A Spañard Goes to Hellfest 2k15: Vol. 0

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11:30 PM. Bags packed. Tent set. Clothes ready. Waiting for my tutor to confirm version 1,000,000 of my final undergrad project so I can upload it and get some sleep before the 4 & 1/2 days of brutality awaiting me. Confirmation is received, project is sent.

Hell awaits.

DAY 0

5:00 AM –  Thursday morning. Alarm clock goes off. Eyes are ostensibly sewn shut. Eat breakfast in a dazy haste before driving for an hour in the scarce pre-dawn glow to make the 7 AM bus to Clisson, France. My brother and I board the shuttle to Hell and spend the day stopping at various places along the flat French countryside and watching pitched-up DVDs of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, a really bad movie with Bruce Willis and Mos Def and an incredibly boring Kreator show. Don’t ask.

2

At around 5:30 PM we arrive at the festival site. I’m instantly reminded of how much I absolutely LOVE large crowds: the line to get ones bracelet and gain access to the camping grounds must be about 2,000 people (conservative estimate), so we inch our tent, bags and asses along for the better part of an hour. At least it was cloudy the whole time. Always improving things from year to year, the bracelets now have an electronic tag that you have to put up to a scanner in order to get in to the festival. Smart.

front

Luckily, the major benefit of arriving the day before the festival starts is that there is still plenty of camping space left within a 5 minute walk from the camp’s entrance, so it doesn’t take us long to find a decent spot to set up shop. I don’t really know how far the campsite sprawls out, and I don’t intend on finding out anytime soon. Looking around from our chosen lot, it is easy to appreciate just how much Quechua profits from festivals like this one: everyone and their brother has a Quechua tent, and there is a veritable sea of them that stretches out as far as the eye can see.

I made a point of taking a notebook along with me this year so I would remember stuff to write about it later. I didn’t take notes as frequently as I wanted to, but in the spirit of not wasting these words that I put time and effort into I’m going to include everything that’s in said notebook, unedited, in quoted text like this one:

7:30 PM – After spending all day on a bus we have our tent set up next to one inhabited by a dude in a Bolt Thrower shirt. All is well.

3

After resting for a bit we went to check out the Extreme Market, that is, the place where your wallet goes to commit seppuku. Anything a metalhead’s heart could desire: mostly shirts, shirts and more shirts, but also CDs, vinyl, patches, horns to drink beer out of… you name it, they probably have it. I didn’t go too overboard this year and only snagged an At the Gates shirt and an Iron Monkey one that got away from me a couple of years prior. The key to this place is getting everything you might want as soon as you can, because by Sunday most stuff is sold way out in the most requested sizes. It’s pretty much Metal Merch Mecca, and any label/brand that knows what they’re doing is here year after year. Case in point: Earache Records have been conspicuously absent for the second year in a row. I think I’m starting to see a pattern here…

EMIn

Back at the campsite, resting for a bit and getting stuff organized for before going to sleep. Protip: inflatable mattresses are a life saver, HUGE improvement over sleeping bags on the floor of the tent. By the way, we could have chosen to stay at a Hotel, but Hotels are for False Metal Posers who can’t handle the intensity of the campsite. Also if you stay at a Hotel you have to take a shuttle bus that gets in at like 12 AM every day and miss a bunch of shows so screw that. Besides, if you stay at the campsite you get to participate in random shouting matches with your drunk neighbors, these usually consisting of “AMPEGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”. This is because Emperor played last year and everyone was super excited so they kept screaming that in the campsite (“Ampego” = French for Emperor), and it looks like it’s starting to become a tradition. So with this in mind, we armed ourselves with foam earplugs and tried to get some rest for the insanity that lay ahead…

Note: Alright, so this “Day 0” intro turned out waaaay longer than I expected, so I’m going to stop here. I will be doing one post to cover each of the three days, plus possibly one additional post as a conclusion of sorts. When I said this was going to be a multi-part epic series, I meant it, motherflushers.

To be continued…

  • The W.

    I’m trying to think of what tent brands you’d see here in the US. Northface? Columbia? Coleman?

    • Scrimm

      Colemans everywhere.

      • The W.

        Colemans run cheap but are actually pretty practical. I have two of different sizes.

        • Void Dweller

          Speaking of tents…

        • Scrimm

          I just have an old army tent.

          • The W.

            I’ve been on camping trips where about 10 to 15 guys all slept in one big army tent. It was the kind with a central support pole.

