Hellfest (American music festival)
Hellfest was an American metal music festival. Named for the intense summer heat at the show, the festival originally began featuring hardcore bands before crossing into several genres later on. Hellfest was known for its fan-friendly atmosphere, (including a lack of barriers, providing easy access to the stage for stage diving) and for its high social-awareness, focusing on such causes as animal rights, with many attendees following the straight edge and/or vegan lifestyle. It continued as an annual event until it was cancelled in 2005. After its cancellation less than thirty-six hours before doors were scheduled to open on the festival's ninth year, some fans, unhappy with the inadequate processing of refunds, filed small claims court lawsuits against promoter Keith Allen.
In its ninth season in 2005 (which was cancelled), Hellfest was to feature independent hardcore, metal and punk rock bands on three different stages. However, discrepancies between Paper Street Music (Hellfest's organizer and promoter) and the venue caused the fest to be cancelled at the last minute. A number of the bands originally scheduled for Hellfest planned last-minute alternative shows that weekend in the Tri-State Region in the wake of the festival's cancellation.
Bands that have played at Hellfest
Syracuse, NY, USA:
- Boysetsfire, Brother's Keeper, Buried Alive, Snapcase, SeventyEightDays, Racetraitor, Today Is The Day, Coalesce.
Syracuse, NY, USA:
- Bane, Brother's Keeper, Buried Alive, Codeseven Converge, Eighteen Visions, Every Time I Die, The Hope Conspiracy, Idle Hands, Killswitch Engage, NORA, One King Down, Poison The Well, Shai Hulud, Bloodjinn, This Day Forward, Turmoil, Walls of Jericho, ZAO
July 6–8, at the Action Sports Center, Mattydale, NY, USA:
- Earth Crisis, Hatebreed, Candiria, Diecast, Killswitch Engage, Most Precious Blood, NORA, Poison the Well, Shai Hulud, Another Victim, Skycamefalling, This Day Forward, Twelve Tribes, Walls of Jericho, Bloodjinn, Every Time I Die, Martyr AD, Santa Sangre, God Below, All Else Failed, Cataract, Ensign, From Autumn to Ashes, Bleeding Through, Lamb of God, Reach the Sky, Brother's Keeper, Until the End, Lariat, Curl up and Die, Thursday, Mastodon, Sworn Enemy, If Hope Dies, Blood Has Been Shed, Unearth, Wrong the Oppressor, Kalibas, Standfast, Eighteen Visions, Arkangel, Pig Destroyer, Rembering Never, Premonitions of War, Destro, Garrison, Maharahj, A Death For Every Sin, Creation Is Crucifixion, Cipher, In Dying Days, Thursday (band)
Syracuse, NY, USA:
- American Nightmare, Atreyu, Avenged Sevenfold, Bane, Between the Buried and Me, The Black Dahlia Murder, Bleeding Through, Blood Has Been Shed, Bury Your Dead, CKY, Codeseven, Coheed and Cambria, Cro-Mags, Dead Wrong, Diecast, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Eighteen Visions, Ensign, From Autumn to Ashes, God Forbid, Hatebreed, The Hope Conspiracy, Killswitch Engage, Lamb of God, Martyr AD, Misfits, Moneen, Norma Jean, The Red Chord, Shai Hulud, Shattered Realm, Terror, Throwdown, Unearth, 7 Angels 7 Plagues, Season of Fire, the Last Season (ex-Godbelow), Ringworm, Merauder, Nemesis (Freya/Earth Crisis), Himsa
Syracuse, NY, USA:
18 Visions, A Life Once Lost, All Else Failed, Arkangel, Arma Angelus, All That Remains, As Hope Dies, Asherah, American Nightmare, Atreyu, Avenged Sevenfold, Bleeding Through, Between the Buried and Me, Blood Brothers, Bloodjinn, Bloodlet, Brandtson, Breaking Pangea, Breathe In, Burnt By The Sun, The Cancer Conspiracy, Caliban, Candiria, Codeseven, Coheed and Cambria, Count the Stars, Commit Suicide, Cro-Mags, Curl up and Die, CKY, Dead to Fall, Death Threat, Diecast, Drowningman, Ed Gein, Eiffel, Ensign, Evergreen Terrace, Every Time I Die, Face the Fact(Italy hardcore), Fall Silent, From Autumn to Ashes, Found Dead Hanging, The Funeral, Glasseater, God Forbid, Hatebreed, Himsa, The Hope Conspiracy, The Hoods, Harakiri, Haste, Hopesfall, Hope and Suicide, Homesick for Space, If Hope Dies, In Pieces, Jesuseater, Jude the Obscure, The June Spirit, Kalibas, Killswitch Engage, Kittie, Knives Out, Lamb of God, Light Is the Language, Lickgoldensky, Long Since Forgotten, Love is Red, Martyr ad, Misery Signals, Most Precious Blood, Moneen, Nemesis, Nora, Norma Jean, Not Waving But Drowning, xOne Fifthx, One Nation Under, On the Might of Princes, Open Hand, The Promise, Reach the Sky, The Rise, The Red Chord, Remembering Never, Ringworm, Saving Throw, Shai Hulud, Skycamefalling, Season of Fire, Static Lullaby, Stretch Arm Strong, Suicide Note, Sworn Enemy, Taken, Terror, This Afternoon, This Day Forward, Throwdown, Thursday, Unearth, Undying, Until the End, The Wage of Sin, Walls of Jericho, What Feeds the Fire, XdiscipleX a.d., Your Enemies Friends
July 2004, at the Rexplex, Elizabeth, NJ, USA:
- 25 Ta Life, 100 Demons, A Life Once Lost, A Thousand Falling Skies, The Acacia Strain, Adelphi, Agnostic Front, The A.K.A.s, Alexisonfire, All Else Failed, All That Remains, Andrew W.K., Anterrabae, As I Lay Dying, The Ataris, The Autumn Offering, Avail, Bad Luck 13 Riot Extravaganza, Bane, The Banner, Bear Vs. Shark, Beloved, Between The Buried And Me, BigWig, Blacklisted, Bleeding Through, Blood for Blood, Breath of Silence, Brokeneck, The Bronx, Burnt by the Sun, Caliban, The Calico System, Champion, Comeback Kid, Converge, Day of Contempt, The Dead Season, Dead to Fall, Death by Stereo, XdeathstarX, Death Threat, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Draw Blood, DRI, Drive Without, Drowingman, Dry Kill Logic, E-Town Concrete, Embrace Today, Endwell, Engineer, Ensign, Evergreen Terrace, Every Time I Die, Fear Before the March of Flames, Fear Factory, Flat Earth Society, Folly, For the Love of, Fordirelifesake, Forever is Forgotten, From a Second Story Window, Found Dead Hanging, Full Blown Chaos, Glasseater, Halifax, Hawthorne Heights, Himsa, The Hope Conspiracy, HORSE the Band, If Hope Dies, I Killed The Prom Queen, In Flames, It Dies Today, The Judas Cradle, The Juliana Theory, The Killing, Killswitch Engage, Last Perfection, Let It Die, Life of Agony, Love is Red, Malice Afterthought, Martyr AD, Mastodon, Merauder, Mest, The Minor Times, Misery Signals, Misfits, Misery Index, Most Precious Blood, Nag Hamadi, No Hollywood Ending, No Redeeming Social Value, No Warning, NORA, Norma Jean, Nothing Left to Mourn, The Number Twelve Looks Like You, Odd Project, Only Crime, Park, Pig Destroyer, Planes Mistaken for Stars, Prayer for Cleansing, Premonitions of War, The Promise, Psyopus, The Red Chord, Reflux, Remembering Never, Roses are Red, Scars of Tomorrow, Shadows Fall, Shai Hulud, Shattered Realm, Sick of it All, Spitalfield, Stabbed by Words, Stars Turn Cold, Stretch Arm Strong, Strike Anywhere, Suffocate Faster, Suffocation, Sworn Enemy, Sycamore Dreams, Terror, Time in Malta, To The Grave, Today Is The Day, Through the Discipline, Throwdown, Underoath, Undying, Unearth, Until The End, Walk the Line, Walls of Jericho, Wings of Scarlet, With Dead Hands Rising, With Honor, World Inferno Friendship Society, Your Enemies Friends, Zao, Zombie Apocalypse
