With Hellfire Festival 2 just around the corner we caught up with organiser Rob Ferguson to find out what drives him and what punters can expect.

R13:What can people expect from Hellfire Festival this time?
RF:Hellfire Festival is all about showcasing the cream of British breaking talent topped off with some established heavyweights and that’s exactly what you can expect at Hellfire II. I think we have put together a really exciting and diverse line up which offers something for everybody under one roof.

R13:You did the first event in Islington and it was a huge success, why change the venue and are you looking to give the festival a home or do a different venue each time?
RF:It was always intended that Hellfire would have more than one site and many people forget that the first Hellfire was actually this year! Hellfire has a home at Music Live and will return there next year (we already have the first bands pencilled) and we will shortly be making an exciting
announcement regarding our other home....watch this space.

R13:How did you decide on the line up and were there any bands that you wanted to perform that you couldn't get this year?
RF:It’s an incredibly difficult process deciding which bands get to play the festival and if I had unlimited resources I’d have more stages over more days to accommodate all the bands I’d like to have with us. The next
Hellfire is always just around the corner so no bands should be disheartened
as I am always looking at what’s coming through. As mentioned previously
I’m incredibly pleased with the line-up we’ve put together and I hope people
use this opportunity to check out some of the amazing talent we have

R13:How have ticket sales been? What sort of numbers can we expect and will there be tickets available on the day?
RF:Ticket sales have been quite varied from day to day and it is very tough out there at the moment but on the whole we’ve been very pleased with the level of support. We have the added bonus that our partnership with Music Live allows us to involve their established audience in the proceedings so we are expecting a very busy weekend.

R13:You are combining the event with Music Live, which celebrates it's 10th anniversary this year, how did that come about and how do the two events complement each other?
RF:The partnership makes perfect sense really, Music Live is predominantly a Rock and Metal event and this is abundantly clear when you look at some of their recent guest appearances such as Kerry King, Dave Mustaine, Matt Tuck,Sikth etc. I was looking for a home for Hellfire in our 2nd city and Music Live was a natural choice, it's very much a complementary relationship and one which we both intend to develop further.

R13:What's your background and what was the motivation behind Hellfire Festival?
RF:I run a music company called Transcend which has a label, management,
publishing and now of course a festival. Hellfire Festival was born out of
frustration on behalf of some of the younger bands I work with. We have a
wealth of amazing talent in Rock and Metal here in the UK and It is
incredibly hard for bands get the opportunity to showcase themselves on a
big stage in front of a great audience, from that conundrum, Hellfire was
born. Obviously we can't make the festival wok without engaging some more
established acts, the challenge is to achieve the perfect blend so we have
enough of each to stay true to our ethos of supporting the underground
whilst still being commercially viable.

R13:Did you learn any lessons from the inaugural festival?
RF:Haha I learn lessons every day! It's a continual learning curve for me and I am constantly told that I must be mad - maybe I am, but I am driven to do this and I will continue honing and fine tuning Hellfire as long as I
have to.

R13:Who was the highlight of Hellfire 1 and who are you most looking forward to this time?
RF:I really couldn’t pick one single act from Hellfire 1 as there were so many great performances, many from virtually unknown bands at the time which is precisely what it’s all about. As far as Hellfire II is concerned I would urge people to check out the names they are not so familiar with and I
guarantee you will find something that will blow you away. In terms of the
established act, call me biased but do not miss Fields of the Nephilim, a
spine tingling spectacular show to close Hellfire II.

R13:Given the current economic climate and with Hellfire Fest 1 already underthe belt this year, Hard Rock Hell just around the corner, Bloodstock,Download, Hammerfest etc do we need another metal festival?
RF:Market forces will determine the answer to that question but I believe we are offering something significantly different to warrant our place on the circuit. We also deliver incredible value for money at just £25 for a day ticket and £55 for a weekend. We have had incredible support from the
industry but at the end of the day it's about the fans - this is my Field of
Dreams and my adage must be “if you build it they will come” if you haven't
seen the movie - watch it and you’ll understand!!

R13:Any plans for the future? Will you be back next year?
RF:Hellfire will continue to grow stronger and will certainly be back next year.