The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Festival Preview: Slam Dunk

Slam Dunk Festival offers something for emo kids of all ages


Slam Dunk festival returns for its twelfth year with a line-up that’s sure to satisfy the emo kid in all of us, featuring bands old and new that shaped the scene into what it is today.

The day-long festival plays in three locations across the country: Slam Dunk Records’ home city of Leeds, the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, and Hatfield Park near London for our Southern friends.

Boasting some of the best bands the scene has to offer, Slam Dunk is sure to be just that.

With emo and pop-punk giants Jimmy Eat World and Good Charlotte both headlining, I for one will be dusting off my chequerboard Vans and be transported back to the heady days of drinking far too many cheap energy drinks and my parents just not getting me.

It doesn’t end there, however. Even hearing the names of the fabulously expressive Taking Back Sunday and Sleeping with Sirens I can smell hairspray.

Not at all to say that this is some nostalgia trip or tribute to a bygone era; modern scene greats such as the ever-energetic State Champs, rambunctiously raw Knuckle Puck, and punchy punkers Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes all feature to show the best of what a genre oft-dismissed as dead still has to offer.

For those that like their emo more emotive, As It Is headline the Signature Brew stage, with Patty Walters bringing his own unique singing style to the stage.

With the stage also featuring bands such as ROAM and Trash Boat, showcasing that even all these years after bands like Jimmy Eat World pioneered the genre, it still has so much to offer, and so much variety.

For the skankers among us, the Fireball stage has some of the very best ska-punk has to offer.

Be taken back to the days of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 with ska-punk legends Goldfinger; revisit the 90s with the excellent Save Ferris (who, by the way, released a brilliant cover on Come on Eileen), or just have a great time with crowd-pleasers and veterans Reel Big Fish; their unique aesthetic and propensity for brilliant covers setting them apart from the rest.

If you get tired of dodging arms in the mosh pit of Four Year Strong or crying your eyes out over your Year 8 relationship to Taking Back Sunday (why did they do that to you?), the festival also offers an acoustic stage, featuring sets from Speak Low If You Speak Love and Rob Lynch, amongst others.

All in all, Slam Dunk is better than ever this year, offering something for emo kids of all ages, and showcasing both the best of the scene and giving a platform for up and coming bands, Slam Dunk is definitely the place to be this Spring Bank Holiday weekend.