The CLS Crew first came together in 2000 - a small group of mates all fans of hardcore-punk. The group of was made up of a dozen people from Clisson who were fans of groups like SICK OF IT ALL, AGNOSTIC FRONT, 25 TA LIFE, RUN DEVIL RUN, SKARHEAD, SHUTDOWN, CRO-MAGS etc. Problem was that living in Clisson concerts were scarce which encouraged the group to DO IT THEMSELVES! DIY!
So at the beginning of 2000 they started organising clubs and shows supporting bands such like SKARHEAD, ARKANGEL, TERROR, COMIN CORRECT, RIGHT FOR LIFE, STRIFE, AGNOSTIC FRONT, ENSIGN, POISON THE WELL etc. who were amongst the first to be willing to come and play in and around Nantes. The public were there and the crew decided to stage a festival.
June 2002 was the first indoor FURYFEST festival in Clisson. The festival was a sell out 400 people from the punk, skinhead and hardcore scene were gathered together to watch AGNOSTIC FRONT. The idea was a success and some members decided to take it even further…
FURYFEST 2003 was supposed to take place in Clisson but due to a problem with the date, the town Hall didn’t give permission. So, the site was moved to the "Trocardière" in Nantes. Increasingly ambitious, the festival brought together such bands as SICK OF IT ALL, YOUTH OF TODAY, GOJIRA, ENTOMBED and THE EXPLOITED and took place over two days. It was a hit once again! 7000 festival-goers! The crew could no longer keep up with all the necessary organisation involved. So Ben Barbaud at that time treasurer, decided to create MAN.IN.FEST and make it his full-time occupation.
In 2004 FURYFEST had to move again in order to cater for campers. The new FURYFEST team settled on "Le Mans" (the only town to accept of festival of this kind). The line up brought bands such as SLIPKNOT, MORBID ANGEL, MESSHUGAH, FEAR FACTORY, SOULFLY, HATEBREED, DEICIDE, and TESTAMENT together for the first time in France …but it was also too mad, too ambitious and too costly!
This brought the team back to earth with a bump! 21,000 people attended but profits were down and Ben’s job was threatened!
In 2005 MAN.IN.FEST decided to hand over the reigns to other promoters. Ben was still the talent buyer. For the second year running, FURYFEST took place on the same site, with 3 stages instead of 2 and a great line-up with SLAYER, MOTORHEAD, JELLO BIAFFRA WITH THE MELVINS, ANTHRAX, DIMMU BORGIR, IN FLAMES, PENNYWISE, THE MISFITS etc...
Once again, 30 000 people attended and the weather was glorious. Unfortunately, finances weren’t so brilliant and FURYFEST sadly came to an end.
But the adventure was far from finished. Former employees and certain sponsors decided to try again. Sure of themselves, Ben and Yoann managed to convince the Town Hall of Clisson to trust them.
With money from sponsors thinking along the same lines as them, they decided to create HELLFEST and with HELLFEST PRODUCTIONS, their baby was born!
Back to basics then! The festival was to be outdoors on the 23rd, 24th and 25th of June 2006. MOTORHEAD, APOCALYPTICA, DEAD KENNEDYS, SOULFLY, STONESOUR, HELLOWEEN, SAXON and CRADLE OF FILTH topped the bill! There was a lot of suspicion and fears surrounding the event. Some said it to be a rave party of devil worshipers! Not at all! 22,000 people came to the festival without any problems. The people of Clisson were wrong. The Metal heads were adopted.
In spite of its huge success their takings were down in 2006. The organisers were not discouraged and the billing for 2007 included SLAYER, MEGADETH, NEUROSIS, EMPEROR, IMMORTAL, CYNIC, ATHEIST, MACHINE HEAD, DREAM THEATER and TYPE O NEGATIVE. A vintage year! 40,000 people attended and in spite of enormous problems due to the weather and lack of funds the festival will once again be opening its doorway to "Hell" to all festival-goers.
Year 2009 confirmed all the hopes and was the year of the consecration. Hellfest proved again that people can rely on it just like other festivals such as Wacken or Graspop. The influx of metalheads was even bigger once more with 60,000 people over the three days. World famous bands like EUROPE, MOTLEY CRUE or MARYLIN MANSON visited, without forgetting smaller bands, which give a certain musical charm to the festival. The team ambitiously wishing to provide one of the best line-ups ever seen in Europe worked hard and surely enhanced the quality of the whole festival. At the end, Hellfest 2009 provided 4 stages (with the new Rock Hard stage under a big tent) and also the Electric Circus tent with wrestling, striptease and others animations.
Once again feedback was extremely positive and the festival with its strong experience and a lot of ambition looked toward the future with the will to demonstrate that Hellfest is not only the biggest festival of its area but just one of the biggest events in France.
The signature of KISS to be one of the headliners is the proof, Hellfest is now one of the leaders of the first division.
HELLFEST 2010 was well over the 20 000 people per day that we were aiming for and for the first time since the beginning of the festival it was sold out with 70 000 visitors! The feedback has been extremely positive and national and international press have never talked so much about Hellfest! With 115 different bands such as KISS, Deftones, Alice Cooper, Slayer, Twisted Sister, Jello Biaffra (ex Dead Kenedys) but also John Garcia (ex Kyuss), set in a such an unique décor, with an Extreme Market bigger than ever, and an ever growing entertainment area on the campsite – pub, take-aways, big screens, concerts and DJs… Hellfest 2010 was a great success!
Always willing to do better and for its last time on the “Val de Moine” grounds, the 2011 festival has already confirmed the legendary Ozzy Osbourne, who will be playing beside famous artists such as Judas Priest, Rob Zombie and Scorpions! It looks like Hellfest 2011’s line-up will be one of its most eclectic and specialized yet to come.
In 2012 Hellfest changes of look and location.
Still located in the town of Clisson, not far away from the old site that you all know, the changes of concept of Hellfest 2012 become bigger this year !Camp site and festival area are more important, you could see more bands on more stages, with new decorations for this a new beginning ! 160 bands included Guns’n’Roses , Ozzy & Friends, Motley Crue, new ornaments and new structures ! So a new start ! With this edition, the festival welcome almost 40 000 persons per day, and the new battlefield received congratulations from everywhere !
After surviving the end of the wolrd, hellfest 2013 reveal new surprises, the return the American giants : KISS, and for the first time, the legendary ZZ TOP will rape the clisson land. Many others like KORN, TWISTED SISTER, NEUROSIS, SAXON, DOWN will be present. So We are awaiting you in few month, be ready to experience a new corrosive music flow and a new toxic threat !!