Get the beers in, grab your shades and gear up for the biggest event in the UK pop-punk calendar – it’s time for Slam Dunk!
This bank holiday weekend Leeds, Hatfield and Wolverhampton will once again play host to some of the biggest names in alternative music.
Since it started in 2006 the festival has gone from strength to strength, with the likes of New Found Glory, Taking Back Sunday, Reel Big Fish and All Time Low gracing its many stages. This year’s line-up is just as sterling as ever, with an eclectic mix of head-liners in the form of pop-rock legends The All-American Rejects, ska-punk superstars Less Than Jake, Welsh rockers Kids In Glass Houses and the brilliantly heavy Bury Tomorrow.
This year we’ll be bringing you exclusive interviews, photos, videos and updates from the Hatfield leg of the festival. If you’re going as well then we’ll see you there and if you haven’t got a ticket then why the hell not?! Either way, here’s what you can expect…
First off, there’s good news and bad news – The bad news is that the festival site isn’t particularly easy to get to. Parking nearby is virtually impossible so the best way to get there is by train. You can then hop straight onto a shuttle bus from the station (but if your friends suggest walking from the station, don’t listen to them – it’s one hell of a trek!) The good news however, is that once you’ve made the epic journey into Hatfield, you’ll have earned yourself a drink by the time you get to the festival! Hurrah!
When you arrive on site, you might have a bit of a wait on your hands while you queue to get your wristband. If you end up standing around, make a start on all the cans of Monster squeezed into your backpack and make friends with the people next to you – you never know, you might bump into them later in a moshpit or a signing tent.
Once you’re through the gates, take some time to chill out, grab a drink, work out which bands you’re going to see and get your bearings before it all kicks off. If you’ve never been before, the university campus can be a bit of a maze.
Blitz Kids will be kick-starting the action this year so make sure you head over to the main stage to grab a good spot for their set. These boys are tipped for the top and their infectious single ‘Run For Cover’ is sure to get everyone fist-pumping, whether you’ve already heard of them or not. On the main stage you’ll also find some of the festival’s biggest acts including Canterbury, We Are The In Crowd, Mallory Knox and of course The All-American Rejects.
If those bands don’t sound like your kind of thing then there are plenty of other stages to check out. Just around the corner, the Macbeth stage will showcase some of Slam Dunk’s punkier acts, such as Decade, I Am The Avalanche, Gnarwolves and old school favourites The Ataris.
Or if circle pits are more your thing then the Monster tent is the place to be for some of the festival’s heavier acts, such as Letlive, The Devil Wears Prada and Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! Last year, Chunk! were one of Slam Dunk’s must-see bands and this year they’ve been given a much bigger stage to unleash their energetic blend of pop-punk and hardcore so be sure you check them out – you won’t be disappointed!
Speaking of pop-punk, there’s more of Slam Dunk’s signature genre to be found over on the Atticus stage. State Champs are well worth checking out, especially if you’re heading to one of New Found Glory’s UK tour dates later this year as they’ll be supporting them. Neck Deep and Hit The Lights never fail to get the crowd going so there’s bound to be a great atmosphere for these guys and stick around for Kids In Glass Houses too as they’ve announced that they’re splitting up soon, so this will be your last chance to see them at Slam Dunk.
If you want to take a break from headbanging and have a bit of a dance instead then head over to the Uprawr DJ stage where you can catch a whole host of resident and guest DJs including everyone’s favourite geeky rapper MC Lars. There are also a few smaller stages to chill out at such as the acoustic stage, where you’ll find the likes of Rob Lynch and You, Me & Everyone We Know.
Of course it’s not all about the music – between bands there’s time to stop by the merch stands where some of the UK’s finest independent clothing companies will be selling their gear. If you want to get something signed or meet one of your favourite bands then it’s worth checking out the Kerrang! signing tent as bands will be popping in and out all day. Or if you simply need refuelling there are also plenty of food and drink stalls for you to grab a greasy festival burger or an overpriced pint from!
Tickets are still available from the Slamdunk website, so grab one before they all sell out. If you’d rather just watch the festival from the comfort of your own home then make sure you like The Alt Entertainer on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter and check out our Instagram for exclusive updates on the day.
And if you can’t wait that long, then check out our coverage from last year’s festival…hot Slamdunk South 2013 review and our exclusive backstage interviews with Tonight Alive and Chunk! No Captain Chunk!