Photo by Graham Berry at Slamdunk London
The weekend just gone I made my annual pilgrimage to Slamdunk Festival but this year there was a twist. Previously I’ve done two out of the three shows because there’s just far too much to see having done Leeds and London in 2013, London and Midlands in 2014, and Leeds and London again in 2015. But this year due to the shake up in day’s I decided to skip London for the first time since it became a festival and do Leeds on Saturday 28th May, and Midlands on Sunday 29th May.
The weekend itself was fantastic and it just goes to show how each and every year the festival pull out all the stops. After travelling up to Leeds Saturday morning me and a friend checked into our hotel, had a massive lunch and headed over the festival site which is right in the city centre across Millenium Square, the O2 Academy and various university rooms. I was lucky enough to grab a pass from a friend of a friend who was playing the festival which meant I could jump the queue in the venues and grab cheap drinks in the guest bar *praise the lord*
For me Leeds this year was very packed with long queues for toilets, longer queues into venues and even longer queues for the bar, and due to a bit of excessive partying *oops* I only managed to see four bands this day. I was looking forward to hearing Yellowcard play Ocean Avenue in full but they only played half a set, so half the album but I heard the album’s title track which was enough for me. I gave Creeper another go and they were really good, while New Years Day’s set was awesome. Finally Panic! At The Disco ended the night with a nostalgia-filled sing-a-long. The night didn’t end there with an alcohol-fuelled afterparty which may or may not have been a good idea.
Sunday saw a more dignified day with a 2-hour train ride to Birmingham and a day full of far more music. This year was the first time it was held at Birmingham’s NEC with stages covering the indoor arena’, other indoor areas and various outdoor stages and despite a few complaints I heard from others I was extremely impressed about the lack of queues and the ease of getting from one venue to another.
I saw one of my favourite band’s Issues, some bands I hadn’t seen before like Blood Youth and Northlane (both of which really impressed me) and saw one of the best double acts at the end of the night aka Cancer Bats and Every Time I Die. Overall my festival experience was incredible and another year that Slamdunk have managed to pull it out of the bag.
Here’s a playlist of some of the bands which I saw across the weekend