what's happening with Slam Dunk Festival

Slam Dunk Festival Add New Acts To 2024 Lineup

Slam Dunk Festival 2024 just got even more exciting with a wave of new additions to the lineup. State Champs will perform The Finer Things in its entirety, and The Blackout marks 15 years of The Best In Town. Joining them are The Ghost Inside, Against The Current, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and As December Falls.

The list continues with Honey Revenge, Taylor Acorn, Stick To Your Guns, H20, Big D And The Kids Table, and Snuff, promising a diverse musical experience. These acts join headliner You Me At Six and a stellar lineup featuring Waterparks, Boys Like Girls, The All-American Rejects, I Prevail, Palaye Royale, and more.

Save the dates – May 25th and 26th – for a weekend of unforgettable performances and music celebration at Slam Dunk Festival 2024 in Hatfield and Leeds.

what's happening with Slam Dunk Festival

SLAM DUNK ITALY REVIEW Pre And Post-Show: An Unforgettable Display Of Music And Energy

Slam Dunk Festival, first established in 2006, has taken many forms over the years. Tonight’s show however, marks a new landmark as the first ever European Slam Dunk – on the sunny coast of Rimini, Italy we’re headed into night one of three.

The UK dates this year received some criticism of its organisational and logistical pitfalls, so you could be forgiven for thinking that their first abroad venture might have some difficulties. However, last night was a triumph for artists and organisers alike.


Stand Atlantic:

It’s been a busy few years for Stand Atlantic, 2 albums in 2 years and now they’re back on the road again in 2023. This band seem to never stop and their hard work, is paying off. With thousands gathered to watch, singing along to Pity Party, Hate Me (Sometimes) and deathwish. This band have come along way. Their dynamic live show coupled with vocalist Bonnie brushing off their high school Italian made for a perfect start to the evening.


It’s comforting to know that some things are universal. Standing with your friends, screaming your lungs out with a cider in hand, is great no matter what country you do it in. And Zebrahead are an incredible addition to any festival. After 25 years together, their show still sets them apart from everyone else. From skeleton onesie wearing crew members crows surfing on an inflatable watermelon, yes you read that correctly. To hearing fan favourites, Rescue Me, Hello Tomorrow, Falling Apart and festival anthem Drink Drink.. tonight’s set will be one that’s hard to beat. The joy radiating from the band and crowd was utterly contagious.


Italy’s own NASKA takes to the stage next, keeping up the energy from the previous Zebrahead set, not an easy act to follow. The forty minute set consisted of original material and some epic punk covers including No Future (Sex Pistols) made for an entertaining set. NASKA controlled the crowd with a captivating stage presence

Sum 41:

Off the back of their recent announcement that they are going to disband after one more album and world tour, I don’t think anyone is sure what to expect tonight. What we get, is easily the best Sum 41 set I’ve had the pleasure to witness. Welcomed by the crowd with open arms, circle pits and singalongs it’s a wonderful way to close the evening. Epic pyrotechnics and showman-ship from front man Deryck aside, the sheer volume of the crowd felt like Sum 41 had gained an extra member tonight. I think the band had just a good a time as we did, minutes after the last song was played, the arena was starting to rapidly empty, the house lights were on, they burst back on stage for what seemed to be a spontaneous encore of Machine Gun. Their reappearance creating a cloud of dust as a few thousand fans ran back on themselves.

As you leave the mainstage in Rimini and walk along the sea front to the emo sucks after-party, you can’t help but think that this is the perfect set up for a festival, but this is just the beginning.

After a glorious opening night with a headline set from Sum 41, the weekend is off to an amazing start. Sunshine, two stages, one of which is on the actual beach, no clashes and thousands of festival goers? Slam Dunk, Italy edition is ready to go.


Charlotte Sands:

Charlotte Sands can do it all, an energetic captivating show, with a consistently brilliant vocal performance. You can feel how sincere she is about her music, song writing and the gratitude she has for being in the position to play shows, which make all of her performances a special one to be at. Whilst a lot of the pop-punk, emo revival is nostalgia fueled, Charlotte Sands is the injection of new life in the genre that you want to see.

