If you’re planning on attending this years festival, then here is a break down of what you need to know and a few of the bands we recommend you check out.
Slam Dunk takes place over three days in three different cities. On Saturday the 26th of May, the festival kicks off in Leeds City Centre where bands will perform at a number of venues: the Millennium Square, First Direct Arena, O2 Academy and Leeds Beckett University. On Sunday the 27th the festival moves to Hatfield Park, London and finally on the 28th the festival moves to Birmingham at The NEC where there will be a number of stages, indoors and outdoors.
Each location is easily accessible by train and car and for Leeds in particular the venues are only a short walk apart from each other. Download the Slam Dunk app to get your hands on a site map. Upon purchasing your ticket you'll receive all the relevant info you'll need for wrist band collection.
With so many bands playing it is near impossible to do a full break down of exactly who you should see, but all the same here is our personal Top 10 must sees.
1. Twin Atlantic
We have a lot of love for Twin Atlantic. Easily one of the hardest working bands on the circuit all we can simply say is get to their set on the day for their brand of incredibly infectious and accessible stadium Rock. See them on the Monster Energy Stage.
Listen here - https://soundcloud.com/twinatlantic
2. Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes have become an absolute powerhouse of a band in the past couple of years. Their energy and sound is one you wouldn't see out of place in the small sweaty club circuit of the UK but that hasn't stopped them from taking that sound global. What shouldn't work in a larger setting, works incredibly as well as Frank continues show us why he is easily one of the best frontmen out there. Even in the large festival fields and stadium heights you can guarantee you will still feel like he is right in your face (sometimes he actually is) Be prepared for an interactive experience. See them on the jägermeister stage.
Listen here - https://soundcloud.com/broadfields/fangs-frank-carter-the-rattlesnakes
3. Good Charlotte
Good Charlotte while never really disappearing as such, went quite for many years. A few years ago saw them return with an incredible new album and what felt like a refreshed outlook on their future. Not simply counting on their past success the band have proven since their return, that they are just as relevant as ever. Worthy of this years headline slot you'd be a fool to miss these guys. See them on the jägermeister stage.
Listen here - https://soundcloud.com/good-charlotte-official
4. Luke Rainsford
Luke Rainsford will pull on your heart string then tear it clean out of your chest. This guy is responsible for incredibly heartfelt lyrics intertwined with perfect melody. Not afraid to focus on subjects such as depression, loss and anxiety it will be impossible to not fall in love with Luke's music again and again. See him on The Key Club Acoustic Stage.
5. Holding Absence
Holding Absence are one of those bands that many have heard of but may never of actually listened to. We were once in that exact same boat until we caught them in a support slot with Young Guns last year. We felt at the time they weren't quite fulfilling their full potential but we have kept our eyes on them and have been impressed with just how far they've come in such a short time. The name that now proceeds them is worthy of your attention so please head over to their set and be prepared to take note of a band who may easily be your future headliners. See them on the The Rock Sound Breakout stage
Listen here - https://soundcloud.com/holdingabsence
6. Real Big Fish
It wouldn't be Slam Dunk without the mighty Reel Big Fish, incredibly fun, incredibly catchy. Ska/Pop Punk infused mayhem will ensue and they will easily be one of your favourite bands of the festival. See them on the Fireball Stage
Listen here - https://soundcloud.com/reelbigfish
ROAM have often faced criticism in the past of feeling a little out of place on the larger stages, with ourselves included in that mindset. But the band have pushed on and continue to prove themselves again and again in the Pop Punk scene. We are confident they will continue to defy expectations and ensure they give you their all. See them on the Signature Brew Stage.
Listen here - https://soundcloud.com/roam-official
PVRIS have had a monumental rise to fame in the past couple of years and rightfully so. Despite only being a three piece their Techno/Synth infused Rock sounds huge and will no doubt go down a treat on the outside stages. We can bet good money now that you will find it impossible not to get caught up in the haunting vocals of Lynn Gunn. (Seriously, we'd bet cash) See them on the jägermeister stage.
Listen here - https://soundcloud.com/thisispvris
9. Moose Blood
We would like to leave controversy and accusations out of it and just respect the music. This may be one of the more interesting sets of the day and we do truly hope that it is able to go off without any issues. For fans of the band it is going to be great to hear songs from their recent album brought into the live setting and for a band that have the potential to be at the top of their game continuing on despite their recent set backs.
Listen here - https://soundcloud.com/mooseblood
10. Competition Winner
This stage slot is reserved for the winner of the voting competition and for whoever that may be on the day they are worthy of your support. Make sure to give them your time and watch them own what will be the quickest half hour of their lives. See them on the Rock Sound Breakout Stage
When it's all said and done our top 10 is merely a spec on the landscape of incredible bands playing this year. Ultimately all bands are worthy of your time and with a line up like this there is no doubt you're going to have yourselves a great day.