Shelter from closed main roads
After watching many Avantasia shows, I still have not enough, so I decided to travel to Hellfest in Clisson, France with a short time decision. I started my travel on Thursday to Nantes, where my hotel was. A distance of 950km lied ahead of me and the first I noticed in France, you always have to keep your wallet nearby, because all few kilometers you have to pay for using the highway. Nevertheless, I managed the distance with a few stops and arrived at my hotel in the evening.
The next day was also the day when Avantasia played. I promised to transport some Greek friends with my car from Nantes main station to Clisson, so we started our trip around 12am and arrived there at maybe 12:40. When we arrived we saw many cars parking on the main road, where it probably was not allowed. We tried to find the real parking area and faced for the first time some communication problems, with French people not understanding and speaking English. But it somehow worked to find the parking area, which was a little outside of the area. Then we had a maybe 15-20 minute walk until we entered the entrance.
My Greek friends had fewer problems than me with entering, because of my late decision; there was not an updated guest list available. With some phone calls and some help, I could finally enter after some time. It is a really very big area and maybe a little too big to see everything, so I mainly stayed at the main stages. For me as a first time visitor it looked a little bit like a copy of Wacken, but finding stuff was a little more difficult like the food areas. But it also had some nice things that Wacken doesn’t have, like a place with trees, where you could rest while eating or protecting from sun. Yes, the weather was much better than announced and there was a lot of sun, but of course also in change with cloudy weather and some rain showers. But most of the time I was there, it was a very nice weather.
I watched Europe, some parts of Twisted Sister, Def Leppard, Helloween and of course Avantasia. Later in the evening it got quite cold, but I had 2 jackets with me, so no problem. Def Leppeard played too long and I already thought that they had finished the show, but they returned with more songs. Finally at around 1:20 or 1:30 Avantasia started and some people had of course left due to the late hour, but the mood was still very good. I expected a 60 minutes set, but luckily they played 90 minutes. Michael was in a great vocal shape again and only had a little mistake in one of the high screams of ‘Reach out for the Light’. As a little surprise they played ‘Great Mystery’. As a funny coincidence it started raining during the song ‘Shelter from the rain’ and since I had a rain coat, this was not a problem.
The show finished around 3am and I was really tired, but I also still had to drive my Greek friends back to Nantes. And now the real little adventure started. We didn’t leave the area immediately and when I finally reached my car and tried to drive back to Nantes, the main road to the highway was closed with a barrier and someone as security. I tried to find another way to Nantes, but my navigation system always directed me again to the closed road. After a long time and some discussions with the security, who didn’t understand English, one of my Greeks friends had a pass for handicapped people due to problems in his back. Luckily they opened the road for us and we could finaly drive back to Nantes. After I dropped the Greek at the main station, I arrived at my hotel at around 5:30 really terrible tired. The next day, I spend the day with sleeping instead of sightseeing. Nevertheless, I was an interesting experience. J