Less Than Jake:

Saxophone, trombone playing, toilet paper throwing, water gun squirting, Less Than Jake are festival favourites for a reason. For a band I’ve always thought sound like summer, this is the perfect setting to see them live. After recently doing some Hello Rockview full album shows, this afternoon is a more condensed affair, with a sea of festival goers dancing to classics; The Science of Selling Yourself Short, History Of A Boring Town, Gainesville Rock City and All My Best Friends Are Metalheads, ska is sounding alive and well.


Some bands just don’t get enough credit, and I’m guilty of forgetting just how great Anti-Flag are live until they’ve been on stage for approximately 10 seconds. The energy, passion and sense of community that you can feel in the crowd is tangible. Bursting on with Die For The Government, the tempo is set and Anti-Flag never let up.

Punk Rock Factory:

Festival season, is arguably the most fun season of them all and Punk Rock Factory embody all things fun. Cover bands, aren’t for everyone, but how could hearing punk rock covers of tracks from Frozen, Kate Bush, Moana and the Pokémon and Powerangers theme with a drink in hand looking over at the sea in the sunshine not be an excellent addition to your day?

Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls:

Initially, the crowd seems a little smaller for Frank Turner than it has been for most of the day, but with the bands boundless energy, masterful showman-ship and the highest number of circle pits for the weekend – this quickly changes. Frank joking with the crowd, not to panic when he produced an acoustic guitar, their set definitely gave a nod to being on the same bill as punk legends Rancid. Fast numbers Punches, Non Serviam and Out Of Breath made for circle pits with healthy dose of singalongs to Get Better and Recovery, Frank has this crowd in the palm of his hand. Closing the set with the crowd slow dancing under a cloud of sand and dust to Four Simple Words. If there was any set this weekend that won people over, it was this one.

Bowling For Soup:

For a band that have been around as Bowling For Soup have, it comes as a surprise when they announce this is their first real Italy show, the band visually and verbally stunned at the packed out crowd that awaits them on the beach this evening. Their festival set is crammed with fan favourites, 1985, Almost, High School Never Ends, Girl All The Bad Guys Want, Punk Rock 101 which the crowd sing every word along with them, at one point singing a whole chorus and verse whilst the guys went and grabbed a beer. One of the things BFS have always done well is interact with their fans, sing alongs, inflatable bananas being released and their Bowling For Soup Official Photo Opportunity tonight is a non-stop, energy packed, joy filled set.


The word ‘legends’ is easy to throw around, but I think in Rancid’s case, it’s deserved. 30 years, 10 albums and countless shows later and their headline set tonight is the perfect display of why this band is loved so deeply, respected widely and why their career has lasted as long as it has. Opening with the title track from their brand new album Tomorrow Never Comes, their impressive 27 song set spans their career, playing special attention to albums Let’s Go and …And Out Come The Wolves. A headline slot at a festival is usually the time to involve crazy pyrotechnics and do something a little bit more extravagant, Rancid opted keep it simple and it really worked. Their set tonight, still felt like a Rancid show, just on a huge scale. Playing to that many people and being able to create the sense of intimacy that they did is something not many people can pull off but this performance was a really authentic reflection of who Rancid are and the audience responded to that. I’m pretty sure the echos of Roots Radicals, Ruby Soho, Fall Back Down and Old Friend could be heard for miles along the coast as day one of Slam Dunk came to a close.

Read our reviews about Slam Dunk UK North here and here.

What are your experiences with Slam Dunk this year? Let us know!

what's happening with Slam Dunk Festival
Slam Dunk - Enter Shikari

Slam Dunk North Review Part 2: Melodic Mayhem And Unforgettable Performances

I was keeping my emotions at bay during most of the day, but seeing some of the bands I’ve been listening to since I was just a kid, was obviously going to make me go through it a little bit. While the emotions I went through were overwhelmingly positive, there were a lot of people getting a different experience.