          • Scrimm

            Oh man I hated setting those up. Used them for sleeping sometimes, but mostly as command posts or whatever. Mine is just a pup tent. I do have a badass sleeping bag I “forgot” to give back when I got out though.

          • The W.

            Army sleeping bags >>>>>>

          • Scrimm

            Yes. Mine is 3 parts. A warm weather bag and a cold weather one that can be combined for extreme cold and a waterproof cover. They ran about 600 bucks.

          • Lacertilian

            Is an army sleeping bag like what we would call a swag?
            I have a tent for when me and the missus go camping but we bought a double sized one of these for when we don’t want to set up a tent.

            http://www.equipoutdoors.co.nz/contents/media/oztrail_mitchell_swag.jpg

          • Disgustache

            Oh, so like MASH.

          • I think you mean mashed. 10 to 15 guys mashed into a tent.

            GL

          • The W.

            It can be both.

          • Oh yes it can.

          • Disgustache
          • i want in ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

          • ayyyyyyyyyyyy! no

          • Condom Full Of Croutons

            I’m sure there were plenty of “support poles” in that tent!

            *cue drum roll*

            http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view2/1763554/drumming-gorilla-o.gif

          • Disgustache

            Ultimate merol camping experience.

      • CyberneticOrganism

        Jack Wolfskin?

    • Void Dweller

      The Northface of Doom.

    • Condom Full Of Croutons

      No clue. Last one I ever had was one my uncle bought for me with his Marlboro Miles.

  • Void Dweller

    Somebody needs her shit ate.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Uhh… literally?

      • Void Dweller

        Dude, it’s figurative and refers to her asshole.

        • CyberneticOrganism

          This does not help our mission.

          • Void Dweller

            Who’s mission?

          • Tyree

            I to am curious to know of this mission.

          • Void Dweller

            Yeah, really.

          • Tyree

            He is a terminator. Maybe we are saving John Connor.

          • Void Dweller

            Maybe I’m John Connor.

          • Hubert

            Maybe I’m eating John Connor.

          • Sir Tapir the Based™

            Maybe it’s Maybelline.

          • KJM

            Maybe you’re born with it.

          • Hubert

            Born with what? John Conner?

          • KJM

            Maybelline joke, pay it no mind. Here, have a tin can to chew on.

          • Condom Full Of Croutons

            Easy breezy beautiful Tapir girl.

          • Void Dweller

            Maybe your diet is richly blessed.

          • That guy is in my list of most puncheable guys ever.

            https://heavyeditorial.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/chuckpunch1.gif?w=780

          • Herr Schmitty

            BAD LINK. GET OFF THE SOFA! *spritzes with water*

            Thou Shalt Not Insult Thy Deity Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz.

          • But.. but.. I hate the guy! He must be a really bad person!

            http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4oljqL9djZk/U9A54-OsvaI/AAAAAAAABhw/6bQfFCztyEg/s1600/large.gif

          • He’s one of the most respected figures in America.

          • I thought it was our W. You really need to put your stuff together in your country, dude!

          • Herr Schmitty
          • The W.

            I’m really confused right now, but I smell something libelous brewing.

          • KJM

            Why? Jon Stewart’s awesome.

          • I saw two chapters of his show. I think it was very obnoxious, loud and his use of sarcasms bordered in the rude. I don’t know.

          • The W.

            Maybe this is a cultural difference. People here really like Jon Stewart.

          • Must be…

            I didn’t understood any of his rants. I think he was talking about Afghanistan or something like that and he was making jokes of it.

            I don’t know. I just can’t stand really political humour, maybe.

          • The W.

            He’s very satirical. Maybe that’s the main difference. American political humor is extremely satirical.

          • The W.

            Or it’s a hamfisted political cartoon with near-racist caricatures and overtly spelled-out jokes.

          • KJM

            Dennis Miller to the “white” courtesy phone please…

          • Understood! Thanks, Duby.

          • KJM

            In all things political, Jon Stewart speaks for me.

          • KJM

            Perhaps you would appreciate his venomous approach a bit more if you’d spent the previous decade being called “traitor”, “un-American”, or worse for not supporting a war based on lies and misdirection.

          • Maybe it’s like Dubz said, it’s a very US thing.

            I’ve been lived political tension nearly all the life I can remember. I just can’t stand it.

          • KJM

            As someone once said “Anger is a gift”.

          • Condom Full Of Croutons

            I’m old enough to remember when his late night talk show was on the air. Loved the musical guests, especially.

