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Lemmy’s ashes to be enshrined at Hellfest ceremony

Lemmy
(Image credit: Jeff Hahne/Getty Images)

The life of Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister, the frontman and bass player of Motörhead, will be celebrated at Hellfest this week, where a portion of his ashes will be enshrined in a giant statue.

The ceremony will take place on June 23 (Thursday), just after the Scorpions’ headlining set finishes. Fans are invited to pay their own tributes onsite as they attend the giant seven-day rock and metal extravaganza in Clisson, France.

Lemmy’s Motörhead bandmates, guitarist Phil Campbell and drummer Mikkey Dee, will raise a toast to the rock bass guitar icon and speak at the memorial, where a tribute video will also be screened.  

Hellfest Lemmy Statue

French sculptor Caroline Brisset onsite at Hellfest 2022 with her statue of Lemmy (Image credit: Séverine Sajous/Getty Images)

Lemmy died on December 28 2015, aged 70, after a short battle with cancer. When his death was announced, a statement from the band urged fans to pay tribute in a manner the great man would most appreciate. 

“Play Motörhead loud, play Hawkwind loud, play Lemmy’s music LOUD. Have a drink or few. Share stories. Celebrate the LIFE this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself. HE WOULD WANT EXACTLY THAT.”

Many Motörhead fans did just that. Others paid tribute in their own way, such as the researchers who named an extinct crocodile after him, and those who named an astronaut after them. 

The Hellfest tribute is a little more traditional. Taking pride of place and host to Lemmy’s ashes is a huge statue created by French sculptor Caroline Brisset. It is an appropriate location, too; Motörhead played the very first Hellfest and returned regularly. You can watch pro-shot footage of their storming 2015 set above.

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Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to publications including Guitar World, MusicRadar and Total Guitar. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.