The alternative world used to be something small and a little exclusive. The recent resurgence of alternative music makes it important the experiences grow along with it, and it’s growing so fast that it’s hard to keep up with the growth. Slam Dunk started as a small inner city festival, and the popularity of it has made it grow until this massive thing in Temple Newsam, but it’s looking like it’s growing faster than they can sometimes deal with properly.

In the end, we need to try to put our grievances about it aside and remember we are all there for the same love. This sometimes gets forgotten, making for tensions along crowds. On the other side are also people sharing good moments with strangers, because at that time, we are all still the same small alternative scene we started out as.

Enter Shikari:

This is the one many have been waiting on. It’s been a couple of years since they visited Slam Dunk (2017). Enter Shikari are one of the bands that always had so much potential, you could tell this even when they just had frat party vibes in stingy small rooms. This band was meant to do arena headliners and the newest record is getting them to the biggest point of their career so far.

The band and audience are both radiating heat, waiting to explode and they do just so. It might not be that small band anymore, but they party just as hard as back then. I needed to come down from feeling a lot of emotions over the last couple hours and this set was absolutely the ultimate ending to a perfect day, complete with fireworks. Everyone saved their last bit of energy for the last bang with the updated version of Sorry, You’re Not A Winner, before we can all head home completely tired yet rejuvenated at the same time.

Escape The Fate:

It’s safe to say Escape The Fate have found their way into what the band is supposed to be and they feel very confident in this.

There’s so much happening on the stage at the same time, and Mabbitt leads us through it as the Mad Hatter, the ringleader showing us what to pay attention to. I came here expecting one band, but came out of Wonderland with an entirely different perspective on it.

The Academy Is…:

One of the worst clashes on the line-up for me was picking between PVRIS and The Academy Is…, and the feeling of nostalgia of the 2000s band lured me in to pick this act. I’ve already written a little bit about the place of women in the scene, so my initial thought about this band was a little (ok, a lot) hypocritical. Let me just get it out of the way: there’s a reason The Academy Is… got listened to, and most of that was because of William Beckett’s inherit charm. He had a firm grip on girls like me in the early 2000s, gaining them a huge fanbase, both online and offline. However, the band hasn’t been together since 2011, if we don’t count the short-lived reunion in 2015, and the Warped Tour days are long over, so I was curious how well it holds up when so much time has passed.

I was kind of hoping to get something new in there as well, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking, because of their statement of being ‘back’. The show is a big celebration of their greatest hits, and new music would maybe not fit as well with this obvious throwback to the glory days… but I’d have loved to see a glimpse of their future in there. I’m very curious to hear what kind of music they’ll end up making, if any, and hear how that fits with their existing records.

Because of their very well-known songs, a lot of people are able to sing along. A lot of newer bands wish they got this kind of pull on a crowd, and they make it look like it all comes very easily. Beckett’s voice sounds very mature and I feel like he can handle much more, which makes it a little silly he’s still singing songs like About A Girl as a grown and greying man. You can tell he’s enjoying being back on the stage after such a long time, as well. What a difference from the kid we were all slightly obsessed with in our MySpace/Tumblr days, that kinda felt like he didn’t want to be there in the past. One thing is for sure though, Beckett really earned his position as emo heartthrob, as he still knows how to charm the crowd as well as he did 15+ years ago.

The Maine:

I’ve been a fan of this band since 2009 when their record Black and White came out, so this was one of the ‘must sees’ on my list for the day. I wrote in an earlier article that they have grown a lot for every record they’ve released, and the same goes for their live shows. I’ve seen this band at least 5 times before and I’ve never been bored for a second during their set, and today was no exception.

The band has been in the studio for the last couple of months, but the record isn’t out yet, so the most recent record they put out is XOXO from 2021 (not counting the newest singles). With them still in the recording process and only starting a tour in July, this show feels like it’s a little ‘in between eras’ show to hold us over until they fully go into the new era.

Considering Loved You A Little features Charlotte Sands, I half hoped to see her come on stage to perform this banger. I was a not disappointed and it definitely was one of the highlights of the festival for me. I just wish I could’ve split myself in two to see the set in it’s entirety, especially next to my friends I’ve spent the last 2 Slam Dunks with (close to me in spirit and in the crowd). When I’m speaking about the love for music, it means spending time with people that share that love with me that makes the experience more than just a silly show. The Maine know and understand this feeling, representing it with their ‘8123 family’ perfectly; this is why I call it home and I never want to leave.


