Watch Ghost cut Hellfest headline set short after Tobias Forge loses his voice

Tobias Forge of Ghost
(Image credit: YouTube)

Ghost were forced to cut their headline set at Hellfest short last night (June 18) after Tobias Forge suffered throat problems.

The band had completed 17th track Dance Macabre in France when the performance ended in an explosion of confetti. In recent months the set has usually consisted of at least 20 songs.

“My voice is completely fucked,” Forge, aka Papa Emeritus, is seen telling the audience in the video clip below, after having put his hand to his throat. “I cannot take one other song.”

It meant they left the stage without playing crowdpleaser Square Hammer. But the show had earlier included their debut of the track Griftwood from fifth album Impera, released in March.

The festival finale fireworks had earlier been cancelled due to the French heatwave, with the associated drought increasing the risk of wildfires.

Speaking to RocknFolk ahead of the show, Forge said: “It’s always a little stressful when you have to do just one gig. I love being on tour, because you can easily transfer your emotions. I’ve been home for several weeks now and suddenly I have to do a show.

“So I’m like, ‘How do we do this again? Do I remember the songs?’ But it will be fine. I’m more worried about the heat!”

He explained why the French festival had become so important to Ghost: “The first time we played Hellfest, we played in a tent. We were a small band at the time and we played in small places. Then the next time, we were supposed to perform in a bigger tent, but at midday we were offered to swap places with Danzig.

“Now we’re headlining a party, but we’ve played on the same stage twice already.”

Ghost hit the road again in North America in August.

Freelance Online News Contributor

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.