Slam Dunk Festival 2019

Another year with a line-up of both up-and-coming artists as well as more established bands, based around the punk, emo and metal music scene at Slam Dunk Festival 2019.

Every year around the May Bank Holiday, Slam Dunk Festival takes place in usually three cities in the UK being Leeds, Hartfield and Birmingham, presenting both up-and-coming artists as well as more established bands, based around the punk, emo and metal music scene. However, this year, the festival only took place in Leeds and Hartfield welcoming around 71 bands playing across nine stages. Another novelty was that some tents contained two stages on which artists played in alternation to allow quicker changes and shorter breatks between each set as one stage prepared the set while artists played on the other stage. The right and left Key Club Stages, as well as the Jägermeister and Impericon stage were located in these tents.

The Key
Club Stage
– Left Key
The Key
Club Stage
– Right Key
– Boston Manor
– As It Is
– Waterpprks
– Simple Plan
Neck Deep
– New Found Glory
– All Time Low
The Plot In You
Wage War
The Word Alive
– Silverstein
– Story Of The Year
Bullet For My Valentine
– Angle Du$t
Knocked Loose
– Cancer Bats
– The Bronx
– Gallows
– Modestep
– Kublai Khan
– Hot Milk
– Press To MECO
– Between You & Me
– Employed To Serve
– Grandson
– I Don’t Know How
– Cruel Hand
– Wallflower
– Y3K
– Story Untold
Our Hollow, Our Home
– Microwave
– Lights
Punk in Drublic Dickies
Acoustic Stage Marshall
– The Bombpops
– Anti-Flag
– Mad Caddies
– The Interrupters
– Millencilin
– Lagwagon
– Less Than Jake
– Milk Teeth
– Tiny Moving Parts
– Tiger Jaw
– Saves The Day
– The Get Up Kids
– Touché Amoré
– The Menzingers
– John Floreani
– tiLLie
– Lizzy Farrell
– Chas Palmer-Williams
– Liam Cromby
– Rob Lynch
– Justin Pierre
– William Ryan Key
– A Loss For Words
– Trophy Eyes
– Seaway
– Real Friends
– Hello Goodbye
– Plain White P’s

After some difficulties with the trains to get to the festival ground, which is actually easy to reach if the public transport works properly, last ear, I was slightly concerned that it might happen again but luckily the train ran without major delays. The ques for the bag search and ticket control at the beginning were well organised and not too long which allowed a short waiting time.

Starting off the festival day, I went straight to the Jägermaister Stage, located in the same tend as the Impericon Stage, to see the American post-hardcore band The Plot In You who opened the stage with a lot of energy and played a good mix of their songs focusing on the latest album which was well received by the fans who sung all the lyrics back on the top of their voices. Eventhough they played quite early, there was a big crowd in front of the stage who was engaging in the performance and enjoyed themselves which was highly appreciated by the band.

As I wanted to see the next band on the Jägermeister Stage, I stayed inside the tend and watched the Knocked Loose set from the back who played on the opposite stage. When they finished, Wage War, an American metalcore band, entered the Jägermeister Stage and played an energetic and fast paced set. Their mix of heavy breakdowns and melodic choruses created a dynamic atmosphere and was great received by the fans.

Just before The Word Alive played their set, Turnstile fired through their set on the other stage inside the tent. The Word Alive, an American post-hardcore quartet, just finished their EU and UK ten-year anniversary tour and entered the stage highly motivated. The crowd went absolutely mental, run around in circle pits and screamed the lyrics back to the stage. Everyone seemed to have a great time and enjoyed themselves. The Word Alive played a good mix of their older and newer songs which was well received by the crowd.

For the next band I had a quick change of the venue and went to the tent that included both Key Club Stages. The first band I wanted to see there was the British melodic metalcore band Our Hollow, Our Home who mixed melodic choruses with heavy breakdowns and mostly shouted verses which created an anthemic atmosphere. The crowd enjoyed the set and screamed all the lyrics back to the quintet who highly appreciated the crowd participation.

Next up was the Australian black metal quartet Pagan who played the stage on the other side and heated up the air with their wild and energetic performance. Front woman Nikki set the energy high with her shouted singing style and dynamic stage performance, inviting the crowd to become part of the cult and celebration.

When Pagan finished their set Shvpes, a British alternative metal band, entered the other stage and kicked off with their energetic performance. Their mix of rock, metal and rap influences creates a unique style and dynamic atmosphere. The crowd enjoyed themselves by moshing in circle pits and singing along which was highly appreciated by the band.

Moving to another stage, I went to see the British punk pop quartet Neck Deep who were playing on the Monster Energy Stage. With their dynamic music, they got the crowd moving. There was a big circle pit in front of the stage and several crowd surfers made their way to the stage. Everyone seemed to have a great time and to enjoy themselves.

For the last few bands I went back to the tend with the Jägermeister and Impericon stages. Next up was the American heavy Metal Band Atreyu who already set the energy levels high for the headliners of the stage. While the Jägermeister stage was prepared for Bullet For My Valentine, Glassjaw, an American post-hardcore band, played on the opposite stage inside the tent.

The last band I saw was one of the headliners, the Welsh heavy metal band Bullet For My Valentine who ended the festival with a bang! They played a good mix of some of their older but also newer songs which was highly appreciated by the fans who enjoyed themselves moshing and dancing around.

Even though the weather was rather rainy and humid towards the end, it wasn’t too bad as most of the bands I went to see were located inside the tents. However, it would not have been a proper festival if there hadn’t been sunshine and rain.

The organisation of the festival seemed to be well planned and thought through without too many queues neither for the bag control nor for the food or toilets. The food stalls however didn’t seem to be as varied as last year. There were a few standard stalls offering pizza, pasta, burgers and fries, but as far as I was aware of there weren’t a lot of vegan options or if so, they might not have been as obvious. The staff was helpful and there was a lot of security which created a safe and care taking atmosphere. Additionally, the audience was well behaved, looked out for one another and seemed to have enjoyed themselves. Getting home from the venue, the festival offered a shuttle bus service for which tickets could be booked prior to the event. Additionally there were helpful staff members selling tickets next to the bus station if someone decided to take the bus but didn’t by a ticket in advance. The queues were alright and the sings guided the direction so everyone could find the exits and services they needed easily.

Overall, it was a great festival day, with good music, amazing bands, and an audience who seemed to have a special time!

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