Once more with feeling, because I like hurting apparently. I remember vividly standing in the venue during their ‘last’ Amsterdam show and trying to save that entire night to my memories, specifically seeing myself hug the stranger standing next to me that was also sobbing their eyes out. Since I’m trying to be a professional I can’t go around the photo pit crying my eyes out and hugging the other photographers next to me, I had to keep it together for at least 10 minutes.

When I got up this morning I was still contemplating wearing my 2017 ‘final tour’ shirt, but that honestly would’ve left me a little salty during the day. They put me through that awful hiatus from 2008-2010, but at least that hiatus meant they were going to come back at one point. Naming their last record ‘Yellowcard’ with a last song called ‘Rest In Peace’ made the final tour seem pretty damn final, so I mourned the loss of one of the bands I grew up with accordingly.

This is all to say, I hate that they did that to me, but I’m so incredibly happy to see them again, so as soon as they started, all was forgiven. In the beginning it was looking like it wouldn’t start at all, giving the North flashbacks to the last time they were at Slam Dunk (they were cursed with having technical difficulties it seems). I was a little scared this reunion would taint the memories from before, but in the end it just adds to them. Even with the hugging a stranger in the crowd, happy they are back. My heartbreak is healed a little after this.

Bowling For Soup:

Let me first start this off with the statement that Bowling For Soup was a big part of my formative years, and since the last show they did in The Netherlands was in 2007, I never got to experience them live. Since then, both me and the band have been growing up and growing old, so I hoped to make the teenage me happy by finally seeing them.

The things they were trying to say, were a little lost on the teenager that wasn’t exactly fluent in English. I can now more clearly tell the songs are somewhat parodying the music that was popular back when the songs were released. It’s all in good fun and the show is a blast from the past, but because the songs are so heavy on the pop culture references, the songs didn’t always age well.

Sometimes you just need to let the teenager in you take the wheel, and just love the music with the catchy hooks and funny schticks that take you back to when times were much simpler. It’s not rocket science and the men are more than aware of this. The way they present theirselves lets you know they are in on the joke, which makes this one of the most fun shows to have seen today.

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Slam Dunk - LØLØ

Slam Dunk North Review Part 1: A Spectacular Fusion Of Music And Energy

The very first second I stepped onto the Temple Newsam grounds, I felt what I feel every year: the mixture of happiness and anxiety, knowing you’ll see your favorite bands whilst also knowing you’re going to have to make a run for it to see the other favorites, conveniently placed at the very same time at the other side of the field. The thought of being with my friends, holding their hands and crying to the songs we love together (let me live, I’m very emo) filled me with pure joy over the last couple of weeks, and now it’s finally here again. Slam Dunk 2023. 

At least for this day, I feel at home, surrounded by all the misfits and outcasts that are just as in love with music as I am. That being said, I’m also a woman, in a scene that hasn’t always been the safest place (for women and LGBTQ+ people alike). Alternative music has always been more open to ‘us’ than any other genre, but we all know some questionable lyrics in the songs we love. Nowadays however, nearly 1 in 3 acts (specifically 16 in 58) on this day feature one or more women on stage, proving the genre and the festival are making steps towards a more inclusive experience for everyone. Slam Dunk also works with Safe Gigs for Women and Mad Millennials, to reduce the anxiety some of us experience regarding sexual assault or mental health issues, hoping to make the festival one of the safest places to be in the scene. This way, everyone in the audience will hopefully experience that same feeling of being at home.

As both a kick-ass photographer and writer (if I may say so myself), I tried to make the Slam Dunk schedule reflect my own beliefs as feminist and mental health advocate. Sometimes, there’s been some conflict between the two, for example in choosing between Scene Queen and Dragged Under, or The Academy Is… and PVRIS. Once, the feminist won. The other time, my sense of nostalgia and my inner kid won. Just know that the anxiety between picking what to see today, has been worse than fighting my way through a clashfinder as a guest. Woe is me, right?

Four Year Strong:

Over the last decade, Four Year Strong has become a staple on the Slam Dunk line-up, always guaranteeing a high-energy party everyone will leave satisfied. The beard-powered ‘pop-punk’ band (another band where the genre doesn’t really do the music justice) is known for their fast guitar riffs, making the audience start one of the strongest and biggest mosh-pits of the day.

This band is just such a blast every time I see them live. The music feels very colourful and positive, whilst going hard as hell. Even the covers they play are done in the most Four Year Strong way. I’m a big fan of Green Day (my go-to screen name is based on the song Christie Road) so I’ll always enjoy Brain Stew/Jaded, even done by other bands. And they do it very well, putting their own spin on any cover they do. It’s also quite an accomplishment to sound just as tight live as they do on their records, knowing how much energy and precision goes into each song.

Seriously though, how do they do these riffs so fast? I really need to catch my breath after just listening to it. I think their beards might actually be magical.

Kids In Glass Houses:

This year’s Slam Dunk is filled with reunions of bands, in this case, the Welch men are celebrating 15 years of their debut ‘Smart Casual’. They described this record as their own ‘John Hughes coming-of-age era’ and this comparison feels completely accurate. For anyone that’s unfamiliar with this name or simply needs a refresher: he was responsible for movies like The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty In Pink and Sixteen Candles, all the 80s teen comedies, basically.

The energy in the set does read like a story fit for a movie, as they play the entire record from start to finish. They are even dressed as if they are the main characters in the story. It’s a story of the summers we spent in our teens, meeting the perfect girl that got away, and spending our weekends with friends without a care in the world. This is the soundtrack to a perfect festival day in sunny Leeds. And don’t you dare forget about me.


In recent years the pop-punk scene has had quite the resurgence, finding their way into the mainstream more too, much to the chagrin of parts of the scene. Especially popular acts will receive hostile reactions for making easily listenable music. Hell, I’ve done it myself with Girlfriends earlier today (I’m sure they’ll become a part of my playlists soon anyway). Grayscale have grown a lot over the last 5 years since they first performed at Slam Dunk. The band itself would rather describe themselves as alternative rock, and the pop-punk genre might be a little too restrictive for a band like them.

Grayscale try to set themselves apart with their lyrics and subject choices. Most people at Slam Dunk are in their 20s and 30s, generally speaking. We’re dealing with other things besides the crushes we had when we were teens. We’re dealing with divorces, losing loved ones and addiction. The lyrics are more mature than we regularly see in pop-punk, with a poetic touch to them. The band’s music still has some pop-punk vibes, being very melodic in general, but the use of choir vocals or horn players and other instruments is what sets them apart as well. It’s a shame those additions aren’t part of the live ensemble yet, but it’s telling they have bigger ambitions than just this one specific genre can offer them.


The influence of TikTok on the music industry is noticeable in the next couple of artists, but it wouldn’t be fair to cut these women short by just describing them as TikTok artists. They just happened to explode through it. LØLØ cites artists like Avril Lavigne and Hilary Duff as influences, with lyrics from “Josie and the Pussycats” (Kay Hanley) in her Instagram bio. These artists should tell you a bit of the kind of music to expect from her: this one is for the girls. 

It’s leaning more towards pop than it does rock, so it might rub some of the people at the festival the wrong way. There’s a lot of ill feelings towards artists like her, because of the use of samples and the so-called pandering to TikTok audiences by writing short hooks that can be used as sounds on the platform. I do wonder why we don’t reserve the same energy for bands like Fall Out Boy for doing the same thing.

LØLØ doesn’t really care to pretend to be anything she’s not, to try to fit into the scene that wasn’t built with her in mind. Whilst some women choose to wear a more ‘alternative’ outfit (also completely fine obviously), there’s just as much room for women that choose to present theirselves in a more feminine way. Either way, we’re not here to judge a fashion show, are we? There were a couple of men in the crowd being negative towards her, which she skill-fully shot down. The performance by her was fun and the vocals sound just as clear as they do on her records, making it easy to listen to. It’s honestly the perfect time of the day for the positive summer vibe she brings. There was also a feature by the singer from Girlfriends, and the amount of collabs at the festival is really fun to see. 

Scene Queen:

Another one of the feminine acts of this year is Scene Queen. As she stated in the past when talking about her EP Bimbocore: “Women have spent far too long making themselves small for other people’s comfort. I realized that the louder I am and the more out of the box I get, the bigger the box gets, and the more room there is for other women to get inside it.” And boy, is she loud about it.

I see a lot of similarities between LØLØ and Scene Queen, even though they are in different subgenres. Both women gained a lot of popularity through TikTok and Scene Queen also uses familiar interpolations in her songs, for example the Pink Panther theme. Speaking of, there’s a lot of pink in both her music and on-stage presence, and I love every bit of it. Even though she’s not in a headlining spot, it seems only a matter of time until she does, since she got one of the most popular sets of the day, getting one of the most active crowds of the day as well, with a massive amount of crowdsurfers. Scene Queen brought Sam Matlock from Wargasm on for the song she originally sang with Set It Off’s Cody Carson. All to say: Scene Queen is one of the acts to keep an eye on for sure.

Sincere Engineer:

Over the last couple of years, there’s been a lot of steps towards an inclusive scene, but because of the very recent growth into this direction, most of the acts featuring women are placed at the start of the day. This is a clear sign of the scene changing though, since most of the opening acts are just starting out. One of the opening acts is Sincere Engineer, who recently toured with Billy Talent, The Menzingers and Yellowcard (all playing today as well!). Opening a festival is always going to be a little tricky when everyone is still trying to get onto the grounds, and Sincere Engineer has the unfortunate luck to be programmed at the same time as Zand, but has gotten a bit of a crowd anyway.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve seen a lot of solo women tour with bands, almost growing into their own subgenre within the alternative scene. Acts like Kayleigh Goldsworthy (LS Dunes), Oceanator (La Dispute) and Pom Pom Squad (PUP) come to mind. I’ve been vibing with their music more than the bands they were supporting, and I think that’s because we were due a little representation in the scene. I’ll relate to their lyrics more, simply for having a ‘similar’ point of view. Sincere Engineer fits within this ‘subgenre’, although calling it this is doing all of them a disservice. It features lead singer Deanna Belos’s lyrics, with a band to accompany her during shows. The songs are honest, angsty and raw, with elements of humor and bluntness, making it all feel a little more personal too. More please!

Dragged Under:


Everything about Girlfriends is exactly what I like about pop-punk. The music is catchy as hell, and they’re exactly the kind of band I’d have been obsessed with a couple of years ago. They sound great live as well, and you can clearly hear the influences from bands like Blink182, All Time Low and 5 Seconds Of Summer in their songs. Everything is exactly how it’s supposed to be, and yet I feel a little sad that I don’t like them as much as I know I would’ve liked them if they existed 10 years earlier. 

The lyrics reflect the influences from the early aughts as well, which isn’t always the best thing. Lyrics like ‘life’s a bitch, her name is Brittany’ would’ve been better off left in that era. Overall the lyrics feel a little cheesy as well, but seeing the aforementioned bands are still thriving on the same premise, I can’t hold that against them that much. Sometimes you need a little cheesiness. There’s nothing wrong with the ingredients of their recipe, and I’ll probably listen to the songs more in the future, but it all stays a bit surface level, it’s not making my heart beat faster and make me fall in love with it… yet. The recipe is just missing that one ingredient for me, that thing that’ll make them stand out and move the genre into new territory instead of returning to the old. It’s perfectly fine for the ones that don’t like to think about it all that much, and just want to have a good time.

Gogol Bordello:

Today is the perfect day for a party and Gogol Bordello is the perfect band to give us one. Whilst they certainly bring all the fun, there’s a lot more than meets the eye. Solidarity is a big theme with this band, also speaking the show to the Ukrainian background of Eugene Hütz, the lead singer to the band. By standing with Ukraine, we stand together.

