Festival Preview: Slam Dunk 2017

Three Days, three cities, one huge line up.

For many people, Slam Dunk is the first festival experience that they ever have. It’s no surprise then that Slam Dunk Festival holds a special place in a lot of people’s hearts. This year’s run of dates span May 27th/28th/29th in Birmingham, Leeds and Hatfield respectively.

For fans of the main headliner, Enter Shikari, 2017’s Slam Dunk shows will be unmissable. The band (which transcend being placed into any single genre), are marking the tenth anniversary of their seminal album “Take To The Skies” by performing the album in its entirety at each of the three Slam Dunk dates. Shikari’s live production is ridiculous: strobes, lasers and moving lights everywhere, so who knows what they’ll bring to these shows in particular? The band is currently in the process of writing the follow-up to their 2015 record “The Mindsweep”, which will be no mean feat. Could we have a teaser of some new material in store? Keep in mind, the south date is effectively a homecoming show – it will undoubtedly be something really memorable.

The fun doesn’t stop there, the one and only Madina Lake reformed in February 2017 for a small run of shows, a third of which are Slam Dunks. The mid-00s alt-rock outfit split up in 2013 and I’m sure many twenty-something year olds will be looking forward to the band’s performance with a silly, nostalgic anticipation. Conversely, We Are The Ocean play their last ever gig (at the time of print) at the Hatfield date. Who knows if they’ll make a reappearance in say, four years time? Perhaps, perhaps not – Slam Dunk will be a perfect send for them though, I think.

Don Broco, Bowling For Soup and Neck Deep take the other top spots, all of which should pull their own fair share of fans to their performances. They’ve all played the festival before, which isn’t at all a bad thing. It’s perhaps one of the best aspects of Slam Dunk: since most of the acts will have toured or at the very least played a festival together, it’s an overall family atmosphere that encourages inclusion; most of the venues aren’t exactly huge by festival standards (the south date is enclosed to just the campus of Hertfordshire University…!) so you can very quickly walk to a different stage and find yourself watching a band you’ve never even heard of, but see the bands you DO know standing in the wings perhaps doing similarly.

For the price, you can’t really go wrong – Slam Dunk has a reputation of being one of the more affordable festivals out there. The Hatfield date has already sold out and the other two are likely to follow suit so don’t delay in buying a ticket. It’s gon’ get rowdy.

Get your tickets here

Check out our Slam Dunk Festival playlist now on Spotify: