Festival Report – Hard Rock Hell Punk 19

Having already witnessed a truly special weekend a few years back in HRH NWOBHM with its incredible line up, the promoters once again pulled out another blinder – this time in a punk weekend extravaganza! Being too young to see many of these bands in their heyday, the lure proved irresistible and confident of the organisers, having handled the previous event so well, I duly journeyed once again to the 2,000 capacity O2 Academy in Sheffield for yet another amazing weekend! As previously, the organisation was nothing short of excellent, with no one in the crowd I spoke to complaining, sensible beer prices… Continue reading

Festival Review – Hellfest 2019!

By now establishing itself globally, Hellfest is France’s biggest music event (having been awarded the prestigious ‘Meilleur Grand Festival’ title 3 times!) and is also one of the biggest metal festivals in Europe. Long aware that significant numbers of attendees arrive the day before the 3 event, Hellfest this year decided to lend Knotfest, a festival created by Slipknot, their 2 Main Stages in an exclusive 1 day event! Continue reading

Festival Review – Hellfest 2018!

The good news? Hellfest is bigger than ever before, continuing to receive national awards and international recognition. The bad news? Next year’s festival is already sold out!!! Yes folks, the cult of Hellfest is truly upon us with winning line ups, a professional operation and most of all, a warm social embrace to welcome all persons, so there is little sign of the momentum slowing down in what is fast becoming a worldwide event!             Continue reading


It feels like it was just last month that I was here the last time. But 12 months have passed. Apart from me getting lost on my way here and having to drive an extra 120kms the trip was uneventful. I remember the opening band from last year. We have all seen the video of that Finnish band that are so piss drunk on stage that they can hardly stand up, let alone play music. Last year’s opening band had a vocalist that was more interested in drinking beer than anything. I’ll have to see if that performance can be… Continue reading

Festival Review – Hellfest 2017!

Now firmly established as France’s premiere rock and metal festival and fast taking root as becoming an international festival to attend judging by its growing numbers – 240,000 – this 13th Hellfest (and 8th visit by us) once again proved the continuing lure of this festival’s motto of ‘extreme, diverse and eclectic’! Continue reading

Festival Report – Hard Rock Hell NWOBHM 16

The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) was a musical phenomenon that swept the UK during the late 70s and early 80s in several waves. Often associated with groups like Iron Maiden, Saxon and Def Leppard, it did, in fact, encompass a far greater range of bands that came from a variety of styles influenced by hard rock, punk, heavy metal, occult rock and even prog. More importantly, it brought together melody, speed and heaviness at a level that many did not think achievable at the time. Although only a few of these groups would go onto mainstream success,… Continue reading


You’d think that the straightest line between two points would be a line that goes from A to B but no, not when you have to drive from Helsingborg on the west coast to the dark deep forests that is Småland aznd Hultsfed. No no no, you have to meander up and down, this way and that way to come to Hultsfred and MÖRKASTE SMÅLAND. A place mostly known for its summer festival but as the summer festival is but a faded memory there is a new kid in town. A celebration of everything black and death. On its third… Continue reading

Festival Review – Hellfest 2016!

Man, this French festival just gets better year after year! Now onto my 7th trip here and with the likes of Black Sabbath, Rammstein, Megadeth and Twisted Sister headlining a 180,000 record breaking long weekend, not even the torrential rain could put off this mecca of metal events, and beyond that, what has become a rite of passage for many French youths. The growing infrastructure of the festival site (including a new statue of Lemmy and an absolutely insane zip wire over the main stage areas) as well as the general joie de vivre has not just seen greater numbers… Continue reading

Festival Review – Hellfest 2014!

After the folly of last year’s ill announced main acts, Ben Barbaud and his Hellfest crew not only regained lost ground by securing each and every one of them, but actually grew the festival to be acknowledged as now the 2nd most important cultural event in France – even Kronenburg sent 3 extra tankers of beer when they realised Hellfest drank more than one of their own sponsored events! Despite being on the same site as last year, the festival grounds had been wisely re-arranged to accommodate the anticipated crowd growth along with some dramatic artistic structures and even a neon big… Continue reading