Slam Dunk has been a staple of Leeds since 2006 and has become one of the biggest alternative music festivals in the UK. Boasting appearances from all sorts of punk/indie and whatever other genres seem to fit the bill, Slam Dunk is a must for anyone with even the slightest interest in the alt scene.
This preview comes with stage times and descriptions so you can plan your day accordingly, avoid awkward clashes and score a touchdown at Slam Dunk.
Millie Manders and the Shutup: 12:00 – 12:30
Slam Dunk is set to be an absolute godsend for ska fans as Londoners Millie Manders and the Shutup are set to bring their ultra lively and bouncy breed of ska punk up North. There’s endlessly bright and fun tracks like ‘Your Story’ designed to get the day started.
Teenage Bottlerocket: 12:55 – 13:30
‘Skate or Die’ once your special meter is full, bust some killer special tricks in the pit where energetic two minute tracks are king. Skater punk legends Teenage Bottlerocket bust kick flips and epic lip tricks and other skater lingo this writer clearly picked up from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. They’re here to prove they’re bigger than Kiss.
Zebrahead: 13:55 – 14:35
Rap/punk/ska/fourththing rockers Zebrahead are in a new era with new singer Adrian Estrella who first performed at Slam Dunk back in 2021 to a glorious acclaim. Formed in ‘96 and still punk rocking like we are back in the good old days. ‘Anthem’, ‘Falling Apart’ and ‘Rescuing Me’ are all classics!
Millencolin: – 15:00 – 15:40
Millencolin will not be the only band on the bill to make 30 year olds scream “Holy crap, this is from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater” and it certainly won’t be the only time it’ll be mentioned in this article along with beleaguered attempts to seem cool to skater punks. ‘No Cigar’ is a legendary track but they also have other certified bangers designed to make the old guard seem cool for remembering when it first came out.
Gogol Bordello: 16:05 – 16:50
Ukrainian Gypsy punk rockers Gogol Bordello say Privyet to Leeds for the first time since 2017. Cinephiles may remember their song ‘Through the Roof N Underground’ from the 2006 comedy Wristcutters and everyone else is in for a sweet surprise. Gypsy punk is the genre you didn’t know you needed.
Flogging Molly: 17:15 – 18:00
Grab the banjo we gotta help give Flogging Molly the ol razzle dazzle! There’s something truly magical about celtic punk. It’s just got that zero fucks attidude and just to have a jolly goodtime with a drink and a hoe down. Punking out since 1994 these rockers have had our ears and our hearts for the majestic bangers and drunken lullabies.
Less Than Jake: 18:25 – 19:15
Grab your skateboard and beer and get ready for the doot doot, it’s Less Than Jake giving us that sweet sweet ska punk goodness. You can’t be negative about this band, they have a bloody trombone and a saxaphone! A must see if all your friends are metalheads.
Bowling For Soup: 19:40 – 20:30
Bowling for Soup have been going for nearly three decades and are all about having fun and taking things less seriously. They’d been told when they first formed they’ll never make it but look who’s laughing now! you can’t beat the bangers like ‘1985’, ‘Girl All the Bad Guys Want’ and ‘Punk Rock 101’. Get your party rock socks on as we’re diving into punk rock goodness!
The Offspring: 21:00 – 22:15
Headlining the Dickies stage is The Offspring! With a career spanning across nearly four decades with iconic bangers like ‘Pretty Fly for a White Guy’ and the ‘Keep em Separated’, they’re punk rock royalty and they’re sure to ensure the kids aren’t alright.
Amazon Presents Rock Scene Stage
Zand: 11:25 – 11:55
Kicking off the Rock Stage, Zand bring their brand of electronica fueled brand of dark pop/rock music. It’s post genre weirdness made for those who believe music is fluid and can shift to fit whatever you want it to be at the time. For fans of Billie Eilish.
Vukovi: 12:15 – 12:50
Scottish two piece rockers Vukovi gear up with their guitar driven set full of power pop rock. ‘I Exist’ will become a new favourite on sad themed playlists once they’ve played their set and the fact that synth forward track ‘SLO’ isn’t dominating the radio is a crime.
Trash Boat: 13:10 – 13:45
Probably one of the best new acts to tour the UK in recent memory. Supporting Enter Shikari and I Prevail, Trash Boat are in target for world domination with nu metal/punk/hard rock as their primary weapons. You’ll be asking your mates “Don’t You Feel Amazing?” afterwards.
Check out our coverage of their tour with I Prevail earlier this year:
Holding Absence: 14:10 – 14:45
Hailing from Wales, Holding Absence are absolute workhorses and seem to be touring the UK constantly and this set at Slam Dunk is sure to be massive. Not too sad to be pop punk and too bouncy to be straight up emo, they exist in a sweet spot designed to win over everybody.
Check out our coverage from earlier this year:
Wargasm: 15:10 – 15:45
If you’re looking for the bridging point between The Prodigy and Limp Bizkit then look no further than Wargasm. Electronic nu metal might be a newer genre crossover but it’s set to be huge and Wargasm are set to burn it down (‘Pyro Pyro’).
Underoath: 16:10 – 16:55
Underoath have spoken to the disaffected for decades and their message of feeling your feelings in an effort to make a better life are more relevant than ever. If you want a good cry while swinging your arms into other people’s faces then Under Oath is the way to go
Kids in Glass Houses: 17:20 – 18:05
Kids in Glass Houses are currently gearing up for their triumphant return after years of laying dormant. The world is desperately in need of life affirming music designed to uplift the broken while validating what they’ve felt. They’ll have the crowd screaming ‘Give Me What I Want’ in no time.
PVRIS: 18:30 – 19:15
PVRIS are constantly evolving but always magnificent. With their power pop sensibilities bleeding into hard rock and their new found electronica elements, it’s going to be difficult to predict what they’ll do at Slam Dunk but it will be something special.
Billy Talent: 19:40 – 20:30
Billy Talent are Indie punk rock legends and if you don’t know them yet then that’s a massive red flag. Full of twangy guitar tones and full rich bassline built to get you off the ground as much as possible, you’ll be begging for a full tour once they finish.
Enter Shikari: 21:00 – 22:15
Fresh off their UK tour, just about to head off on another one and headlining The Rock Stage are alternative metalcore legends Enter Shikari. There are so many ways to experience Enter Shikari but the best way will be at Slam Dunk. You could be one of the thousands of people clapping along to ‘Sorry, You’re Not a Winner’.
Kerrang Stage Left
Destroy Boys: 12:00 – 12:35
Destroy Boys, one of many new era bands of the music industry and band have been making waves over the past few years. With catchy guitar playing and just being fast paced, it sure is punk rock. They’re opening up the Kerrang Stage so it’s one not to miss! ‘Honey I’m Home’ is a great track to listen to too.
Hawthorne Heights: 13:10 – 13:45
Hawthorne Heights brings up the emo! ‘Ohio is for Lovers’ still slaps hard and is set to start a huge crosh pit (that’s a mosh pit full of people crying). Hawthorne Heights are a band that’s been going for over twenty years and need more recognition as were key to the scene back in the 00’s.
Fireworks: 14:20 – 14:55
Fireworks will be going off, probably not literally but there will be good music. Fireworks are an American pop punk outfit with some emo tendencies with power pop classics like ‘Arrows’ and their brand new single ‘Open Bar’.
Real Friends: 15:35 – 16:15
Carrying on with the new era of pop punk is Real Friends. Another band entering a new era with a new singer Cody Muraro replacing Dan Lambton. He’s got some pretty big boots to fill but he’ll nail it with the support or hardcore and new fans.
Four Years Strong: 15:55 – 16:35
For those saying “it must suck to be Four Years Strong right now”, prepare to be shut up incredibly quickly. With blistering guitar work and soaring choruses, Four Years Strong are still as strong as ever.
The Academy Is…: 18:25 – 19:10
The Academy Is… another band that’s made a return to the scene after seven years and now it’s really feeling like we have our own Warped Tour here in the UK but with less… You know. It’ll be an incredible experience for those who waited patiently for their return because it’s ‘Almost Here’.
Yellowcard: 20:05 – 20:55
Grab a towel and get ready to return to ‘Ocean Avenue’. Headlining on the left is Yellowcard. It’s impossible to overemphasise how excited everyone is to hear that violin again. Yellowcard have been a huge defining band in the pop punk scene and seeing them come back in full force is a dream come true!
Kerrang Stage Right
Sincere Engineer: 11:30 – 12:00
Kicking off the Right Kerrang Stage, twangy indie Rockers Sincere Engineer will be a gentle start to the day for those wanting to gradually wake up to sing along choruses instead of being shaken awake by the heavier bands.
Movements: 12:35 – 13:05
Continuing the chill vibes in the same vein as Silversun Pickups, Movements will be bringing more vibe music to space out to. Their latest split single ‘Killing Time/Lead Pipe’ has the right blend of chill vibes and energy while still keeping you on your toes.
Spanish Love Songs: 13:45 – 14:20
Spanish Love Songs are what you’d get if you put REM and Placebo in a blender. A lot of introspective music designed to make you think just as much as make you move and there’s the added bonus of vocalist Dylan Slocum sounding like Michael Stipe if you squint with your ears.
Trophy Eyes: 14:55 – 15:35
Trophy eyes are from Australia and though they may be from across the world, they need to come over more often. With music that perfectly balances soft and hard vocals along with soaring instrumentals and dramatic lyrics. It just works so well, chlorine is a key example!
Boston Manor: 16:15 – 16:55
Another of our exports and hailing from the North, Boston Manor. Topping the very short list of great things to come out of Blackpool. Another very hard working band that gets all the praise they deserve, ‘Halo’ and ‘Carbon Mono’ …bangers!
The Menzingers: 17:40 – 18:25
Wasting no time with complex genre descriptors, The Menzingers are just straight punk rock. No fancy bells and whistles, just a straight shot of punk direct to your brain. Just what you need ‘After the Party’.
Creeper: 19:15 – 20:00
Creeper are one of our very own goth rock legends from Southampton. Creeper are no strangers to Slam Dunk but it’s amazing to see them headline the Kerrang Stage, they fully deserve it. Remember it’s an outdoor festival so please stay hydrated, you were warned about wearing all black in May.
Key Club Stage Left
Youth Fountain: 12:00 – 12:30
Youth Fountain are a Canadian two piece emo band full of bright energetic instrumentals and devastating lyrics. Perhaps not the happiest of bands but they make up for that with amazing melodies and songwriting.
Emarosa: 13:10 – 13:40
Emarosa put out a fantastic record earlier this year entitled ‘The Sting’, it’s full of anthemic moments and killer buildups and payoffs. If you like your arena rock with that mid 2000s tone then you’ll connect with Emarosa
Scene Queen: 14:20 – 14:55
Scene Queen has been blowing up on social media over the past two years and shows no sign of slowing down. The definitive Bimbocore act and the act most likely to piss off misogynist dudebros who weren’t welcome in the first place.
Charlotte Sands: 15:40 – 16:15
Punk singer/songwriters aren’t a very common occurrence but when they show up, they’re destined for great things. Charlotte Sands will be bringing her introspective yet melodic and lively brand of pop punk.
Sueco: 17:05 – 17:45
Rock and emo inspired rap has started to blow up recently with people like Ashnikko selling out arenas. Sueco is proving to be no slouch in a genre that most people would have expected to fail just a few years ago. ‘POS’ is definitely a track to check out.
JXDN: 18:35 – 19:15
Continuing with the sadboi rap, JXDN will be performing to the saddest party in Leeds. Lots of energy and ultra deep lyrics despite mega bleak vibes and.
The Hunna: 20:10 – 20:55
Headlining the Key Club Left Stage is The Hunna, newly crowned indie royalty and arguably the best thing to come out of Watford in its entire history. Expect plinky plonky indie goodness before the grand headliners take to the stages.
Key Club Stage Right
The Tyne: 11:25 – 11:55
Boasting anthemic choruses as well as a song with Noahfinnce called ‘(Not a) Love Song’, The Tyne are about to cause a huge scene at the Key Club once Slam Dunk gets started.
Girlfriends: 12:35 – 13:05
Start practising your “where yew” voice for Girlfriends, so much sad boy energy contained in two people needs to be expelled into the world and Slam Dunk is the place to do it as they perform their new single ‘Life’s a Brittany’ and other classics.
LØLØ: 13:45 – 14:15
LØLØ is another Canadian export that blew up from TikTok. Her style is very pop focused with some guitar work but it’s really her songwriting that makes her stand out from the crowd. ‘U turn me on (But give me Depression)’ is a banger despite the questionable title.
Grayscale: 15:00 – 15:35
Grayscale are an alt rock band from Pennsylvania (not Scranton) with a fairly eclectic alternative sound. They’re very much on the indie spectrum and they’re 100% going to win new fans over when they finally hit the stage.
