Over the late May Bank Holiday weekend I headed to two dates of Slam Dunk Festival and 2018 saw the Hatfield site move to a brand new location in the town. There’s no doubt that while the original site at the Hertfordshire University was good the festival was outgrowing the space and there was always capacity issues at times during the day. Now in the grounds in Hatfield House everything changed and it was definitely for the better.
It felt more like a festival
Now this one is a little hard to explain but as soon as it’s an outdoor festival with tents and food stalls it feels instantly more like a festival. While I love the metropolitan feeling of Slam Dunk I do feel more like I’m at a ‘proper’ festival with the new Hatfield site and it made me even more excited for my summer of festivals.
Easier to move between stages
One of the hardest things at festivals are the clashes but at the old site it was almost impossible to catch half of one set and then go and see half of another set as you’d battle through queues and crowds just to move around the site. Having the new festival site outside meant that this was never an issue and moving around the site was easy and flowed so well so we managed to split our time really well and it meant we got to see more music.
Following on from this point because the site was so much bigger the crowds around key areas just didn’t seem as bad. For example we were able to freely walk around different stages to find a good spot rather than being stuck when ever we entered, and going to merch stands was much easier as much. But in contrast to this the crowds at stages (especially the outdoor ones) just looked massive and felt much more like a big festival.
More food stalls
Food is an important part of festivals and when you’re walking, standing, singing and dancing all day long you need some good fuel to keep you going. At the old university there were limited choices as there just wasn’t the room for that much variety but this year there was plenty of space for a whole host of treats including the best hot dog stand (which also did a vegan option).
Easier access to public transport
The old Hatfield site wasn’t the best for accessibility from the station as the shuttle bus left something to be desired and it wasn’t the quickest walk but now being at Hatfield house it means that the station is opposite the site making things so much easier if you’re relying on trains.
Better parking facilities
Parking at Hertfordshire University was a bit of a minefield and took us forever to do last year but this year when we arrived around gates opening time it was a breeze. There were clear sign posts and after you went down the country style lanes the staff directed us to a spot so quickly we were out and walking to the entrance in minutes. We left before the very end so had no issues getting out of the car park but I did hear that it did take a while during the main rush.