France’s Hellfest 2021 Officially Cancelled

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The pandemic has taken another Hellfest from us (among other things, sadly). The French festival is officially off for the second year in a row, unable to work within the confines of the French government’s restrictions.

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Earlier today, a French emergency plan for festivals was released which would allow 5,000 people seated at social distances. For Hellfest, which typically hosts over 150,000 people, this just was not feasible.

Fest creator Ben Barbaud tells Ouest France (translated from French) “For me, it will be a new white year. Even if the health restrictions are less strong in a few months, the step is too high before we arrive at an authorization of 60,000 people per day, stuck to each other. We are not surprised: since January, we doubted the chances of seeing the festival take place next June.”

Barbaud holds no ill feelings towards government officials. “I do not blame the minister, the health situation is what it is and Roselyne Bachelot had the courage to make decisions. But next summer will be disaster for the youth. And the festivals, contrary to what I can read, will not be saved.”

Hellfest follows England’s Glastonbury in officially cancelling. Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview that he believed vaccines in the U.S. may provide enough herd immunity to allow live music to resume this fall.

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“If everything goes right, this is will occur some time in the fall of 2021,” Fauci said, “so that by the time we get to the early to mid-fall, you can have people feeling safe performing onstage as well as people in the audience.”

Here’s a look back at our report from the 2018 festival.

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