Slam Dunk Festival is once again upon us taking over Leeds, Birmingham and Hatfield this coming bank holiday weekend. For many this marks the start of festival season in the UK. This years line up once again includes some of the best bands in rock, punk, metalcore and pop-punk. So here’s 10 bands Rock Sins recommend for those heading to the festival this year.
1. Enter Shikari – Jagermeister Stage: 21:25 – 22:45
This year the festival is headlined by Enter Shikari who at this point really should be considered a national treasure. Easily one of the most creatively brilliant bands in the UK and a band who have always pushed their live show in exciting new directions. To make this headline set even more of a special occasion the band are celebrating 10 years of their brilliant debut album Take To The Skies. Fans won’t want to miss a chance to see some older material the band have not played for a very long time. Whilst this is a celebration of that album they haven’t resorted so playing it in full so fans can still expect some newer material to crop up. Enter Shikari are sure to bring the main stage of Slam Dunk to a close in spectacular fashion.
2. Against Me – Signature Stage: 21:45 – 22:45
It has to be emphasised that Enter Shikari aren’t the only amazing headliner this year. In what is an incredibly painful clash, Against Me will be headlining the Signature Stage at the same time. The Gainesville punks have become one of the most important bands in their scene. Front woman Laura Jane Grace is an inspiration for young trans people and the bands shows feel like such a special event for their fans now. Of course it also helps that Against Me will deliver a set of some of the best punk songs from the past 20 years. From Pints Of Guinness Make You Strong to True Trans Soul Rebel, Against Me will deliver hit after hit and might just be able to steal the whole show at the festival.
3. Bowling For Soup – Fireball Stage: 21:45 – 22:55
Headlining the Fireball stage, Bowling For Soup will be likely to deliver the silliest set of the weekend. Which will no doubt be so much fun for everyone watching. The pop-punk clowns have always focused on letting the audience have a good time and surprisingly this is their very first time at Slam Dunk. After a long day of drinking and partying their fans of old school pop punk are sure to have a lovely time dancing and singing along to feel good songs like 1985 and Girl All The Bad Guys Want.
4. The Bronx – Signature Stage: 20:25 – 21:20
Playing before Against Me on the Signature stage, The Bronx are sure to deliver a punk rock riot. Known for their raucous live shows (when they aren’t playing as their mariachi alter egos) The Bronx will deliver one of the unmissable sets this weekend. Expect Matt Caughthran to be as antagonistic as ever as he will probably spend as much time in the crowd as he will on stage.
5. Crossfaith – Jagermeister Stage: 14:30 – 15:05
With the heaviest main stage headliner in the history of Slam Dunk, it’s fitting that there is a greater presence of heavier bands on the main stage. With 3 of Rock Sins favourite bands from modern metalcore all getting a shot at the main stage this year. First up are Crossfaith who will really get the party going when they take to the main stage. Crossfaith have consistently been one of the bast live bands around for the past 5 years and they’ll remind everyone exactly why this weekend. You can also check out our recent interview with Crossfaith’s Kenta Koie from when Crossfaith were on the road with fellow Slam Dunk attendees Bury Tomorrow.
6. Bury Tomorrow – Jagermeister Stage: 16:35 – 17:15
Slam Dunk is basically Bury Tomorrow’s stomping ground at this point. They are near enough the house band from the heavier side of things. After last years criminally overlooked Earthbound, Bury Tomorrow have been on a real hot streak and just wrapped up their biggest headline tour ever last month so expect this main stage slot to continue their momentum. Every chorus and breakdown is sure to sound colossal coming out of that main stage. Perhaps Bury Tomorrow might even be able to create the biggest circle pit Slam Dunk has ever seen.
7. Beartooth – Jagermeister Stage: 17:40 – 18:20
Wrapping up the trilogy of great metalcore bands on the mainstage are Beartooth. Managing to perfectly straddle the line between Warped tour metalcore and the furious hardcore aggression of bands like Every Time I Die has really helped Beartooth stand out. Like Bury Tomorrow before them, expect those choruses to sound enormous and the breakdowns to hit like a freight train. Between Beartooth and Bury Tomorrow those who want to mosh will be stuck to the main stage for the afternoon at Slam Dunk.
8. Puppy – Signature Stage: 13:20 – 13:50
And now for something completely different. Puppy are not your typical Slam Dunk band thanks to their mix of weird alt-rock and massive stoner riffs. This is exactly what is going to make them stand out as they open the Signature stage at Slam Dunk this year. With only two EPs released so far this might be a chance to hear what Puppy have in store on their upcoming debut album.
9. Stray From The Path – Impericon Stage: 19:35 – 20:15
Easily the best band on the Impericon stage this year and one of the few bands representing hardcore, Stray From The Path are going to be unmissable. Expect furious political hardcore with touches of Rage Against The Machine. It’s got all of that 90’s bounce and front man who really believes in everything he sings about.
10. We Are The Ocean – Jagermeister Stage: 15:30 – 16:10
Lastly Rock Sins wanted to give a shout out to We Are The Ocean who will be playing their last shows ever at Slam Dunk. Another house band for the festival, We Are The Ocean have arguably been one of the more underrated bands from the British rock scene that blew up in the late 00’s. Getting a main stage slot is going to be a nice send off for the band.
Tickets for Slam Dunk South in Hatfield on Monday have now completely sold out but very limited tickets remain for both Birmingham (Slam Dunk Midlands) on Saturday and Leeds (Slam Dunk North) on Sunday. Grab those last minute tickets from www.slamdunkmusic.com. Stay tuned to Rock Sins for a full review of the festival and interviews with some of the bands playing in the coming days!