Lydia Flavell & Jen Thomas of Fly FM travelled to Slam Dunk in Birmingham to bring us a review and podcast of the best bits of the festival. The podcast includes interviews with student radio favourites Vukovi, Set It Off, Counterfeit & Seaway.
Lydia shares her experience:
Thousands of pop-punk and alternative rock fans descended on the NEC and the Genting Arena in Birmingham on May 27th to revel in Slam Dunk Festival. This was the first date of the 3-day festival which travelled to Leeds and Hertfordshire after treating the Midlands to a day of some of the most eclectic bands; both new and old.
The festival saw Enter Shikari as its main headliner of the day. They hit the Jägermeister stage to celebrate 10 years of their album ‘Take To The Skies’ which gave an exhilarating end to a jam-packed day. They performed with outstanding stage presence and played all the classics; it’s definitely one Slam Dunk fans won’t forget. The stage also played host to some other legendary bands in their field; Don Broco, Beartooth, Deaf Havana and Crossfaith all fired up the crowd throughout the day, and created an atmosphere which can only be described as electric.
Slam Dunk also featured some of the veteran pop-punk bands providing nostalgia across the site – from Bowling for Soup and Less Than Jake on the Fireball stage, to Cute Is What We Aim For, Madina Lake and We The Kings making a come-back, there really was something there for all variations of this genre.
Alongside the old-school performers, we can’t not mention some of the bands which allowed themselves to flaunt their style – American band Set It Off being one of those which melded their rock and electronic fusion – with a bit of N*Sync inspiration thrown in for good measure – enticed the crowd. What was so special about these bands was how they worked their audience; their stage presence was an exciting one.
Speaking of working a crowd – if you’re looking for a textbook example, look no further than Counterfeit. Their grungy style intertwined with emotional lyrics had everyone singing along at the Impericon stage. Their audience interaction is off the scale; literally. Climbing on the stage and jumping off it, then performing in the crowd is their forte. Not forgetting the start of the occasion circle pit, of course.
And of course, we can’t forget those bands who had their debut at the festival – one which stood out for me was Vukovi. These guys hail from Scotland and they’re definitely one to look out for if you like – what they describe as – ‘riffy-pop’. They were also one of the bands to perform on the very first Rocksound stage which drew in a small yet mighty crowd.
The day itself is the epitome of a festival experience; everywhere you turn there’s something different. Whether it’s labels selling their band’s merchandise (or even the band members!) to a brand-new stage with a band catching your attention, having a quiet sit-down just doesn’t exist – and that’s a good thing!
So, if you’re looking for a new kind of festival with a range of bands across the rock-sphere, then look no further than Slam Dunk. I know I’m on the pre-sale list for next year!