          • KJM

            That’s because he’s lambasting right wing morons who deserve it.

          • KJM

            And besides, I fucking hate Chuck Norris.

          • I just love that gif 😛

          • KJM

            It’s appropriate sometimes. I would use one of Bruce Lee, but that’s just me.

          • Condom Full Of Croutons
          • i’m sure there’s a humor barrier in the language, but he’s more fair than someone like Bill Maher

          • I don’t know who’s Bill Maher. If he’s like that Stewart guy I don’t want to know either.

          • KJM

            All the opinions you have of Jon Stewart would be 100% true if you were talking about Bill Maher instead.

          • Tyree

            Ever watch Religulous?

          • KJM

            Nah. Admittedly I do agree with Maher sometimes, especially about religion.

          • Condom Full Of Croutons
          • CT-12

            FUCKING THIS. Maher is such a fucking snarky, pretentious douche. Not sure who I hate more, him or Rachel Maddow

          • KJM

            Funny thing is, Maddow wasn’t like that 11-12 years ago. Maher has been that way from day one.

          • CT-12

            I could believe that. I watched some documentary where she was featured and she had said something to the extent of MSNBC tells her to act more uppity and snarky to elicit more response from the viewership. Still, drives me nuts.

          • KJM

            I used to listen to the radio show she did with Liz Winsted.

          • KJM

            Ugh, can’t stand Maher.

          • If he ever covered the leadership of Venezuela he’d rip those guys a new asshole. You’d be a fan, he’a a man of the people.

          • We had/have a few TV guys ripping the goverment, but in the end, they only served as an hypocritical reflection of the goverment oposition.

            Society here is so shitty polarized that I tend to see these kind of people as actors of the counter-power. Maybe it’s my naive mind playing tricks on me. Or maybe I’m just another stupid venezuelan trying to understand the foreign with my stupid plain views. Sorry.

          • KJM

            It works both ways, hard to understand another countries issues without context. Stewart is willing to criticize his own “side” at times too.

          • Condom Full Of Croutons

            And he’d probably come up missing!

          • Condom Full Of Croutons

            He’s good, but John Oliver >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> x 100000000000

          • Condom Full Of Croutons

            All that kid needs is a corn pipe, eyepatch and Popeye hat.

          • Void Dweller

            Don’t worry, he’s leaving the show anyway. Lighten up Francis.

          • Visit him in the Void and kick him in the face for me.

          • Tyree
          • Isn’t that the rose of the cover art of Depeche Mode’s Violator?

          • Tyree

            No clue.

          • i’ll have to gentlemanly disagree with you on that.

        • Tyree

          Put on your shit eating grin.

    • Herr Schmitty

      Don’t worry; it’s a festival. She’s about to do all the drugs. That’s the look of apprehension; she’s begun to wonder “Can I truly do all the drugs I brought this weekend and not die?”

      “Guess I’ll find out!”

      • The W.

        Maybe she’s thinking, “Who’s this weirdo Basque Separatist taking pictures of me?”

      • Tyree

        I saw a chick tripping on acid during Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats once. She was just sitting on the asphalt naked and tripping balls. She had quite the crowd around her.

        • KJM

          Wow, nothing like that happened when I saw them unfortunately.

          • Tyree

            It was nice scenery. I will say that.

        • Herr Schmitty

          A buddy of mine used to run a ‘bad trip counseling’ tent at some of the fests I went to. I hung out/helped out over there a couple of times.

          It’s… hard to calm down somebody having a bad trip. I will say that it can be incredibly amusing.

          • KJM

            I was always able to talk myself down if I was having a “bad time”.

          • Herr Schmitty

            Me too. Worst case scenario: Find my tent, lay down, put on MP3 player, close eyes. Foolproof!

          • KJM

            These days, I’ll stick with munching a couple shrooms every now and again. The only bad time I’ve ever had with those is tummy aches, but just eat a little yogurt first and you’re good to go.

          • mmm, now you’re talkin’ my language!

          • Scrimm

            That sounds good.

          • Lacertilian

            get your grapefruit on prior too, to metabolise all the psilocin your body just shits out.
            I hate grapefruit but it does have a purpose.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CYP3A4

            @James_Jimmy_Mcnulty:disqus @stevesmithwick:disqus take note

          • KJM

            I like grapefruit okay enough, but not as a regular thing.

          • Lacertilian

            No need for regular use, have a glass within half an hour before you dose for psychs.
            Thank me later.

          • KJM

            I think I’m pretty much done with psychedelics. There may come a day in the far future when that changes, but not soon.

          • Lacertilian

            Fair enough, I was only saying because you just mentioned eating fungus.

          • KJM

            Stuff like that is good to know anyways. Our readers like to know about these things. ^_^

          • more beer

            I certainly don’t do them as much as I used too. But every once in a while. I like to do them. I need that realignment with the universe they bring. By the way the doses I did the other night were excellent. Very clean and very visual.

          • KJM

            Nice! I’m glad that went well for you.

          • more beer

            Yea but it came from a very reliable source.

          • more beer

            I have never heard that before but will remember that in the future. Thanks for the info.

          • Lacertilian

            Just be wary as it can interact with many other drugs so be sure to check out if it will increase bioavailability for them too. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CYP3A4

          • more beer

            I just checked that out. I will certainly keep that in mind.

          • Condom Full Of Croutons
      • KJM

        DO ALL THE DRUGS!!!

    • Dagon
    • Condom Full Of Croutons
  • This looks like a good time. Intrigued to hear about the rest of the trip.

  • Stoked to read the other parts! Thanks for sharing, Moshito.

  • KJM

    I would have to take Breathe-Right strips with me or some such, otherwise I’d keep the whole campground awake with my snoring.

  • Hubert

    “I’m instantly reminded of how much I absolutely LOVE large crowds”

    Wat

    • MoshOff

      I think it’s called sarcasm, I’m not entirely sure.

  • The W.

    Unfortunately, the only battle cry I hear at fests here is “Slayyyyyeeeeeerrrrrrrggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg!!!!!”

  • Tyree
  • Can you feel my jealousy, Moshito?

  • The W.

    A few years ago I was a Mayhem and saw some dude wearing a gimp mask in the pit in the 108 degree heat. Saw him puking his guts out later.

  • Disgustache

    Red Leader standing by for the rest of these posts. I loved this! Really great write up. I like gaining insight to what other people experience festivals like.

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/imgly_production/303101/large.jpg

  • Dagon

    Must have been a great time. Thinking about travelling and going to festivals is one of my main motivations to keep studying.

  • Condom Full Of Croutons

    Lol, gotta love merch stands, even though I haven’t seen any at the last few shows I’ve been to.

    On a side note, She Past Away just sent some new photos. I put them over in the comments section of the interview (below this article).

    • Will check it after lunch. Thanks to the band!

    • Disgustache

      I saw Children of Bodom last year, and came ready to spend some money. I didn’t spend anything because all their shirts looked like Affliction rip offs, and I think they came with a free year membership to B-DUBS.

      • The W.

        Finding not a single shirt you’d actually wear at a show is always a bummer.

        • Disgustache

          And lately it seems to happen more often than not. It’s so disappointing. I think I’m becoming way too jaded sometimes, but then I realize (as evidenced by the Shirt Stains column, a personal favorite at the Toilet) that it’s everyone else who is wrong.

          http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BvvE0TSCUAAAzgV.jpg

      • Condom Full Of Croutons

        It pissed me off that Mago De Oz didn’t have one last time I saw them. That on top of them delaying the show by 4 months without explaining anything, and doing a short, pretty uninspired set. They looked like they didn’t even want to be there.

        • Disgustache

          Maybe because no one else wanted to be there either?

          • Condom Full Of Croutons

            Place (House Of Blues in Chicago) was sold out, actually. They sold out the Aragon Ballroom, a venue for about 3,000 or so people the first time I saw them.

          • Disgustache

            Holy sheet.

  • KJM

    Dead-Threaded: I had a brief Twitter convo last night with Cedric Bixler-Zavala about his former $1,000/week herb habit, funny dude.

  • Hellfest had a great deal of great shows. I want to see in which shows Moshito entered.

    I saw the streaming and some bands I like ripped the stage <3

    • was the concert a jam session?
      did the crowd roar like a lion?

  • Lactance

    No offense and maybe no one cares but French campers don’t yell “AMPEGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” but “APERRROOOO!” (apéro). It’s an abbreviation for the word “apéritif” actually. If you want to have a drink with somebody, you just have to scream this and if other campers answer you, well you’ve just made new beer-friends. By the way the French word for “Emperor” is not “Ampego” but “Empereur” !

    • OldMetalHead

      This is awesome! If I’m ever camping in France I’m definitely doing this.

      • more beer

        Knowing how to get a beer everywhere is a good thing.