Hellfest Day 3

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June 22nd 2014
Published: June 30th 2014
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The six of us piled into the VW around 0900 and headed into town to take another look around. Businesses in France do not open very early so finding somewhere to have breakfast was not all that easy although we finally found a cafe / bar opposite the castle where the friendly barman rustled us up coffees, bread and jams.

The Chateau des Ducs du Bretagne dominates the central part of Nantes and we spent around half an hour walking through it taking photos before settling into the cafe located in the central courtyard. There was light rain and at one point a crack of thunder startled us. I could only conclude that Ozzy Osbourne had landed at Hellfest.

Our plan was to only watch the two headliners at Hellfest later that evening so we didn't have to rush anywhere and as there were plenty of umbrellas at the cafe we took our time there. The Herbys had crepes while Jo and I nursed coffee and coke.

Once the rain subsided we walked to Cathedrale St Pierre and had a quick look inside before finding Rue du Marchechal Joffre, a narrow street where, for reasons beyond our knowledge (and even beyond Google's knowledge so far as I could tell), the signs on all the shops were upside down. We stopped in a cafe for a beer and I tried to ask what the reasoning was but the question was lost in translation.

Having had a few late nights at Hellfest, we all went back to the hotel for a nanna nap and left at 1900 on our final drive to Clisson.

Soundgarden and Black Sabbath were the headline acts and I was surprised to find that with little trouble, we could get to the merchandise tent just beside the main stage. I merched up and we took a few steps to the left and found ourselves just 20 rows back from the stage... some 100,000 people behind us.

With only a 60 minute set allotted to them, Soundgarden played a "best of" set that I really enjoyed, even Jo managed to see some of the stage over the shoulders of the taller folks in front. There was an hour wait for Black Sabbath and we squeezed ourselves into a small area in front of the stage where we could sit and wait. I couldn't even imagine doing this before a gig in New Zealand... everyone was very well behaved and very few pushed around. The crowd was much more mellow than I'd experienced at similar metal gigs in New Zealand.

There's no denying that Ozzy Osbourne has seen better days but Black Sabbath still put on a good show. Opening with War Pigs and covering a bit of everything in the two hours before the encore of Paranoid. At one point Jo got accidentally kicked in the head by a crowd surfer, Nik and I saw it happen and gave the poor bloke a good shove... he must have gone five or six feet above the top of the crowd before crashing to the ground a number of rows in front of us. Kids these days... no idea how to crowd surf.

We walked back to the car after the show ended and were back at the hotel by 0200. I'd really enjoyed our three days at Hellfest but was pleased we'd booked a hotel away from the camp sites. I'm way, way too old to go through the festival thing 24 hours a day for three days.


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