Slam Dunk 2017 Preview
Now in the month of May, it is only a few more weekends until the return of Slam Dunk Festival: a three venue fest that brings together the worlds of rock, punk and ska into one day of non-stop music. With such an exciting lineup this year, it is clear that we are set to witness some amazing days of music across Birmingham, Leeds and Hatfield. In preparation, I take a closer look at the stage splits that were announced last month and give you some of the highlights to look out for on the days.
The main stage of the festival is, of course, going to be a great place to be able to witness great music. With highlights including Deaf Havana, We Are The Ocean and even some secret special guests (*cough* Bury Tomorrow *cough*), we also get the honour of witnessing Don Broco‘s one and only appearance at a UK festival this year. Not only that but SD are hosting the ten year celebration of Enter Shikari‘s ‘Take to the Skies‘, which features banging tracks from the synth-rock quartet like ‘Mothership‘ and ‘Sorry You’re Not a Winner‘. It’s going to be an unmissable spectacle.
This Whisky sponsored stage is where the home of ska will be across the weekend. Featuring some of the most notable pioneers of bringing reggae ska to the punk scene: Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish. Not only that, but this stage holds 00’s favourites Bowling for Soup: a notable headline act that would be a bummer to miss out on.
Monster Energy Stage
Pop-punk is a noticeable trend to be evident over a number of stages this year at Slam Dunk, and current UK front runners of the acclaimed genre Neck Deep are taking the top spot of the Monster Energy Stage. They are sharing the area with fellow pop-punk Brits WSTR and fresh Toronto quintet Like Pacific: two newcomers to the scene that are ones to look out for. Another prime act on this stage is The Maine. After listening and reviewing their latest hit record ‘Lovely Little Lonely‘, these guys are definitely high on the Must-See list.
The Key Club Stage
There’s no short of awesome pop-punk bands throughout the festival this year, and The Key Club Stage holds no exceptions. With female-fronted favourites Tonight Alive taking the centre spot to conclude the night, and rising stars Waterparks both present and accounted for, there’s plenty to get excited for here. For me, it will be nice to finally check out Bath-based quintet Decade. After listening to their tunes on repeat – particularly new album ‘Pleasantries‘ – I can’t get them out of my head.
Signature Brew Stage
If you’re wanting something a little more unique and quirky, then Signature Stage is the place to be. With ex-My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero bringing his solo project and Against Me! with their energy-filled punk, there is plenty of variance to keep you entertained. If you’re a fan of grungey riffs and melancholic vocals there’s Puppy there early on in the day and Turnover to satisfy your need for released instrumentals and ambient vibes .
If you’re looking for somewhere to go right at the beginning of the day (aside from the closest bar) then go check out Too Close To Touch at the Impericon Stage. The Kentucky post-hardcore quintet are exactly what you’d need to get you ready and raring for what is to come. This stage is set for a heavy day with plenty of chances to get into the pit. Memphis May Fire take top spot, with the wonderful Madina Lake making a return as second in command. Your twelve-year-old emo self can relish in seeing tracks like ‘Let’s Get Outa Here‘, ‘Here I Stand‘ and ‘House of Cards‘ in the best possible way.
I had this song on my iPod touch, back in the day. What an awesome day it will be when it will be performed right before my very eyes.
Rocksound Breakout Stage
Watching and discovering somewhat smaller, new bands is always a fun experience, so having a whole stage dedicated to that is a perfect way to find your next favourite group. I discovered Homebound earlier this year in February when reviewing their third EP ‘The Mould You Build Yourself Around‘. It will be great to finally witness their stage presence alongside the likes of Vukovi and special competition winners for each venue.
Mixing up the lineup is the Uprawr stage, which holds host to a collection of acoustic performances from the likes of rock solo artist Grumble Bee and post-hardcore act I Am The Avalanche. After 5pm, the stage is taken over by Uprawr DJ’s to see you into the night. And if you can’t get enough of Uprawr, then they are also holding host to the after-party in the midlands at Pavilion 1 in the NEC – 11pm – 3am and the pre-party on the Friday night before the festival.
Here’s the full line-up poster:
Slam Dunk takes place over May bank holiday weekend:
Sat 27th May – Birmingham NEC
Sun 28th May – Leeds City Centre
Mon 29th May – Hatfield Forum (SOLD OUT)
The set times were released not long ago released via Rocksound’s website, check them out to see when your favourite bands take the stage.
Check the lineup out over on the #SDF17 Spotify Playlist
They even have released an app that showcases the bands on the lineup and can help schedule your day. Get the app: