheduled for June 19 to 21 due to the coronavirus crisis. “Being aware that the risk of contagion linked to Covid-19 will still be high in June, it would have been irresponsible and dangerous to allow tens of thousands of fans to gather in an area that did not allow social distancing to be respected. The authorities also told us that they were no longer able to put in place the usual security and rescue devices necessary for any large gathering. »Tickets purchased will be valid in 2021. Otherwise, they can be refunded.

If this cancellation does not jeopardize the future of the festival, it is however a "real blow" for the association Hellfest. "The government measures, which we welcome, will not be enough to make up for the heavy losses that the association will have to bear: salaries, general and promotional costs, bank depreciation, are all inexpressible costs that cannot be financed with a year without festival. "

A contract covering possible pandemics

In this context, the management of Hellfest particularly went up against its insurance. In a press release published on its website, she explained that she had taken out an insurance contract "covering pecuniary losses due to possible pandemics" with the French company Albingia, specialist in business risks, particularly in the field of events. The contract would have been signed on December 17, 2019 and would have cost 175,000 euros. "Only here, our dear insurance company [...] sent us a dismissal on the pretext that this type of pandemic did not fall within the terms of our insurance policy", protests Hellfest who explains that he will challenge this interpretation in court.

Hellfest 2020: Endgame.

🇫🇷 - Official press release:
🇬🇧 - Official Statement:

"Hellfest For Health" campaign in support of @CHUnantes: #hellfest

- Hellfest Productions (@hellfestopenair) April 9, 2020

"Shameful practices"

Very angry, the festival management continues, without mince words. “For Albingia solidarity is for others. Their reasoning is simple, take our contributions for cancellation insurance: yes. Indemnify us: never. It is enough to play on words and imagine interpretations to start a trial that will last for years. Years in which Albingia will keep the money it owes us warm. An attitude that we denounce today publicly in order to shed light on these practices that we find shameful, especially in these times. Solidarity and respect for their commitments should be at the center of the concerns of insurers. "The text concludes with an English formulation (which it is useless to translate) intended for this assurance:" Fuck You ! "

Asked, the Albingia company has not yet responded to 20 Minutes .

The Hellfest counts 180,000 paying entries for each edition. It was sold out for the one scheduled for June 2020. System of a down, Deftones, Deep Purple, Faith no more, Korn, Incubus or Infectious Grooves were among the headliners


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  • Covid 19
  • Coronavirus
  • Society
  • Insurance
  • Nantes
  • Hellfest