The band is all about coming together in our similarities, not alienating those that are different than us. They convey this message through a dance party filled with singalongs, where band and audience are equally rowdy, making the sense of camaraderie amongst everyone bigger by the minute. Reading they intend to ‘smuggle’ some of their Romani culture into the English speaking world makes perfect sense. The sun even comes out to play, which seems awfully fitting.

Hawthorne Heights:

It feels a bit strange that a band that’s been around since 2001 hasn’t performed at Slam Dunk before, and that they have been scheduled on such an early time slot compared to their status as “emo heavyweights”. Most people will have heard they’re dramatic and slightly over the top ‘Ohio Is For Lovers’ and not that many other songs. I severely underestimated their popularity though. The energy the highly underrated band puts into the performance makes the crowd very enthusiastic about everything they perform.

A lot of bands get a little jaded playing that one hit night in night out, but Hawthorn Heights seems to understand it’s brought them a lot of good along the way. The enthusiasm shown by the band throughout their set, shows how happy they are to get to reach new audiences with their music. If that’s due to just one song, they haven’t done all that bad. The fairly ‘unnoticed’ legends definitely deserve to get more love for the rest of their discography as well, and they have more than achieved this today.

Charlotte Sands:

There’s a bit of a pattern in the women having to be at the top of their game more than their male counterparts. We tend to hold them to a higher standard from the start, not allowing them to make any mistakes. There’s an underlying feeling of not being in the right place and any mistake you make, inevitably makes someone go “see, they don’t belong here”. But Charlotte Sands belongs on the stage and you can tell with every move she makes.

The music is incredibly captivating and powerful, but can also feel a little heavy on the heart at times. There’s always a silver lining shining through in every song though. Especially ‘Alright’ hits close to home for me, ending on a positive note with lyrics like ‘heard it gets good, I’m thinking that I could in time’. It’s very self-aware and reflective, touching upon themes like imposter syndrome, doubting yourself and mental health struggles. 

It’s Sands’ mission to make a space for people to feel accepted and less alone, something that she’s definitely succeeding in. You don’t need to go at it alone, and the togetherness of the community hopefully takes away some of the weight of our individual troubles. The feeling of friendship in the crowd is palpable, which is one of the biggest accomplishments for any artist. 

Destroy Boys:

I’ve grown up in a scene that wasn’t really made for women, and I felt a little out of place in the crowd at the punk shows I visited. I was more drawn to the shows by pop-punk bands, because those audiences were mostly women as well. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy a good punk band, but I always felt like I didn’t really belong there. When I wanted to enter a moshpit, I was treated with kid gloves, gently pushed aside. Seeing a band like Destroy Boys fills me with envy towards the girls that get to experience the genre in a different way than I did, looking up to other badass women on stage and in the pit. 

The music is very rough around the edges, the vocals are raw and gritty, and the 80s punk influences shine through. I love how angry and pissed off they sound and the lyrics reflect it. The unpolished character with its imperfections would and should be be applauded and make for a wild crowd, regardless of the identities of the people on stage. It’s a shame they are on this early in the day, making people still a little wary to spend a lot of energy in the moshpit.

what's happening with Slam Dunk Festival

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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Slam Dunk Festival 2023

Slam Dunk Festival Announce Final Line-Up For 2023

2023 is already a huge year for Slam Dunk Festival, with 2 UK dates and their first-ever European dates in France and Italy being announced, it’s a good time to be a festival goer!

Today, the UK dates got even bigger with the final announcement, and it was a good one. Joining headliners The Offspring and Enter Shikari we have, Pvris, The Maine, Escape The Fate, Teenage Bottlerocket, Scene Queen, Emarosa, Landmvrks and many more!

Slam Dunk have spoilt us with announcing the stage splits too, so get planning your day ASAP.

Tickets for Slam Dunk are on sale now, and you might want to grab yourself a ticket before it’s too late, the organisers announcing that Hatfield is already close to a sell-out!

Are you going to any of the Slam Dunk dates this year? Let us know where you’re going and who you’re wanting to see!
Check out the full line up here: