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Hellfest, Clisson, France, Day # 3 Of 4 – Saturday 29th June 2024



Saturday starts off with a beautiful sunny day, and we are reminded that metal Gods Metallica will be headlining today –  when we spot the main stage has been converted to include the band’s snake pit stage.


German thrash legends Accept were a highlight of the day. There’s something about veteran bands, they know how to please a crowd, and their lighting guy knows how to light them with great effect too.

Think of how good the Scorpions are at this, and this is what you get with Accept. They transfer their good vibes over so well, that even people in the crowd who do not know their songs are able to enjoy their performance.

Certainly when this band are on tour again, they can expect to see sold out venues. It’s unfortunate at this point of the evening, because it starts to rain and rain hard.

Bruce Dickinson can be seen performing over at Main Stage 2 where he is swearing about the weather…





The third day kicks off with Eddie Van Halen’s son Wolfgang’s band, Mammoth WVH. The set starts with “You’re To Blame” and the show takes on tracks from Wolfgang’s two solo records.

The band play well and Wolfgang like his dad, is a supreme guitar player. I guess though you do get the feeling that the fans are kind of hoping for a cover or two of a classic Van Halen track – for example, “Jump” would have gone down an absolute storm here.

At the same time you have to give credit that Wolfgang is doing things his way. Nice to see EVH’s initials on the headstock of Wolfgang’s guitar, so I am assuming that was one of his late and much missed father’s axes.

Mammoth WVH – Wolfgang Van Halen


Mammoth WVH



I hadn’t seen Extreme for 30 years. It was at Monsters of Rock Festival at Donington, now the home of Download, and on that day they were pelted with canisters full of a yellow liquid that was definitely not beer…

They had just come on after the onslaught of Sepultura and Pantera, and it was a bad fit. Here at Hellfest, the crowd are willing to enjoy their music, but the band do not seem in the best of spirits.

Gary Cherone the singer, seems more content to stay in the middle of the stage and you really just want him to go for it and run around a bit.

Guitarist Nuno Bettencourt, who is one of the finest players around today, is whinging about the stage set up for Metallica. It means for him that the first view he gets is an almost empty snake pit, but he refuses to move from his spot, which one would believe would help his situation if he did!

Instead he says that the stage set up “sucks.” One wonders if the band will ever open for Metallica again? Extreme of course does have some hits and “More Than Words” goes down pretty well, as does “Get The Funk Out”, but there is some soul missing from their performance.


Yngwie Malmsteen has been known as one of the great guitar players for the past three decades, much in the vein of Steve Vai who appeared here two years ago.

Is there nothing that Malmsteen can’t make his guitar do? If you are a lover of guitar solos, then you are served up a slice of heaven when Malmsteen takes to the stage. Can’t help to be utterly impressed by his musicianship. The sound and tone he is able to get out of the guitar is quite incredible.

Yngwie Malmsteen
Yngwie Malmsteen


Fans waiting for huge headliners Metallica are soaking wet, but the wait will be worth it. Metallica take to the stage just before 11pm and open up with “Creeping Death”.

They play three songs from “72 Seasons” which does have a lull in the overall mood of the set, however by now, the rain has at least stopped.

The big moments are all here: “Nothing Else Matters”, “Enter Sandman”, “One”, “Seek and Destroy” and set closer “Master of Puppets”.

Metallica – Fan photo from crowd [by Karl Dietrich]
Metallica rarely feature the mighty “Orion”. Tonight they did, dedicated to original bassist Cliff Burton who tragically died in a bus accident in 1986.

It is always special to witness Metallica, the biggest metal band in the world, and to see them playing at the biggest metal music festival in the world is a very special combination.

Metallica – Fan photo from crowd [by Karl Dietrich]
Metallica are another headliner [like Avenged Sevenfold] who closed the pit and stopped accredited photographers shooting their set.

But we do have the couple of pictures above, taken by a German fan in the crowd and offered to this magazine to publish, with grateful thanks.


  • Check out our coverage of all four days of Hellfest 2024 in our “Live Zone”




Words & Photos: David Bronstein

Metallica pix x 2 – Fan photos from the crowd by Karl Dietrich



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