REPORTAGE.  At the Hellfest festival, Jacqueline Roth, 96, a grandma from hell

REPORTAGE. At the Hellfest festival, Jacqueline Roth, 96, a grandma from hell


“I usually wear pink… For today, I looked in my closet for the darkest I had! » She laughs heartily, Jacqueline, comparing her outfit to that of the all-black metallers at Hellfest, the Clisson festival, which ends this Sunday, June 26, 2022 with the Metallica concert.

In jeans and navy blue parka, the impeccable styling, “mamie Roth”, 97 years old on July 19, is eager to pass the door of “hell”. Would she be the dean of the festival? “For me yes, I give you sesame! Be careful though! » smiled the young man at the ticket office, handing him his ticket.

“I like the atmosphere, it’s nice to see that! In the evening, it’s so beautiful with all these lights and the fire-eaters. I’ve always loved music, all kinds of music. My husband, Pierre, played the accordion, I met him at the Bataclan. O We went to balls, all night we danced the waltz, the tango and we went home by the first metro. »

Jacqueline Roth participates in her 3e festival with its neighbors on the Brebionnière road, in Clisson, a ten-minute walk from the site. The whole group is organized to watch over her, who has lived alone since the death of her husband, and whose relatives live in Paris.

She’s the star at Hellfest! | MARC ROGER, WEST-FRANCE

In the hectic cauldron of Hellfest, Jacqueline gives her arm to Christelle or Jean-Claude and, when she gets tired, sits in the wheelchair pushed by Yannick. “It’s my family at heart”, she says with mischievous eyes that betray all the affection she has for them. “With us, there was no wedding or birthday without her, she is Grandma Roth, she was the grandmother of our children”, confide Martine and Jean-Claude.

“Can I take your picture? »

Monumental sculptures, XXL scenes, crazy outfits, she does not miss a crumb of the rock metal festival. “And all these little shops, it’s adorable. I still have good eyes, huh! This giant cathedral, when you are very close, you really feel like you are inside. The first year, it made me funny but I was not against it, recognizes this Catholic, who attends mass on Fridays.

Jacqueline Roth and Jean-Claude Galerne, one of her close neighbors. | MARC ROGER, WEST-FRANCE

On the huge site, the star is Jacqueline. These Alsatians with long ZZ Top beards ask for a photo with her, others come to congratulate her for being there, amazed by her fishing and her openness. With them, she gladly makes the rallying sign of the metalheads, fist closed, index and little finger raised. “Wait a minute, my fingers don’t close well anymore, I need more time…”

At the table, while eating her pasta accompanied by a beer, the Clissonnaise types a chat with Clément, a photographer from Marseille. “It’s amazing that you’re here, you only see that at Hellfest! » he exclaims, admiringly. “All the festival-goers are very considerate, very delicate”, observes Jean-Claude. Some naturally help to push the wheelchair.

Yannick, Marie, Liliane, Jean-Claude, Gilles and Christelle, surrounding their neighbor Jacqueline Roth, 97 years old on July 19, at Hellfest, a metal music festival in Clisson, near Nantes. | WEST FRANCE

His insatiable curiosity and unfailing optimism would almost make you want to grow old. “When my husband died, I decided not to feel sorry for myself, he wouldn’t have liked me to cry. » So Jacqueline, who stopped aquagym at 85 and still drives her Cliofueled by encounters, “at the exits here and there”, never refusing a cinema, a restaurant or a conference of the university of 3e age, without forgetting the embroidery. “I am always for, never against. Jam fortunate to have all my head and my memories. I want to live. »

When the bass rings out loud, Jacqueline likes it less and suggests moving away from the scenes. His repartee fuses, with the same playfulness: “I shouldn’t flinch here anyway! »

REPORTAGE. At the Hellfest festival, Jacqueline Roth, 96, a grandma from hell

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