Festival Diaries: Slam Dunk Festival North 2017

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It’s not every day that an event which was initially established in 2006 simply to provide a space large enough for a handful of bands to play ends up, eleven years down the line, being one of the UK’s most highly anticipated annual alternative music events which spans 3 dates and 3 locations across the UK, with each day boasting 8 stages packed out with the best pop punk, emo and hardcore bands from within the UK and across the globe, and all for less than £50 per ticket. Once in a blue moon, however, all of that comes together and the result is a truly unique festival experience: Slam Dunk Festival.
 
Established in Leeds in 2006, Slam Dunk Festival originated when emo legends Fall Out Boy had planned to play a show in the city, however since the present day Leeds Arena had not yet been constructed, there was no venue large enough to host the band’s legions of dedicated fans who were desperate to see their idols and a handful of other great bands live. As a solution, a stage was erected in Millennium Square in Leeds City Centre, and the resulting event was such a success that year on year, more stages and bands were added to the line-up, and the festival spread from Leeds to Hatfield, and later to Birmingham, turning the once small event into the UK’s premier touring festival, which today is considered the younger, British cousin of the USA’s gigantic Warped Tour. Despite this huge growth in size and popularity over its eleven year run, the festival still maintains a feeling of intimacy, with the stages being spread across various university buildings creating small, intimate spaces where fans can see their favourite bands perform up close and still feel immersed in the atmosphere of celebration surrounding all things rock, metal, punk and everything in between!
 
This year’s line-up is packed to bursting with incredible bands from all parts of the alternative scene, from pop punk heavyweights Bowling for Soup and emo legends We the Kings to rock superstars Enter Shikari, -who will be playing their debut album ‘Take to the Skies’ in full as this year’s Main Stage headliners- as well as a showcase of the best of the upcoming talent the scene has to offer, including Scottish rockers Vukovi, the pop punk prodigies in Waterparks, and the powerfully unique Area 11, among many others. We Are the Ocean will be playing their final shows on UK soil at the festival this year, and I Prevail are playing their first ever shows on this side of the pond! The festival will also see performances from the likes of Counterfeit, Puppy, Beartooth, Trophy Eyes, With Confidence, Milk Teeth, Memphis May Fire and countless others. Whatever your personal music taste, there is something for everybody, from the acoustic sets on the UPRAWR Stage to the mosh-filled mayhem of the Impericon Stage.
 
We attended the Leeds date of the festival, dubbed Slam Dunk North, and had an absolute blast, watching a whole host of great bands from across the festival’s many stages. It was a hectic day with barely any time to stop and catch your breath as you jumped from one mosh pit to the next, but an incredible experience with great performances from bands old and new. See what we thought of each band we saw by clicking on the links below:
 
 
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