Slam Dunk Festival 2016: Bands Not To Miss

As if there was any actual doubt, Slam Dunk has cemented itself as the quintessential festival for fans of all kinds of alternative music. The multi-stage May weekender consistently boasts the best line-up for all things punk rock, hardcore, metalcore, and everything inbetween. This year marks the tenth anniversary and a brand new venue at the NEC, Birmingham for the midlands leg of the Bank Holiday event. Panic! At The Disco top the bill for their very first appearance at Slam Dunk Festival, but there’s no less than 8 different stages filled with international bands to keep you entertained all day.

We’ve highlighted just a few of the artists playing that you should keep an eye out for, and even grabbed them for a chat about the festival and which of the bands they’ll be checking out themselves.


NEW FOUND GLORY


MAIN STAGE | NORTH: 7.45PM | MIDLANDS: 7.45PM | SOUTH: 7.45PM

Pop-punk legends New Found Glory return to Slam Dunk Festival after their starring headline set in 2010, to once again show the new kids on the block how it’s done. Still glowing from 2014’s excellent ‘Resurrection’, the Floridians are consistently proving why they’ve left the legacy they have and their set on the main stage this year promises to be nothing less than their normal, flawless selves. Make sure not to miss NFG on their only UK dates this year.

What the band had to say:

DP!: What are you most looking forward to about Slam Dunk?
Cyrus Bolooki (Drums): Besides the shows, probably the great hangs with all of the bands on the festival! We’ve toured with so many of these bands throughout our career that I feel as though everywhere I turn it’ll be like a reunion of sorts, running into friends that I’ve known for years!
DP!: Why should people come and check you out?
CB: Because last time we played Slam Dunk it was an awesome show, and pretty much every time we play the UK it’s amazing for us. And, most importantly, it’s the ONLY chance you’ll have this year to see NFG in the UK!
DP!: Which other bands are you most looking forward to seeing and why?
CB: Hard question to answer because there’s so many great bands on the festival this year. If I had to pick one it would be Yellowcard because they’re playing ‘Ocean Avenue’ all the way through, and I’m a huge fan of that record.



YOUNG GUNS


MAIN STAGE | NORTH: 2.30PM | MIDLANDS: 2.30PM | SOUTH: 2.30PM

The UK have been starved of their Young Guns fix in 2016 but finally Slam Dunk have given us the opportunity to welcome the Buckinghamshire band back to the stage. Fans of their latest record ‘Ones And Zeros’ will be chomping at the bit to see the new tracks again before they disappear on their US adventure this summer. Make sure you get the opportunity to see Young Guns this weekend on one of their only British dates announced this year.

What the band had to say:

DP!: What are you most looking forward to about Slam Dunk?
Simon Mitchell (Bass): It’s going to be really exciting to play to our UK fanbase again. This will be the second show of the year, so we’re really looking forward to hitting the stage again! It’ll be a chance for those people that haven’t seen us live before to catch our set. Another year, and another strong line-up for SD, so it’s a pleasure to be involved this year.
DP!: Why should people come and check you out?
SM: We haven’t played the UK since last October, so it’s a chance to see us live before we head off to the States for the summer. We may also have a little surprise in store… make sure you catch us on the day.
DP!: Which other band are you most looking forward to seeing and why?
SM: For me, probably Panic! At The Disco. I haven’t seen them play for years so it’ll be nice to catch their set and hear what the new tunes are like live. I’m really into their new album, and I’m glad they have come back strong! We’re lucky to know a lot of people in the bands playing, so I’m looking forward to the massive man love bro down.



ZEBRAHEAD


THE DESPERADOS STAGE | NORTH: 7.15PM | MIDLANDS: 7.15PM | SOUTH: 7.15PM

You don’t get invited back to the same festival year upon year, unless you’re pretty damn good and Slam Dunk know they can rely on Zebrahead to give everything they’ve got. Expect drinking, swearing and more drinking from the fest favourites who’ll be delving into their latest record ‘Walk The Plank’ as well as blasting out those all time pop-punk classics.

What the band had to say:

DEAD PRESS!: What are you most looking forward to about Slam Dunk?
Ali Tabatabaee (Vocals): We are stoked to be playing Slam Dunk again this year! My favorite part of the festival is playing live for all the crazy punk kids. They have such great energy and always make it a lot of fun for us.
DP!: Why should people come and check you out?
AT: You should come check us out because we are not only really, really, ridiculously good looking, but we will have Donald Trump come out halfway through the set so we can all beat the crap out of him. Come and join the fun!
DP!: Which other band are you most looking forward to seeing and why?
AT: I am looking forward to watching Every Time I Die and New Found Glory because they both put on very high energy shows and are a lot of fun to watch. They also have great hair and really cool t-shirts.



SET YOUR GOALS


THE KEY CLUB STAGE | NORTH: 8.20PM | MIDLANDS: 6.15PM | SOUTH: 7.10PM

Set Your Goals are back! The melodic punks have finally awoken from their hibernation and are set to play their first shows in Europe since their hiatus. Slam Dunk traditionally have a couple of surprise bands up their sleeve, and SYG are the pick of the bunch and are set for a roaring return to their second home. If you haven’t made allowances to be at the front of the crowd for the Californians, then rethink your plans immediately.

What the band had to say:

DEAD PRESS!: What are you most looking forward to about Slam Dunk?
Jordan Brown (Vocals): The people! Slam Dunk brings out the best people, and we love having new conversations, talking about music, art, events, everything. It’s a great environment and own world, a real escape if even only that day and night for everyone.
DP!: Why should people come and check you out?
JB: If you’ve never heard us, but you like Four Year Strong or The Story So Far, you might dig us! Come swing by!
DP!: Which other band are you most looking forward to seeing and why?
JB: The Starting Line is one I’m personally looking forward to the most, as well as Four Year Strong and The Story So Far. I would also like to catch Chunk, No Captain Chunk! and Creeper.



NEW YEARS DAY


FRESH BLOOD STAGE | NORTH: 8.20PM | MIDLANDS: 8.20PM | SOUTH: 8.20PM

After over a decade of being a band, New Years Day are finally getting the recognition they deserve. Fans of hard rock and gothic aesthetic would be mad to miss the starlets of ‘New Grave’ headlining the Kerrang! Fresh Blood stage as their experience is sure to shine through and their set will be talked about for years to come when they play in rooms twice the size.

What the band had to say:

DEAD PRESS!: What are you most looking forward to about Slam Dunk?
New Years Day: Well considering we’ve never played Slam Dunk, I’m just excited to check it out! I’m excited to see all of our friends over there and hopefully meet some new faces.
DP!: Why should people come and check you out?
NYD: I think people attending Slam Dunk should check us out because we are unique, and put on one hell of a show!
DP!: Which other band are you most looking forward to seeing and why?
NYD: I’m really looking forward to Panic! At The Disco. In my opinion, they’re legends and I can’t wait to watch it live!



WSTR


IMPERICON.COM STAGE | NORTH: 2.25PM | MIDLANDS: 2.25PM | SOUTH: 2.25PM

With hundreds of pop-punk appearing with the same angst and guitar tone, WSTR stand out as one of the best prospects of UK talent. The Liverpool boys are causing a stir for all the right reasons and Slam Dunk sees them take on the hardcore stage without a bat of an eyelid. Get in on WSTR now before they drop their debut album later this year.

What the band had to say:

DEAD PRESS!: What are you most looking forward to about Slam Dunk?
Sammy Clifford (Vocals): I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of friends and all the party.
DP!: Why should people come and check you out?
SC: People should come check us out because we promise to put on a show and get everyone pumped.
DP!: Which other band are you most looking forward to seeing and why?
SC: I personally am looking forward to The Starting Line because I never got a chance to see them when I was younger and I always wanted to!



CANE HILL


FRESH BLOOD STAGE STAGE | NORTH: 5.40PM | MIDLANDS: 2.20PM | SOUTH: 4.00PM

You’d forgive the newcomers stage if it was filled with brand new, unheard artists but with bands like Cane Hill playing in the middle of the afternoon, this years Fresh Blood stage is sure to be packed wall to wall. The metal titans from LA have already landed some huge tour slots and have basically booked up their whole year playing with bands like Bullet For My Valentine. Not one for the light hearted – Cane Hill have some seriously heavy metal to share with you.

What the band had to say:

DEAD PRESS!: What are you most looking forward to about Slam Dunk?
Elijah Witt (Vocals): Getting really drunk off British beers with British people.
DP!: Why should people come and check you out?
EW: We’re probably more fun to watch than a lot of the other bands.
DP!: Which other band are you most looking forward to seeing and why?
EW: Moose Blood and Creeper. I can get down with some sad songs.



SEAFOAL


ACOUSTIC/SOLO STAGE | NORTH: 3.10PM | MIDLANDS: 1.00PM | SOUTH: 2.20PM

The always expanding Slam Dunk welcomes the brand new acoustic/solo stage to 2016 to showcase the best unplugged talent the scene has to offer. Siana Sweeney, or Seafoal to you, gained huge recognition for her cover of Bring Me The Horizon‘s ‘Drown’ but is ready to stand up and be counted for her original material and what better place to do that than this weekend and Slam Dunk. If you’re into relaxed tempo chill music with a lyrical bite then look no further.

What the band had to say:

DEAD PRESS!: What are you most looking forward to about Slam Dunk?
Seafoal: I’m genuinely just excited to perform my new set, travel and meet fans/other bands. I can’t wait for everyone to hear the new music! Also, if the weather’s nice that’s a bonus.
DP!: Why should people come and check you out?
S: You can go see whoever the hell you want, but I guess if you like kinda dark, alternative pop then come check me out if you feel like it. No pressure.
DP!: Which other band are you most looking forward to seeing and why?
EW: There are so many bands I’m looking forward to seeing, but I can’t wait to see Mayday Parade, Moose Blood and New Found Glory. I’ve seen Moose Blood before and they were sick, but the other two are gonna be hella nostalgic for me as I’ve never watched them play before, so I can’t wait really. Make sure you check out Away Days and Creeper too.


Slam Dunk Festival hits Leeds (28th May), Birmingham (29th May) and Hatfield (30th May) and you can keep up to date with the festival and see the full line-up on Facebook.

Written by Mike Heath (@MikeBeef).

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