Hellfest cancellation delivers latest blow to summer festival season

(Image credit: Hellfest)

The 2021 staging of France’s biggest rock-and-metal festival, Hellfest, has been cancelled. The event was due to feature System Of A Down, Korn, Judas Priest, Deftones and more across the weekend of June 18-20.

Organisers were left with no option but to cancel the event after the French government’s culture ministry announced that, due to COVID-19 restrictions, only events with a capacity of 5,000 people, all who must remain seated, would be permitted this summer.

“We hoped for the best but the worst is coming,” the festival promoters declared on February 19, announcing the event’s postponement. 

"We do not wish to blame the government,” the festival organisers stated. “We are well aware that the health situation requires everyone to be cautious. However, these measures are more or less the same as last year resulting in a 'dead summer' for the festivals and culture in general.”

"A year has passed since the outbreak of the epidemic and it seems that little has been done for a return to a 'normal life' despite a greater knowledge of the disease, the vaccinations, the tests ... We asked for answers, we had them... We obviously cannot be happy about those restrictions, which goes against the Rock'n'Roll experience we want to offer to our festival-goers. A festival should be a place of freedom, where social interactions and spirit of celebration cannot be sacrificed.“

"We cannot imagine the Hellfest festival with 5,000 festival-goers drawn out of the 60,000 3-day pass holders, seated and distanced. It is a heresy.”

You can read the full statement below. 

The cancellation of the popular European festival is another blow for music fans, following the cancellation, in January, of Glastonbury festival. UK rock fans are still awaiting news as to the fate of this summer’s Download festival, which is also set to feature SOAD and Korn alongside Biffy Clyro and Kiss. Back in January, the festival’s social media channels declared that they “hope to have more news for you by March 1st.”

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