It may be a few months away yet, but here at eonmusic we're already gearing up for Hellfest 2018. Set in the rural idylls of Clisson in western France, this years' event promises to be among the best yet, with headliners Judas Priest, Avenged Sevenfold and Iron Maiden topping a bill that also features an unlikely appearance from Johnny Depp! Here we present 6.66 reasons we're excited for the hottest festival of the summer.
1. Iron Maiden.
As its regular sell-out status affirms, Hellfest is one of the most popular metal festivals in Europe. It's no surprise then that they attract all the big hitters, and heading up the bill and bringing the 2018 edition to a close is Iron Maiden. Delving back into their past following the completion of their mammoth 'The Book Of Souls' world tour, their 'Legacy Of The Beast' set promises to be packed full of tracks unheard in the live setting for quite some time. With a fresh new stage production based around their same-named mobile gaming app, expect a litany of historic Eddies coming to get ya, no matter how far.
Click HERE to read our EXCLUSIVE interview with Iron Maiden's Steve Harris.
2. Body Count
Led by rapper Ice-T, Body Count are the Cop Killer's full on metal side band. With tracks like 'Born Dead', 'KKK Bitch', and 'Talk Shit, Get Shot', compromise isn't a word you're likely to find in their vocabulary. As outspoken as ever, with latest release 'Bloodlust', they've even roped in a few metal mates for album number six. Featuring Megadeth's Dave Mustaine, Randy Blythe from Lamb of God and Max Cavalera call them 'false metal' at your peril.
Click HERE for our chat with Max Cavalera.
3. Dead Cross.
Feeling a little Faith No More withdrawal? If so, then Mike Patton's latest project Dead Cross should shift the blues, if not shake them from your system entirely. Also featuring Patton's sometime Fantômas band mate in former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo, the experimental crossover four-piece have been rising from the underground since the release of their self-titled debut album in 2017. The penultimate act on the Valley Stage on Saturday, Dead Cross appear just before Neurosis.
Click HERE to read our interview with Faith No More's Billy Gould.
4. Hollywood Vampires.
Big name movie stars joining bands has in the past produced some less than impressive results. From Keanu Reeves and Dogstar, to Russell Crowe's 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, there's no shortage of examples of great crossover follies. However as front man Alice Cooper told eonmusic, when Johnny Depp came on board for Hollywood Vampires, even Aerosmith's very own gunslinger was taken aback. Said Cooper; "Joe Perry heard him, and called him up and said; "can I get guitar lessons from you?!" - That's how good Johnny is". The band's Friday's slot on the main stage ahead of Judas Priest then must surely be the one to catch.
Click HERE for our EXCLUSIVE chat with Aerosmith's Tom Hamilton.
5. Hell City Square.
With its own fictitious, postal district of MW1, the Borough of Clisson's own Hell City Square is the place to see and be seen in. More than just a meeting place, the entrance to the festival is the gateway to Hell(fest) itself, and where the ride truly begins. Loosely modeled on Camden town's unique shop fronts, expect the unexpected behind those innocuous facades.
6. Even The Nearby Supermarket is Metal.
Embracing the Hellfest spirit, the town of Clisson happily gets in on the act, with even the local supermarket embracing its metal side. With up to 60,000 people descending on the region, it may make good business sense to support the festival, but having a stage and putting on your own bands surely goes beyond any expectation of any local grocery emporium. Pick up your supplies and enjoy a festival away from the festival at E-Leclerc, Route de Nantes.
6.66 There's No Other Festival Like It On Earth.
Asked to sum up Hellfest, eonmusicRadio host Neil Jones offered simply; "There's no other festival like it on Earth." He may well have a point; after all, you might have to go as far as Hades itself to recreate the experience. Whilst here on Earth, however, France is far enough to travel for all things hellish. Eonmusic will catch you there, during the last weekend in June.
Hellfest takes place from 22nd-24th June 2018. Be sure to check back for eonmusic's coverage from the event.