It’s that time of year again, it’s Slam Dunk festival! Which means festival season has finally started. The multi-city Bank Holiday extravaganza of all things rock, punk and metal has been growing exponentially since its beginnings in Leeds back in 2006, and this year’s line-up features over 60 bands across eight stages! But who do you try to cram in to try and make the most of it? Well, we’ve got you covered with our ten picks for this weekend.
An Enter Shikari headline performance should be enough to get your asses to Slam Dunk, but the fact they’re doing a special Take To The Skies anniversary set is going to send nostalgia senses into overload. OK Time For Plan B, Johnny Sniper, Return To Energiser – this is going to be a true celebration of how special and unique the UK scene can be. Pass the glow sticks.
Stray From The Path
Amongst the sea of bands at this year’s festival singing about girls and heartbreak, the Long Island crew are sticking their middle finger in the air their fist in the face of authority. Taking obvious cues from Rage Against The Machine, this might take the crown for rowdiest crowd of the weekend.
Winning the unofficial Band Of The Day award back in 2015, Beartooth have graduated to the main stage to dole out their brand of aggressive post-hardcore. While latest album isn’t as in-your-face as the debut, its onstage that the Ohio mob really come to life. Start stretching those mosh muscles now.
If you’ve been to literally any rock festival in the past five years, there’s a strong chance you’ve seen Crossfaith – you just can’t stop them! And if you have witnessed the chaos, you know exactly what’s in store, but for the uninitiated, all we can say is DO YOU LIKE DANCING? Smashing together the intensity of metal shows with the energy of a rave, this lot are masters of putting on a party.
Having just finished a UK tour supporting CKY, lo-fi newbies Puppy have the unenviable task of opening the festival. But with their Deftones-meets-Ghost-meets-Weezer melodic rock and crunchy riffs, they’re more than up to the task. Making waves in the underground for the past two years, the long-awaited debut album is sure to send these guys to much bigger stages than you’ll see this weekend. Be there.
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- The confessions of Bury Tomorrow frontman Dani Winter-Bates
- The 10 best Enter Shikari songs as chosen by Rou Reynolds
- Famous Firsts: Crossfaith's Ken on loving Aerosmith and playing with crap bands
Grunge and punk rock? Count us in. Comfortingly lo-fi but relentlessly upbeat and singalong, this is ultimate festival music. Recently signed to Roadrunner, and with a new EP due out in July, you can be sure that the Gloucester-based quartet will be delivering raucous sets designed to impress new fans.
Having gained a reputation for being one of the most wildly entertaining live bands going, based on their sets of blistering, high-energy punk rock, the LA hardcore punks are a steadfast festival must-see. With no new material to promote, chances are the setlist will be pure hits, making this one not to be missed.
Mixing good, old-fashioned pop punk with whimsical shoegaze-inspired dream pop, Turnover will provide a welcome point to catch your breath in a lineup otherwise dominated by rowdy punk rock. Sun-soaked and reverb-heavy, this lot will have you feeling like it’s summer even if it’s pissing down outside.
Metalcore is often at its best in a live setting, lending itself happily to the charged and chaotic atmosphere. Bury Tomorrow are no different, their sets guaranteed to be a glorious mix of heavy, tight and energetic melodic metal. Miss them at your peril.
Against Me!’s incendiary blend of folk punk has long made them a must-see live. Their riotous singalong anthems were practically written to be enjoyed in a festival environment, and will fill you with the urge to grab a Guinness and head to the front. With recent setlists covering a decent range of material old and new, there should be something for every fan to enjoy here.
Slam Dunk festival takes place in Leeds, Birmingham and Hatfield across May 27-29.