Another year, another Slam Dunk festival, but this year was the first fully outdoor one ever! Yes the weather was patchy at some points but the music shined through no matter what, and even a bit of rain couldn’t dampen the summery feeling that Seaway always bring to a show. The bands were all incredible, with a personal highlight of the afternoon being Gallows who utterly stormed their set on the Impericon stage, almost levelling the entire tent. Unfortunately, I was unable to catch Busted’s secret set due to them clashing with Wage War, however from what I heard they were incredible, whilst I certainly did not feel disappointed with one of Wage War’s first ever UK festival sets.
The dual stage system worked pretty well throughout the day as well, reducing the number of clashes and also meaning that there was very little time waiting for bands to set up, as they had already done so during the previous act. Surprisingly however, if the waiting around was too much then the music was not the only thing to do as this year there was a mini fairground on site too, including an axe throwing stall!
No matter your taste there was something for everyone at this year’s Slam Dunk, from moshers at Cancer Bats, pop-punk fans there for Neck Deep and All Time Low, or even old school punks in Hatfield to watch Bad Religion and NOFX – this variety is why Slam Dunk has been so successful over the past decade.
However, the one thing that Slam Dunk failed to get right this year was the queues for the cashpoints and bars, which at some points were upwards of an hour long – hopefully next year they learn their lesson and spread them further around the site. The cashpoint queues were especially bad when the signal on the card readers began to cut out later on in the afternoon as well.
Slam Dunk is still the undisputed king of the pop-punk festival, and this year it demonstrated how well it can put on heavy music too. With a few minor issues still to sort out, it is clear to see how the team behind Slam Dunk can evolve and put on an even better weekend next year.