If you don’t know what Slam Dunk Festival is, it’s safe to say you may have been living under a rock. The annual may weekender has become such a staple in the rock music community that it’s a must-see for anyone who likes bands from the genre. Not only does it provide kick ass music, it marks the beginning of a summer full of great music to come.

Being the first, Slam Dunk has always made sure to be memorable to anyone who attends, making sure that it’s improved every year – with new venues, extra stages and even more bands. This year is no different as Hatfield has been given an upgrade and it seems as though another stage has been added to accommodate the flurry of incredible talent out there.

Here is a lowdown of just some of the great bands you should check out when the festival rolls around in just a few weeks.


STATE CHAMPS
PLAYING: JAGERMEISTER STAGE

State Champs have risen far and fast in the pop punk genre and it’s no surprise, with huge writing collaborations on their tracks, they have some of the most infectious catchy songs in the genre. Their most recent offering Dead and Gone has been no different, as the band teamed up with Mark Hoppus to create it and truly, it’s one to look out for at Slam Dunk Fest. It’s anthemic lyrics scream to be heard by the hoards of fans that will surely be crowdsurfing to the front as they sing.

TAKING BACK SUNDAY
PLAYING: MONSTER ENEGRY STAGE

Taking Back Sunday last played Slam Dunk Festival back in 2015, so it’s been a few years. They’re festival favourites, keying in to the very heart of fans with those nostalgic emo anthems. It’s safe to say that whether you’re young or old, you’re bound to know the lyrics to at least a few of their songs but for those who are older – who doesn’t love to reminisce on a song you loved years ago with your best friends by your side?

THE AUDITION
PLAYING: MONSTER ENERGY STAGE

To the dismay of many fans, The Audition parted ways back in 2012 and it’s been six years since we’ve really heard anything from them. A tiny hint at more music back in 2014 was all that was offered before the band disappeared into the ether once again – until now. For Slam Dunk, The Audition have reformed and with rumours hot on their setlist, it’s safe to say there’s plenty of excitement about their performance. Perhaps they’ll play one of their classic albums in full, who knows? All we do know is that it will be very interesting to see how they do after all this time.

BROADSIDE
PLAYING: SIGNATURE BREW STAGE

In 2017, shortly following the release of their album Paradise, Broadside decided to take a small break from touring. It came as a shock and with much sadness as it left fans who had yet to hear the new songs desperate for their comeback. They didn’t go away for very long, luckily and fresh off of that hiatus, armed with the perfect soundtrack to summer, they will be making their first appearance at Slam Dunk Festival. Broadside are one to watch simply because they are one of the more special but also more underrated bands within the pop punk genre. They exude pure positivity with their songs and performance that it’ll surely spread to whoever is watching them.

AS IT IS
PLAYING: SIGNATURE BREW STAGE

Back in 2015, As It Is opened the Signature Brew stage to a flurry of eager fans. They showed promise then, with the recent release of Never Happy, Ever After, and quickly rose to being one of the biggest names in Pop Punk. It’s no surprise why, their catchy songs and unrivalled energy really puts tips them over the edge into greatness. Now, three years on and with an even bigger fanbase than ever, the band are taking to Signature Brew stage once more – though this time, they’re headlining. If you’re looking for a truly special way to end your night, this is probably where you’ll find it.

SLEEP ON IT
PLAYING: ROCKSOUND BREAKOUT STAGE

You may well have heard of Sleep On It thanks to the likes of Rock Sound featuring them and also a little band called Waterparks hyping them up after a stint on tour together. Sleep On It are new and fresh and full of truly great tracks, while the singer does have a voice that is reminiscent of another band on the bill – truly, it’s uncanny – Sleep On It have their own twist on pop punk that is only pushed on further by the near soulful vocals. This will be their first appearance in the UK, let alone at Slam Dunk Festival and it’s sure to be something very special – they will blow up, it’s only a matter of time, so get down while they’re low on the bill and discover just how special they are before that happens.

CHAPEL
PLAYING: ROCKSOUND BREAKOUT STAGE

Chapel are another band making their first appearance at the festival this year. This will only be their second ever UK appearance, following a tour with Waterparks – who have also hyped them up incredibly – and what a reason to come back. Though there are just two members in the band, their crazy energy and overall incredibly catchy songs are enough to get even the most dull of crowds up on their feet. If you’re wondering how it’s possible for a two piece to really be all that fantastic, get down and see this band – you won’t regret it.

FOUR YEAR STRONG
PLAYING: KEY CLUB ACOUSTIC

If you know Four Year Strong, then you know that Acoustic is not really their deal. The band are much more well known for their punchy songs of great breakdowns but more pop punk ladened vocals. They’ve always kind of stood out as a damn great band and while they are playing a full set of what you would expect over on another stage, we think you should check out their acoustic set. Simply because it’s so far removed from what you’d think of when hearing a Four Year Strong track, so it’ll definitely be interesting to see how they can translate those heavy-hitters into smooth acoustic ballads.