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10 Bands You Don’t Want To Miss At Slam Dunk Festival 2023

With Slam Dunk Festival 2023 right around the corner, let’s take a look at some of the bands you do not want to miss this year!

Sincere Engineer (Kerrang Right Stage)
To make the most of your day, start with this new alternative/indie band at 11:30. They are going to grow very fast in the next couple of months, opening for bands like Billy Talent, The Menzingers and Yellowcard in Europe, and opening multiple Sad Summer Festival dates in summer as well. The lively band will surely get you ready for the rest of the day.

Scene Queen (Key Club Left Stage)
Love it or hate it, you probably have seen Scene Queen pop up everywhere lately. The self-coined ‘bimbocore’ singer touches upon feminist themes in her songs, which got her a big following on TikTok. The songs sample some familiar tunes, like the Pink Panther Theme or nursery rhymes, but with a metalcore twist.

Four Year Strong (Kerrang Left Stage)
If you’re at Slam Dunk for a good mosh pit, Four Year Strong is your band. With a mix of pop-punk and hardcore, it’s going to attract a very active crowd. This band is not going to give you a minute to catch your breath with their intense and fast riffs, so get your cardio exercises in right now.

Bowling For Soup (Dickies Stage)
One of the first bands I discovered as a teen when I had songs like Almost and 1985 on repeat for weeks on end. I wish I could put this a little higher up, but I’m also still angry at them for cancelling on me back in 2008 and never giving me the chance to see them after that, so I don’t really know if they are worth the anticipation yet…
Kids In Glass Houses (Rock Scene Stage)
Slam Dunk has multiple reunion shows planned for us this year, going heavy on the early 2000s pop-punk nostalgia this year. One of the contenders of the biggest reunion show is Kids In Glass Houses, active from 2003 until 2014 and returning for the first time in 9 years at Slam Dunk festival, for the 15-year celebration of ‘Smart Casual’. This is one of the most anticipated shows at the festival for sure!

PVRIS (Rock Scene Stage)
Can you believe the first official PVRIS release was only in 2014? The pop-rock band has continued to grow immensely in the last 9 years, so it’s not exactly a shock they’re performing at one of the bigger stages here. I love to see more women on top in a mostly male-dominated scene, and Lynn Gunn is more than capable of filling that spot as one of the biggest rockstars of our time.

Yellowcard (Kerrang Left Stage)
Back in 2017, I cried big tears at the last show Yellowcard did in Amsterdam because it was the end of one of my favourite bands… or so I thought. I’m a little salty I got a T-shirt with the words ‘final tour’ (1997-2017) on it, otherwise, they’d have ended up in the top 3 here. I’m sure I’ll cry again during this show just as easily though.
The Maine (Key Club Right Stage)
If you’re going into a The Maine show expecting the same emo band that made Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, you’re not going to find that at Slam Dunk. Every record they made after that first full-length has shown so much growth, you will hardly recognize them. They’ve not been afraid to move into a different direction with each release, making for a very mature rock sound with a diverse setlist.

The Academy Is… (Kerrang Left Stage)
Arguably one of the most popular bands of the 2000s, The Academy Is… is another widely anticipated act performing at Slam Dunk. Get your eyeliner and emo locks ready, as we’re all going to scream along to The Phrase That Pays and About A Girl at the top of our lungs.

Enter Shikari (Rock Scene Stage)
The lads of Enter Shikari are coming out as winners for Slam Dunk. It’s a difficult thing to pick between the different clashes, especially when two absolutely iconic bands are scheduled at the same time (The Offspring is playing at the same time at the Dickies Stage)… but Enter Shikari’s newest record A Kiss For The Whole World got the band their first ever #1 in the Official UK Album Charts, proving they’re at the top of their game right now.

Honorable mention: NOFX final ever UK shows
Like last year’s shows of You Me At Six on the Slam Dunk grounds, American punks of NOFX are hosting their final shows at this year’s Slam Dunk weekend. With a Leeds (North) date on Friday, May 26 and a Hatfield (South) date on Sunday,
May 28, they’re hosting their own mini festival with different special guests at each show (Lagwagon, Anti-Flag and Comeback Kid amongst others). This will be the final chance to see these iconic fuckers, so don’t miss out!

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Christine Mooijer