Reviewed by Jade Daly

This year Slamdunk Festival took to the road once more, opening up its doors to thousands of eager fans. I was lucky enough to hit the scene in Leeds and check out this year’s fantastic line up.

True to it’s somewhat sunny reputation Slamdunk weekend was fun, hot and sweaty. The Summerset opened up the main stage, and despite the refectory’s stuffy atmosphere fans piled on in, managing to fill the biggest room early in the day. The set was energetic, bouncy and fun; The Summerset really worked the crowd, the perfect opening for the day.

Pop punk rapper MC Lars created quite the scene. Hitting the stage with just a mike and his laptop he managed to inspire a full blown skank, one of the biggest circle pits I’ve ever had the “delight” of being caught up in and a full chorus of ‘Get Crunk’s’ from the crowd. Ending his set on high, he rewarded the crowd for their energetic efforts with his very own free style rap.

Walnut Creek’s very own pop punks The Story So Far have really blown up this year, something that was evident as fans queued all the way down the corridor hoping to catch a glimpse of the band’s set. The Macbeth Stage was truly jammed packed. From the barrier all the way up to the balcony, whether they could see the band or not, fans went crazy, singing and dancing amongst themselves. The band played a mixture of songs from their first full length and their recent release What You Don’t See, which was rapturously received by the crowd.

Handguns took to the Tiger stage, successfully working the crowd with the same amount of energy and devotion as a band playing the main stage. After a string of dates touring the UK with Senses Fail, they ripped through their set without a moments break. True to punk style; the security had their hands full when it came down to crowd surfers and there were catchy group sing-along’s throughout the scrum.  Without a doubt these guys gave this year’s pop punk [Macbeth] stage a run for their money.

After a year away from the UK, The Wonder Years were welcomed back with open arms. Rivalling the turn out for The Story So Far on a massive scale the Macbeth Stage was buzzing with anticipation. Battling through their forty five minute set they made their way through old favourites such as ‘Don’t Let Me Cave In’ as well as dipping into their new record The Greatest Generation, something that was greatly appreciated by the crowd. Both ‘Dismantling Summer’ and ‘Passing through a Screen Door’ were greeted with a huge response, the majority of the crowd singing along despite the fact the album was released just over a week ago.  The band ended their set by welcoming friends from a number of bands to sing along with them onstage including A Loss For Words and Handguns, which was the perfect end to their performance. 

Overall the Leeds instalment of Slamdunk Festival was a huge success; with over fifty bands spanning across the seven stages, it was near impossible to catch every band on this year’s incredible line up. With the addition of another full days line up in Wolverhampton this year, as well as a side show in Dublin it’s clear this festival is growing in size and popularity, and with performances like today it’s easy to see why.


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