The ninth annual Hellfest music and extreme sports festival, specializing in the hippest sounds in hardcore and metal, has been cancelled abruptly after event organizers ran into an eleventh-hour dispute with officials at the arena where the massive show was to be held.
According to Hellfest organizers, Trenton, NJ's Sovereign Bank Arena pulled the plug on the festival after alleging that required insurance policies and security detailing had not been secured. This was news to Hellfest head Shawn VanderPoel, who had taken out two separate $1 million US policies to protect against injuries and property damage.
The problem, it appears, was that the companies employed by Hellfest to insure the festival did not meet the standards required of the arena, causing the festival to be shut down just days before it was scheduled to begin. VanderPoel, in an interview with The Trentonian newspaper, implied that the arena, together with the city of Trenton, no longer wanted the festival (and its 10,000 or so ticket holders) hangin' round their neighbourhood and used a legal loophole to get rid of it.
An ironic turn of events, given that Hellfest had made fan safety a top concern and had adopted a credo revolving around "music, ethics, do-it-yourself attitude and family mentality".
Hellfest had been set to feature over 150 hardcore, metal and punk bands over the course of the weekend, including Hatebreed, Sick Of It All, Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, Bouncing Souls and The Misfits. Bizarrely, the weekend was also scheduled to feature a Public Enemy reunion (and so, perhaps, a Brigitte Nielsen sighting) until the Sovereign Bank Arena and friends put an end to the fun.
Fans who paid $120 US for tickets to the show can receive a full refund at point of purchase.
Writer: Neil McDonald