Ben Barbaud, director of the Hellfest festival.


JS.Evrard / AFP

  • The boss of Hellfest hopes to be able to keep his festival scheduled from June 18 to 20 in Clisson (Loire-Atlantique).

  • He asks Roselyne Bachelot to put an end to the uncertainty.

  • He suggests requiring a negative test from all festival-goers.

"Madam Minister, excuse our familiar tone but, on our side, we do not cross our fingers, we squeeze our buttocks: NO, we do not have time and it is urgent that you become aware of it.

“It is in these incisive terms that the boss of Hellfest, Ben Barbaud, began his open letter to the Minister of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot, unveiled Monday evening on social networks.

The founder of the famous metal music festival in Clisson (Loire-Atlantique) explains his fear of not being able to organize, for the second year in a row, an event planned to welcome 60,000 people every day from June 18 to 20, 2021. He makes proposals and asks to remove the uncertainties weighing on the holding or not of these major cultural events.

"In order to be ready to welcome this great musical rally and our loyal festival-goers [more than 60,000 people in previous editions] we have chosen to take the risk of getting back to work 100% since January 4, thus depriving ourselves of all the aid that your government has put in place, writes Ben Barbaud.

These same festival-goers who for 99.75% of them have decided to keep their ticket for the 2020 edition out of solidarity.

(…) But now, restarting such a machine is very expensive.

And without knowing if the festival will take place.


Open letter to Madame @R_Bachelot Minister of Culture

cc @MinistereCC #hellfest

- Hellfest Open Air Festival (@hellfestopenair) January 18, 2021

“Our non-profit association which manages the largest budget of all current music festivals in France (25 million euros) is in danger.

The vagueness that reigns inexorably leads it towards an economic catastrophe that the hundreds of thousands of fans, as well as hundreds of providers, will find it difficult to digest if you do not intervene quickly.

The boss of Hellfest therefore demands that "decisions be made, whatever they are".

“They will put an end to this unbearable situation of waiting.


Tests for all festival-goers?

Ben Barbaud makes proposals.

“Our festivals must take place in the open air and in the middle of summer.

The scientific community agrees that these two elements are definite assets in limiting the spread of the virus.

Our country has a large network of places capable of quickly and easily testing people.

Is it not possible to suggest that festival-goers come with a negative test of less than 48/72 hours as is the practice for certain air trips?

Wouldn't the risk-benefit slider have a chance to be reversed?


"Courage is to do everything possible to allow the resumption of life, but surely not to let a situation deteriorate to the point of leading to its ban", he concludes.

The text has already been widely shared on social networks.

Will Roselyne Bachelot respond directly to Hellfest?


Coronavirus: 404 deaths in 24 hours in France, the number of resuscitations returns to its level of mid-December


Coronavirus: Are cultural venues mostly closed in Europe, as Bachelot claims?

  • Coronavirus

  • Music

  • Culture

  • Nantes

  • Metal

  • Hellfest