At the ill-fated 2005 festival, which was to have been held in Trenton, NJ, bands slated to perform were:
- Above This Fire, The Acacia Strain, Auschwitz, Against Me!, As Cities Burn, As I Lay Dying, Anterrabae The Banner, Bedlight for Blue Eyes, Between the Buried and Me, Bloodlined Calligraphy, Bloodjinn, Bold, Bouncing Souls, Cancer Bats, The Casualties, The Chariot, Chimaira, Coalesce, Converge, Cryptopsy, Cursed, Emery, Ensign, From Autumn to Ashes, Full Blown Chaos, Good Clean Fun, Gym Class Heroes, Haste the Day, Hatebreed, Hidden in Plain View, Hit the Lights, Killswitch Engage, It Dies Today, Lifetime, Madball, Misery Signals, Misfits, Most Precious Blood, Nile, NORA, Norma Jean, Planes Mistaken for Stars, Public Enemy, Remembering Never, Rise Against, Scary Kids Scaring Kids, Sick of it All, Silverstein, Six Feet Under, Spitalfield, Strike Anywhere, Terror, This is Hell, Throwdown, Unearth, Youth of Today, Zao, 108, 3 Inches of Blood
- Hellfest 2000, The Official DVD Documentary, (released April 8, 2003):
- Hellfest 2002 (2 discs) (released January 6, 2004):
Featuring live performances from Coheed and Cambria, Bleeding Through, Hatebreed, Merauder, NORA, Open Hand, Freya, Throwdown, Lamb of God, Bloodlet, Eighteen Visions, Most Precious Blood, Terror, Death Threat and more.
- Hellfest Vol III: Official Video Documentary Filmed Live At Hellfest 2003 In Syracuse, (2 discs) (released July 13, 2004):
Featuring live performances from Anti-Flag, Thursday, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Norma Jean, Lamb of God, Murder By Death, Walls of Jericho, The Bled, Terror, From Autumn to Ashes, CKY, Comeback Kid, My Chemical Romance, Full Blown Chaos, The Locust, Biohazard, Unearth, Bleeding Through, Bouncing Souls and more.
Hellfest's final year, the 2004 weekend at Rexplex, Elizabeth, New Jersey was filmed by High Roller Studios to be released on DVD, but the footage was never released publicly. When High Roller Studios ended, their MySpace page (www.myspace.com/highrollerstudios) explained the company's reason for disbanding, adding that the Hellfest DVD would never be released. Unbeknownst to most, the entire 2004 DVD had been edited and was ready for release, however Radiotakeover president Shawn Van Der Poel had failed to negotiate agreements with the bands that would have appeared on the multi-disc set.
- Hellfest 2001/2004 Resurrection (July 2013):
In the summer of 2013, Doug Spangenberg gave the surviving tapes from Hellfests 2001 and 2004 to hate5six.com so that the sets could be properly edited and released to the public for free. This long term project promises to make the "lost" footage available in an ad-free and non-commercial setting.
- Hellfest Was Amazing, Review of Hellfest 2004 by the Lifting Journal
- One ‘Hell’ of a concert, Report by Scott Frost, The Trentonian
- Cold day in hell, by Scott Frost, The Trentonian
- Article in the New York Times about the demise of the festival in 2005. Registration required.
- Videos of performances from shows that sprung up from the Hellfest 2005 cancellation. Videos include Lifetime, Good Clean Fun and more.