Review: Slam Dunk South 2018
Great weather, good music and a nice atmosphere – a perfect summary for Slam Dunk Festival South!
Slum Dunk festival is a touring three-day rock festival starting in Leeds (Slam Dunk North), moving to Hartfield (Slam Dunk South) and ending in Birmingham (Slam Dunk Midlands). Established in 2006 as one day indoor event with a small stage and only a few acts, the event now attracts many well-known artists who play across seven stages. Usually, the festival is held on the May Bank Holiday of each year presenting a line-up of both up-coming artists as well as more established bands, based around the punk, emo and metal music scene.
The first two bands on the lineup were some of the highlights of the festival. Holding Absence, a British emotive hardcore band from Cardiff, and the alt-rock quintet Dream State from South Wales, who both were part of the line-up on the Rock Sound Breakthrough Stage. Both performances were great as not only the musical performance was on point but also the audience showed a lot of energy singing along and dancing around. On the Impericon Stage, the highlight there was the Australian post-hardcore quintet Northlane who played right after Crown The Empire and bands such as The Devil Wears Prada or Counterparts who all had a nice set with loads of energy. Northlane played a good mix of their older and newer songs which was appreciated by both new and old fans. Their musical performance was on top, and the energy and motivation they put into their set thrilled the fans who screamed all the lyrics back to the stage, jumped around in circle pits, and showed many crowd surfers.
Right after Northlane, the American metal band Every Time I Die from New York who played at the same time as Good Charlotte and Jimmy Eat World were the last band of the line-up on the stage.The highlights of the Jaegermeister Stage were the American post-hardcore band Sleeping With Sirens and the British rock band Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes. According Frank Carter, it was their first time playing and visiting the Slum Dunk Festival but they ensured, it was a memorable first time. Even though, they joined the crowd themselves and managed to get the biggest circle pit in front of the stage, as well as many crowd surfers, they always looked after their fans’ safety and encouraged a respectful social interaction. Last band on this stage was the American punk band Good Charlotte who played a good mix of their old and new songs, which was highly appreciated by their fans.
Luckily, the weather was very nice as the venue in the Hatfield Park had many open-air stages. Nonetheless, some of the stages were inside tents which was good for both hiding from the heat and the rain. However, most of the day was sunny and warm with a light rainfall which was a welcome refreshment.
The organisation of the festival itself seemed to be well and thought through. There weren’t many queues (except the toilets), and the location was easy to find and reach. Furthermore, the festival offered a broad variety of culinary food stalls including vegan and vegetarian meals, fries, mac’n cheese, burgers, or other fast foods. There were helpful staff and security personnel across the venue which created a secure and care taking atmosphere. The audience itself was well behaved, looked out for each other, and seemed to have a great time. However, due to train cancellations, it was more difficult to travel to the venue and the lack of trains caused many delays and over crowded coaches. At the end of the festival, there were free coaches available which helped to keep the queues short and to get the crowd moving.
Overall, it was a pleasant time with great bands, good music, nice weather and a happy audience.
Anne has been providing live music reviews for Smoke Radio across this year, and more of her reviews and photography are available to view at https://aspecialtime.blog/