From its humble beginnings in 2006, Slam Dunk Festival has grown massively, with music across seven stages and three locations, now taking place in Leeds, Hatfield and Wolverhampton.
Slam Dunk 2015 featured some very good up and coming acts as well as some older, more established acts – some of which were a lovely throwback to everyone’s youth (namely Taking Back Sunday and Finch, who have both been going since 1999). Other notable artists this year included You Me At Six, Architects, Reel Big Fish, Crossfaith and While She Sleeps.
The atmosphere was phenomenal, with a reported 5,000 people in attendance. Despite a busy schedule, I managed to see every single band I was keen on, even if it was only for a few songs, and that was a first for me. First up on the Monster Stage was a young up and coming band called SHVPES. Formed from the remains of Birmingham based Cytota, these young guys have got a big future in the business ahead of them. We spoke to them on the day about the transition from Cytota into SHVPES and their latest single, State Of Mine.
Next up was Beartooth, a band I had been excited about seeing since the day of their announcement. Frontman Caleb Shomo started Beartooth when his previous band, Attack Attack!, decided to call it a day back in 2012. Beartooth have been getting rave reviews since the release of their debut album, Disgusting, in June 2014, and with this performance it was clear to see why.
The remaining bands on my list were Crossfaith, who were also performing on the Monster Stage, Stick To Your Guns on the Impericon Stage and, lastly, back to the Monster Stage once more for While She Sleeps.
There was a new addition to the festival this year, with press crews given guest passes. This extra wristband gave us access to the guest area, where some of the bands and their crews would hang out before and after the sets, which was a really nice touch. For the after party this year, they also had a separate guest bar, exclusively for the bands and for people with guest passes, but, having had such a busy day and therefore being exhausted we decided to give it a miss and just head home, rock ‘n’ roll, I know.
Slam Dunk continues to improve year on year, and I’m thoroughly looking forward to seeing what they can do next year.
Were you there? Let us know your highlights in the comment section below!