This past weekend saw the return of everyone’s favourite pop punk festival Slam Dunk. Over the years the lineups for Slam Dunk have been untouchable and this year was no different, with headlining acts All Time Low, Bullet For My Valentine and NOFX amongst a whole bunch of great bands. We were at the Leeds festival site to check them all out this year.
The opening act of this years festival was none other than Yellowcard frontman William Ryan Key performing a solo acoustic set. The early set time was no bother for fans as a huge crowd gathered at The Marshall Stage for the performance. Key played fan favourites and throwbacks including the classic Ocean Avenue.
One huge plus of the new Leeds site in Temple Newsam Park was the layout of the stages, making it perfect to see as many bands as possible. Next up we caught Angel Du$t, The Plot In You and John Floreani’s acoustic set. All played killer sets to packed out crowds.
Next up we caught Milk Teeth’s set over on the Dickies Stage. This band know how to connect with a crowd and had the audience hooked on their every word. The band also have a great chemistry with each other and it’s clear to see that they are having a great time on stage which is infectious.
Anti Flag are a band that I hadn’t heard too much about prior to the festival but their set was a hot topic of conversation around the festival so I headed over to the Punk In DRupublic stage to check them out. It’s clear to see why people were excited about the set as the band put on an unbelievable high energy performance full of politically charges messages and pro activism all done in a classic punk rock way.
Over on the Key Club stage next up was Manchester band Hot Milk. Despite being relatively new to the festival circuit the bands dedicated fans filled the tent to bursting. This band had a great energy, hooking the crowd on their every word.
Now it was time for the not so secret ‘secret set’. Over the last few weeks Slam Dunk have been hinting at who the band playing this years secret slot would be and its safe to say most people were pretty certain of who if would be prior to the festival. The tent was packed to the rafters as Busted entered the stage for their killer Slam Dunk debut. This was my favourite performance of this years festival, who would’ve thought that it was possible to have circle pits and crowd surfing to Year 3000, Air Hostess and What I Go To School For.
Heading back over to the Marshall Stage it was time for Seaway’s set. The band played a string of hits from their most recent album Vacation including the incredibly catchy Lula On The Beach. Seaway are a solid live band and a refreshing change from some of the heavier acts during the day their set was perfect to have a midday dance too.
In typical outdoor festival style the heavens opened, as the rain poured fans packed into the Jaegermeister and Impericon stages to try and stay dry. This meant for some great crowds and atmosphere during Silverstein, Story Of The Year and The World Alive sets.
However one band who didn’t let the rain stand in the way of their set were Real Friends. The bands fan base were adamant that they were sticking out the outdoor set and gave their all into the performance too. Having missed out on playing Slam Dunk last year the band certainly made up for it this time round. The pit was full of crowd surfers in typical Real Friends style.
This years headliners headlining acts All Time Low, Bullet For My Valentine and NOFX went down a treat despite the rain leaving festival goers on a high. The new festival site at Temple Newsam definitely improved the Slam Dunk Festival experience compared to previous years. Accessing stages was a breeze meaning festival goers were able to see many more bands than in previous years without queuing outside various city venues. While many of us missed how accessible the city centre festival site was, an outdoor field event leads to a better experience for everyone involved and gives that true festival feel.
Slam Dunk Festival // @SlamDunkMusic
William Ryan Key // @williamryankey
The Plot In You // @ThePlotInYou
Angel Du$t // @angeldustmoney
John Floreani // @JohnFloreani
Milk Teeth // @MILKTEETHPUNX
Anti Flag // @anti_flag
Hot Milk // @hotmilkhotmilk
Busted // @Busted
Seaway // @seawayband
The World Alive // @TheWordAlive
Silverstein // @silverstein
Story Of The Year // @StoryoftheYear
Real Friends //