A newly located, fantastic, and future proof festival for all things punk, metal, and rock is finally hitting the North in the bustling and busy student town of Leeds.
Slam Dunk Festival arrives this year in a brand new location at Temple Newsam Park. This new location takes the festival out of its original home in the city centre venues within Leeds. It is a similar move to the likes of Tramlines Festival (re-located to Hillsborough Park for the 2018 season) which will see an expansive number of stages located on one single site.
The Monster stage holds host to some huge names in pop-punk such as Baltimore quartet All Time Low who are set to perform a highly anticipated set this year.
Their set will feature an array of tracks across their vast discography spanning over a decade’s worth of work. From their first full length studio album, 2005’s The Party Scene all the way to the later releases such 2017 Last Young Renegade it becomes clear that there is a lot of material to work with and get stuck into.
Many people are quick to question their positioning on the bill but if ‘Dear Maria, Count Me In’ does not stir some pop-punk nostalgia then I would argue nothing will. I would be lying if I said that I would not be singing just a little from the back of a no-doubt raucous crowd. No matter how far their sound changes, there will still be a dedicated fan base in attendance, so I would recommend getting there early to bag a decent spot – as with many of the other headliners.
At this stage, you will also find punk band Neckdeep, Simple Plan, and the likes of Boston Manor. A band that is at the top of my pick list here though is electropop-punk band Waterparks. The group’s second full-length album, 2018’s Entertainment, is full of punchy and anthemic pop-punk tracks that combine the raging force of punk ferocity with vocoder vocals to create frankly stunning results. I am intrigued to see if the quality translates live.
Another stage that is set to host some exciting bands is the Jagermeister stage with headliners Bullet for My Valentine, Story of the year, and Silverstein to watch out for. At the Impericon stage, you will find headliners New York’s alternative metal band Glassjaw. This band combines relatively light rock sound guitar riffs with gritty metallic vocals. Highlights at this stage include Turnstiles and the purely explosive energy of Knocked Loose earlier in the afternoon.
Over at the Marshall stage, you will find new wave pop punk band Trophy Eyes. Their blend of extremely literal lyricism and pop-punk with a contentious brand of narcissism is highly entertaining and their new releases look very promising.
Another highly entertaining act that can be found at Dickies stage is Milk Teeth. Fresh from their latest tour with the phenomenal punk rock band PUP, they are more than ready to take this fantastic spot. Tracks such as ‘Owning your Okayness’ and new release ‘Stain’ sound great live and only time will tell if their fantastic group dynamic shines in the festival environment.
For more information on the other stages and bands, and ticket information, head over to the Slum Dunk website.