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2020 Hellfest Open Air

2020 ‘Hellfest Open Air’ Cancelled, Organizers Enter Dispute With Insurance Company Over Pandemic Coverage


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In light of ongoing concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual ‘Hellfest Open Air‘ festival has been forced to skip this year. Tickets and passes purchased for this year’s edition can be transferred to next year’s edition of the festival, which will be held June 18th-20th, 2021 in Clisson, France.

As it turns out, the festival’s organizers have since run into a dispute over an insurance payout in light of the complications brought on by the pandemic and appear to have taken the matter to court. They argue that the policy they had entered into covers this current type of scenario. However, their insurance company disputes that.

The festival’s organizers issued the below statement earlier today, April 09th on the matter and the decision to postpone the festival:

“Hellbangers,
The French authorities signed the end of the game. There will be no HELLFEST this year.

Over the past few days, many of you have been concerned about this 15th anniversary edition. You showed us your support in this unprecedented situation that hits us full in the face so badly. Just like you, we believed until the last minute that the festival could take place this year.

Unfortunately, in the face of this unprecedented situation, the Loire-Atlantique Prefecture and Ministry of Culture took the only reasonable decision, to ban the festival. The 2020 HELLFEST EDITION is therefore cancelled. We are supporting their decision and would like to thank them for their consideration and responsiveness towards our festival.

The longer the days went by, the more it seemed impossible to envisage a 2020 edition, guaranteeing a satisfactory organization and most important: your safety. Aware that the risk of contagion related to the Covid-19 will still be high in June, it would have been irresponsible and dangerous for us to allow tens of thousands of fans – shirtless and thirsty- to gather in such a restricted area.

The public authorities also told us that they are no longer able to guarantee the usual safety and rescue services (i.e. police unit, emergency units, medical support, etc) for any large gathering like ours.

With a heavy heart, we’ve come to the decision to postpone this 15th anniversary edition of Hellfest to June 18th,19th and 20th of 2021.

If you are in possession of a 3-Days Ticket or 1-Day Ticket for the 2020 edition, we offer you to keep your ticket for the 2021 edition, without any additional costs. You have nothing to do ! You will be send, as soon as possible, a new ticket valid for the 2021 edition of Hellfest!

If you do not wish or are unsure to participate in the 2021 edition, you have two choices :

Visit Ticketswap, the only official retailer of festival tickets that guarantees a secure transaction. No need to specify the tickets purchased by any other means will not be valid (Viagogo, Stubhub, etc.).

By choosing this option you will make a happy festival goer who was despaired not to come this year and our Association will be able to keep the value of the ticket to prepare the 2021 edition of Your festival.

Of course, and according to the law, a refund option will be offered in the coming days. We will come back to you about this once the solution is implemented, included for the specificities related to the different transport packages (train, bus, etc).
This is a real blow for our non-profit Association and to the entire territory.

Out of respect for you, the fans who made the festival what it is today, we want to be transparent about the impact this “forced” postponement will have.

As of today, the Hellfest Productions Association will have to face several difficulties. In contrast to other sectors (which will also be hard hit by a downturn in the economy over several months), our Association will financially lose a whole year.

The government measures, which we applaud, will not be enough to make up for the heavy losses we will have to face. Wages, general and promotional costs, bank depreciations are all incompressible costs that cannot be financed with a “blank year”.

Aware of the risks and its responsibility, Hellfest Productions Association has nevertheless taken care to take out insurance of type “all except” with the company named ALBINGIA, French insurance company located in Levallois Perret, for the modest amount of 175,000€.

Sum corresponding to the amount of the premium of the contract supposed to cover us of potential risks leading to a cancellation. The same insurance contract clearly stipulates that financial losses due to possible pandemics will be covered provided that the contract was signed before the outbreak and recognition of the pandemic by the French authorities or by the WHO. Our contract was signed on December 17, 2019, before the virus appears in China.

But here we are, our insurance company is demonstrating to those still doubting, that it is easier to pay insurance premiums rather than to obtain reparation for damages that we are supposed to be covered. Therefore, we were denied from ALBINGIA because this “type” of pandemic did not fit into our insurance policy.

We obviously contest this reading. For ALBINGIA, solidarity is for others, taking the risk of putting their policyholders in economic difficulties. Their reasoning is simple, take our contributions for a cancellation insurance YES, compensate us: NEVER. The idea?!

Playing with words and interpretations to start a trial which last for several years. Meanwhile, the company will keep the money we should be able to claim. This is the reason why we want to shed light today on these shameful practices especially in times like this.

Solidarity and commitments compliance should be the main concerns of insurers company.

In short, while we are waiting for a long procedure, only two words come to us for this specialized event and audiovisual insurance company: FUCK YOU!

Far from being a relief for us, this one-year postponement also puts in financial difficulties many actors, without whom the festival could not take place : intermittents, service providers, suppliers, partner associations, producers, artists, etc.

Some of them will be seriously affected by the loss of their activity, and we we would like to express our unwavering support to them. We will see you all in 2021, once these difficult times are over.

Despite these uncertain times, our motivation and our will are stronger than ever. Thanks to your support, to that of our partners (excepting the insurance one obviously …), to that of our volunteers, and all music lover in general, we will continue to wear the colors of the extreme music legacy, be sure!

All united to reunite soon !

Everywhere in France, calls for donations are multiplying to help healthcare workers directly affected by this tragedy. In the face of this situation, we couldn’t stay still.

As an unifying event of such a big community, Hellfest Productions wants to participate to the will but we also count on YOU !

We are launching an online fundraising fund to help and support Nantes University Hospital and donating 20,000€. This is the amount of the usual costs of our emergency doctors and units on the festival, protecting and taking care of you every year and who will not be solicited this year.

We invite you, right now and if you can, to donate to the « Hellfest For Health » in order to support medical research and our healthcare workers. You will show everyone that extreme music fans know how to unite and show solidarity and generosity towards those who are on the frontlines protecting us.

You will have over a year to perfect your headbanging. We will wait for you on June 18/19/20th, 2021 with even more impatience than usual! Until then, take care of yourself and your love ones and please, stay home.

We wish you all a pleasant confinement with the sound of saturated guitars! We will see you soon and will keep you up to date!

Hellfest crew”

This year’s edition of the festival was set to feature headlining performances from System Of A Down, Deftones, Faith No More and many more.

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