Noahfinnce: 16:20 – 17:00
British YouTuber and multi-instrumentalist Noahfinnce brings their bright bubbly pop rock to Slam Dunk just after releasing ‘No Point Pretending (Song for Tour)’. Noahfinnce is full of youthful and infectious exuberance as well as fantastic stage presence.
Maggie Lindemann: 17:50 – 18:20
Maggie Lindemann started to move away from straight up pop recently and started to add guitars and more punk attitude in hopes of growing with her audience and this has paid off bigtime. With tracks like ‘She Knows It’ that sound straight out of the riot grrrl playbook but with a modern edge.
The Maine: 19:20 – 20:05
Headlining Key Club Right Stage is alt rock emo legends The Maine. Having been together for over 15 years, they know how to put on a show and this will definitely be a sight to see as the light starts to fade and the day comes to an end.
Heriot: 11:40 – 12:10
Fresh off their headline UK tour, making their Slam Dunk debut and violently shaking the Knotfest stage awake, Heriot promises to become your new favourite band. Boasting some of the heaviest riffing and most throat destroying vocal performances you’ll hear at Slam Dunk. Bound to wake you up faster than a hot cup of coffee. Check out our coverage of their tour with Zeal & Ardor last year:
Higher Power: 12:30 – 13:00
Leeds locals Higher Power have the rare ability to mix melancholy energy with highly emotive vocals before delivering devastating heaviness and hooks. Higher Power have a lot to offer if you’re in the mood for some hardcore dance but you’re still a bit bummed out. Highly recommended for Deftones fans.
Seeyouspacecowboy: 13:20 – 13:50
Seeyouspacecowboy are a difficult band to define, they have brutal breakdowns and wild dissonant riffs but they also have Owl City-esque choruses and lead lined. The perfect new band to go see them turn to your mate and ask “what the hell was that?” and then stream their entire back catalogue on the way home.
Dragged Under: 14:10 – 14:40
Dragged Under are a fairly new band with just two records under their belt but they’ve got all the hallmarks of a great band. Fantastic songwriting, catchy punky hooks and most importantly, a crazy stage presence. It remains to be seen what they’ll do on stage when Slam Dunk rolls around but it will be a sight to behold.
Static Dress: 15:05 – 15:35
After only a few months after their incredible, legendary and amazing tour with Sleeping With Sirens, Static Dress are set to make their triumphant return. Static Dress are a hardcore band with a melancholy tinge to their sound with ambient passages littered throughout. Perfect for moshing and then vibing.
Landmvrks: 16:00 – 16:35
French Metalcore outfit Landmvrks are set to reshape Slam Dunk history as well as the spelling of “landmarks” with their aggressive riffing and trademark barked vocals. Landmvrks are here to ouvrir la fosse (open the pit) and do as much damage as it’s possible to do at 4PM on a Sunday in Leeds.
Fit for a King: 17:00 – 17:35
Fit for a King are an amazing blend of heaviness and melody. Their hooks are so infectious and the guitar work really shines through in a genre that prefers simplicity. Be sure to watch out once the drums start slowing down, look out for crowd surfers too. This will be a mental set.
Escape the Fate: 18:00 – 18:40
Metalcore royalty Escape the Fate will grace the stage to deliver melodic Metalcore goodness. With almost two decades of certified classics to blast through, it’s sure to be a set to remember. There will be riffs, there will be breakdowns, there will be soaring choruses and there will be blood.
We Came as Romans: 19:05 – 19:45
We Came as Romans are a comeback story for the ages, singer Kyle who does the clean vocals sadly died back in 2018 and it was emotional for the band to make a comeback and opt not to fill Kyle’s place. They have a new album out, Darkbloom, and this will be their first UK show since 2016. It’s going to be surreal but it will be one not to miss!
Malevolence: 20:10 – 20:55
Hot off one of a massive tour with Trivium, Malevolence are on track to become the next unstoppable juggernaut in the hardcore scene. Returning to Slam Dunk debut after a banger set in 2021 and headlining the Knotfest stage, they’re certain to do some damage and get people moving.
Slam Dunk South takes place on Saturday May 27th 2023 at Hatfield Park, Hatfield and Slam Dunk North takes place on Sunday May 28th at Temple Newsam, Leeds.
Not got your ticket yet? Click here!