FESTIVAL PREVIEW: Slam Dunk Festival 2016

With the first date of Slam Dunk Festival 2016 now less than a week away, we at Distorted Sound Magazine bring you a stage-by-stage breakdown of the whole event!

This year’s Slam Dunk Main Stage is set to feature one of its biggest lineups ever! Headlined by pop-punk titans PANIC! AT THE DISCO, its bill also includes Florida pop-punks NEW FOUND GLORY, Cambridge rock quintet MALLORY KNOX, Jacksonville pop-punks YELLOWCARD (performing their album Ocean Avenue in full), Florida emo-rockers MAYDAY PARADE, British alt-rockers YOUNG GUNS and Canterbury emo quartet MOOSE BLOOD.

If you prefer your music to be a bit more metalcore, then the Atlas Stage might just be your thing. Headlined by Orange County metalcore titans OF MICE & MEN, it’s also set to feature performances from metal/R&B crossover mob ISSUES, Texas metalcore giants MEMPHIS MAY FIRE, Australian melodic-hardcore outfit THE AMITY AFFLICTION, Sydney progressive metalcore act NORTHLANE, Michigan metalcore sextet WE CAME AS ROMANS, Ohio melodic-metalcore five-piece MISS MAY I, Arizona metalcore act THE WORD ALIVE and Japanese metalcore/post-hardcore outfit COLDRAIN.

The Key Club Stage is this year headlined by the Californian pop punk band THE STORY SO FAR (exclusive to Slam Dunk), followed by the return of THE STARTING LINE who don’t often play the UK so is a great chance to see them and perhaps some of their new EP ANYWAYS, punk pop quartet FOUR YEARS STRONG, and SET YOUR GOALS (also exclusive to Slam Dunk) for whom Slam Dunk is the first festival after taking some time off in during which many of the members worked on side projects.

THE KING BLUES bring some British blood to the festival hailing from London and are headlining the Desperados Stage following their reformation in November 2015.  They’ll be joined by the likes of ZEBRAHEADCAPDOWN, KING PRAWN, CATCH TWENTY-TWO, [SPUNGE] and THE JB CONSPIRACY. Promoter Ben Ray is particularly excited about CAPDOWN since it’s Slam Dunk’s 10th anniversary and they played the very first event, he said “it’s going to be a great year!” Special guests THE BEAT who are a 2 Tone ska revival band are also making an appearance.

Over on the Impericon Stage, metal is once again the order of the day, as EVERY TIME I DIE look set to make a chaotic headline performance. They’ll be joined across the day by Toronto hardcore mob CANCER BATS, Georgia metalcore mob NORMA JEAN, rap/djent crossover outfit HACKTIVIST, Milton Keynes metallers HEART OF A COWARD, Brighton punks GNARWOLVES, French pop-punk/metalcore quintet CHUNK! NO, CAPTAIN CHUNK!, Liverpool pop-punks WSTR and London rap-rockers THE ONE HUNDRED.

New talent is always important to festivals, and this is something that the Kerrang! Fresh Blood Stage sets out to tackle at this year’s Slam Dunk. Headlined by Anaheim “Hauntedmansioncore” goth-rockers NEW YEARS DAY, the stage is set to feature performances from rising talent such as Southampton goth-punks CREEPER, Australian post-hardcore mob HELLIONS, Harrogate rockers BLOOD YOUTH, Blackpool emo-punks BOSTON MANOR, New Orleans metallers CANE HILL, London alt-rockets DEAD!, Texas pop-punk trio WATERPARKS and Sydney pop-punks WITH CONFIDENCE.

What more does a festival need? A SHIKARI SOUND SYSTEM DJ set, of course!  The electronic alter-ego of ENTER SHIKARI are set to play the Uprawr Stage this year. ENTER SHIKARI front man Rou has described as “The same 4 scallywags but playing a live dance set“. There will also be a BURY TOMORROW DJ set, and performances from electronic rock band THE QEMISTS and ASTROID BOYS. It’s like they’ve thought of everything.

New for 2016 is The Solo & Acoustic Stage, which brings the total to eight, and will feature artists new to the scene – GRUMBLE BEE and GREYWIND – alongside ELDER BROTHER, the side project for THE STORY SO FAR guitarist/vocalist Kevin Geyer, and headlined by the one and only Bryce Avary’s solo project THE ROCKET SUMMER.

Slam Dunk Festival 2016 will take place on the following dates:

Saturday 28 May 2016: Slam Dunk Festival North – Leeds City Centre [SOLD OUT]

Sunday 29 May 2016: Slam Dunk Festival Midlands –Birmingham, NEC

Bank Holiday Monday 30 May 2016: Slam Dunk Festival South – Hatfield, University of Hertfordshire [SOLD OUT]

Remaining tickets for the Midlands date are on sale now and priced at £42 or £47 with afterparty (18+ only).

For more information and ticket links, visit http://www.slamdunkmusic.com

Words by Jack Fermor-Worrell and Dean Martin