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Preview: Slam Dunk Festival 2018

Carrie Humphries


26th – 28th May 2018 sees the return of the UK’s finest alternative touring festival, Slam Dunk, and it looks set to shine with joint headliners Good Charlotte and Jimmy Eat World. The event begins on Saturday 26th at the northern leg in Leeds City Centre, before moving to Hatfield Park in Hertfordshire on the Sunday, and ending with one hell of a party on bank holiday Monday at Birmingham’s NEC.

This year’s festival boasts eight stages of music from 1pm to 11pm each day, followed by a rowdy 18+ after-party until 3am. There are over fifty live alternative acts playing across the stages each day, along with DJs, clothing, and food and drink stands; so there is plenty to keep everyone entertained.

The stage splits have recently been announced, and it looks set to be another crowd-pleaser. Making their Slam Dunk Festival debut; Good Charlotte headline the Jagermeister Stage, as fans relive their youth. This stage will also be the place to soak up Pvris’ electronic rock beats, and an explosive live performance from punk rockers Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes. Sleeping with Sirens, State Champs, Creeper, Four Year Strong and Knuckle Punk will also be making appearances here too.

For those that like a good sing-along, the bands on The Monster Stage will be perfect to check out. Jimmy Eat World are celebrating twenty-five years since they began as a band, and alternative rock legends Taking Back Sunday will also be performing; so you will be sure to hear some classics during both of their sets. For those who prefer something a little more contemporary; there are the likes of Lower Than Atlantis, Moose Blood and Twin Atlantic to choose from. US pop-punkers The Audition are reforming for a special worldwide exclusive performance, and will be joined by fellow US rock bands Say Anything and The Dangerous Summer earlier in the day.

If you love ska and punk, then be sure to check out the Fireball Stage, which will play host to some of the finest acts around. This year the stage is headlined by the ultimate party-starters Reel Big Fish, who are accompanied by Californian ska-legends Goldfinger and Zebrahead, and London reggae-ska outfit The Skints. On this stage, you can also see the likes of Capdown, Save Ferris, King Prawn, Guttermouth and Templeton Pek.

American metalcore heroes Every Time I Die top the bill on the Impericon stage, along with incredible sets from Australian metalcore band Northlane, Canada’s Comeback Kid and US hardcore act Crown The Empire. Counterparts, The Devil Wears Prada, Astroid Boys, Brutality Will Prevail and Loathe complete the Impericon Stage lineup; so for a dose of heavier music, this is exactly what the doctor ordered.

The Signature Brew stage plays host to all things pop-punk; as Trash Boat, Broadside, Homesafe, Can’t Swim and Woes play sets. This is also where you can expect to see an extra special reunion from Blackpool band Me Vs Hero, along with a fun performance from headliners As It Is.

For the hottest new bands around, check out the Rock Sound Breakout Stage. This will be the place to see the likes of The Faim, Stand Atlantic, Sleep On It and Milestones making their debut at the festival, along with Holding Absence, Greyscale, Dream State and Chapel. Canadian rock band Palaye Royale are headlining the stage, and they are already hotly tipped as a band to look out for this year.

With all this excitement, you may be mistaken in thinking that you couldn’t possibly relax at the festival; but if it all becomes a little too much then make your way to the Key Club Stage, which will be packed with acoustic sets from fan-favourites. UK singer-songwriters Rob Lynch, Luke Rainsford and Cavetown are playing, along with acoustic sets from Four Year Strong, Pvmnts and Selfish Things. Headlining the stage is Ryan Scott Graham from State Champs’ solo project, Speak Low If You Speak Love.

2018’s lineup is Slam Dunk’s biggest to date, so if you want tickets to the festival; make sure you get some soon before they sell out! The event is suitable for ages 14+ and ticket prices start at £49 plus booking fees. For tickets, check out the festival website.