LOIC VENANCE via AFP
HELLFEST – A minister among rockers and metalheads. This Saturday, June 25, the Minister of Culture Rima Abdul Malak made a surprise appearance at the Hellfest 2022 festival, in Clisson. After two years of festivities canceled due to Covid-19, the minister appointed in May wanted to join the party to “support and recognize the importance” of Hellfest, “the biggest festival in France” a-t- she explained to the press.
This is the first time that a Minister of Culture has gone to Hellfest Open Air since its official creation in 2006. On Monday, Rima Abdul Malak had also shared some of his musical tastes in an interview, hinting that she could be there before the end of the festival.
covid and bites on today’s agenda
Asked about the resumption of the epidemic in France as in other European countries, the minister wants to be reassuring for the rest of the festivals planned for this summer in France and does not intend to “reduce the gauges” or add other “ constraints”.
“There is a resumption of the Covid at the moment, you have to be very vigilant, wash your hands, resume barrier gestures (…) test yourself every time you have a doubt”, first indicated the minister. “However, we are vaccinated in France, normally we have no risk of putting back constraints or reducing the gauges. The festivals this summer will, if all goes well, go well,” she added.
Another shadow hangs over the summer festivities: complaints of stings in nightclubs, bars and festivals are piling up across the whole of France. But the evidence is still lacking to determine the reality of these malicious acts. “This phenomenon worried me a great deal,” explained the minister. “In reality, it’s really a mystery, there is a phenomenon of psychosis more than a real phenomenon,” she said. “There are a few bites (not at Hellfest, no cases recorded), it exists, but much less than the psychosis that came out of it”.
“There is no substance to these bites when they are found, no aggression in the aftermath,” she insisted. “It would seem, again, it’s conditional because it’s very mysterious, that it started from a challenge on social networks. Let’s not give in to psychosis”.
A Guns N’ Roses fan minister
This visit to Hellfest was also an opportunity to bring back memories of youth. Among the some 350 artists present this year, the group Guns N’Roses was there. Something to delight the current Minister of Culture who no longer hides his love for the band of guitarist Slash.
“On a more personal note, the first concert of my life at 14 was the Guns N’Roses at the Halle Tony Garnier in Lyon where I lived,” said the minister. The opportunity for Rima Abdul Malak to come full circle “29 years later”, by attending the concert given by the Guns N’Roses in Clisson.
“I hesitated between Metallica and Guns N’Roses”, also commented the Minister of Culture in the company of Ben Barbaud, co-founder of the festival. On the sidelines of the concert, the minister took advantage of the moment to immortalize these “reunions” with the members of the group from Los Angeles.
At #Hellfest ! The biggest festival in France, which brings together the best of the French and international rock & metal scene. Reunion with the Guns N’Roses, the first group I saw in concert in Lyon the year I was 14 years old. Long live music! Long live all music! 🌹🌹🌹 pic.twitter.com/3ui8QhXAyN
—Rima Abdul Malak (@RimaAbdulMalak) June 26, 2022
For its return after two years of absence, the Hellfest had seen things big this year with a double program over seven days, attracting no less than 420,000 spectators.
See also on The HuffPost: The HellFest Corner wants to bring together all the culture of metal