REPORTAGE.  Immersion in the furnace of Hellfest in Clisson

REPORTAGE. Immersion in the furnace of Hellfest in Clisson

Torrid ! 37 degrees Friday June 17, 40 degrees Saturday June 18. The Hellfest hard rock festival in Clisson will remember its 2022 edition. This Saturday June 18, the bitumen sticks, the grass burns, the make-up flows, but the amateurs, deprived of the event due to health crisis for two years , relativize. “Don’t worry, we manage. »

“Underwater, as soon as I’m dry”

Given the temperatures, the time for sartorial extravaganzas is over. The heat brings down the picturesque costumes. An exception, Thomas, dressed in black from head to foot and a werewolf mask on his head. “I can’t go underwater, I have an hour to prepare. The only solution is to go in the shade. »

But where did the shadow go? The wooded path is crowded. We meet Sam there, a Basque with curves from the abuse of mousse, a bottle in his hand. Beneath his fierce looks, the boy is reasonable. “Today I drink more water than beer, you have to be careful. It’s cool because there are water points everywhere. And I go underwater as soon as I’m dry. »

The thirst quenchers are also present to water. Differently: at the Kronenbourg, Olivier is one of the 150 to survey the festival. Reserve of 11 liters on the back, it is very sought after. “I empty the reserve in fifteen minutes. » There are also those like Ludo, a Nantes resident who likes to come with his sprayer. With his pink tutu, he is recognizable. “I’m in high demand today!” I water, I water. »

The heat spares no one. Sunstroke is common at Hellfest. | FRANCK DUBRAY / WEST FRANCE

Reinforcement rescuers

But now, the fountains, water curtains and taps are no longer enough by 40 degrees. The firefighters are there. A dozen trucks. Fire hose in hand, they spray the crowd. “The cistern contains 3,000 liters. We empty it in 20 minutes and we fill it further, 300 meters away”, explains Staff Sergeant Bouchez Mickaël of the CIS (fire and rescue center) in La Montagne. That was not enough! This Saturday an 11,000 liter truck arrived as reinforcements from Mayenne.

Another reinforcement, the civil security services. “We called for reinforcements because it’s the carnage of heat stroke”, slips a rescuer in action. For some, like this paramedic, things could have been anticipated. “The teams were reinforced at the last minute because of the heat wave. The problem is that the emergency services are already under pressure throughout the department. Vendée paramedics came to lend a hand in Clisson. The device was perhaps a bit light, given the expected heat phenomenon”

Even though there are a lot of “bobologies and sunstrokes”a provisional report drawn up on Saturday at the end of the afternoon counted around twenty evacuations to the Nantes University Hospital in two days. ” It is enormous. In 2018, we had around thirty over four days,” remembers Stéphane Graton, current head of the festival’s paramedics.

Festival-goers cool off as best they can. | FRANCK DUBRAY / WEST FRANCE

REPORTAGE. Immersion in the furnace of Hellfest in Clisson

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