Gig Review

Slam Dunk Festival
Hatfield, Hearts, Uni
27th May 2011

As we arrived at Hatfield university with the midday sun blazing, we were greeted by the usual lengthy line of fans waiting to get in, enjoying the sounds of the "Straight Lines" and later "Zebrahead" carrying the short distance from the outside jagermeister/Atticus Stage.

Upon entering the festival we were welcomed by stalls filled with band merchandise clothing brands such as Honour Over Glory and Atticus, as well as bar's and food.

Our first stop of the day was a quick interview with "Motion City Soundtrack" before wondering inside to the intimate "Punktastic" stage, a small room with a bar that was packed with fans waiting for "Portia Conn & Friends" the first acoustic set of the day.

We then wondered outside to the jagermeister/Atticus stage to catch the beginning of the heavier "Lower Than Atlantis" set before having to rush off for another round of interviews, with "The Audition" and "Decade".

With some free time it was a good chance to wonder around the stalls and stages catching a bit of "Of Mice & Men" on the largest indoor "Honour over Glory" stage and "Canterbury" on the smaller outdoor "Red Bull Bedroom Jam" stage. With this being the 3rd year Slam Dunk South has been held at Hatfield university all of the management issues from the first year have been resolved with the addition of a second outside stage housing some of the bigger acts such as an incredible set from "The Audition" involving Danny Stevens entering the crowd and starting a circle pit. Followed by "Cartel" and "Mayday Parade". More or the main acts were moved to the jagermeister/Atticus Stage including the main headliners "Taking Back Sunday" as well as "Funeral For A Friend" and "The Blackout".

One of the other key changes made from 2010 was moving all of the stalls to the outside. With the inside comprising of three floors the downstairs was home to the smelliest stage the "Sinstar" stage comprised of a number of DJ sets, as well as the reasonably sized "Vans Music Stage" which can be also be seen from a balcony on the 2nd floor featuring bands like "Gallows", "Capdown" and "Set Your Goals". By spacing the bands out more Slam Dunk South was much more peaceful in 2011 and 2012 than its first year, with enough room to move inside and out and large enough crowds at any stage, you could get as involved as you want or have a relaxing day sat by one of the outside stages having a few drinks some food and enjoying the sun.

The second floor is home to the main indoor stage "Honour Over Glory" stage comprising of two floors and a bar. With Hardcore acts such as "Cancer Bats", "Every Time I Die" whom saw a circlepit the entire width of the floor and fans singing along word for word, and headlined by the "Architects".

The acoustic "Punktastic" comprised of the rest of the second floor. On the third floor was the 7th and final stage the Macbeth stage, which was completely inaccessible 10 minutes into "The Story So Far" set, with the crowed packed out about a meter out of the door. The Macbeth Stage was also home to "Decade", "Transit", "Hit The Lights" an several other bands. With all the bands taking place over one day combined with all the stalls and the relaxed staff, Slam Dunk has many of the qualities of a day in the arena at Reading but without the dirt, sleep deprivation and the added bonus of actual toilets.

In some ways lacking some of the fun, but a bonus in others. All in all Slam Dunk is a good festival for pop-punk, ska and post-hardcore fans looking to have a few drinks and see a lot of good bands, as well as maybe discover a few new ones.

Alternative Vision At Slam Dunk Festival 2012 - By Neil Oliver

Review By Marc Rich
Video By Neil Oliver

 Slam Dunk Festival

Slam Dunk Festival
Hatfield, Hearts Uni
27th May 2011

 Jager Stage

Taking Back Sunday
The Blackout
Funeral For A Friend
Motion City Soundtrack
Say Anything
Lower Than Atlantis
Straight Lines

 Honor Over Glory Stage

Every Time I Die
Cancer Bats
While She Sleeps
Of Mice & Men
The Word Alive
For The Fallen Dreams
I See Stars
Upon A Burning Body

 Vans Off The Wall Stage

Set Your Goals
Don Broco
Random Hand
Make Do And Mend

 Redbull Stage

Mayday Parade
Forever The Sickest Kids
The Audition
It Boys!
Golden Tanks
The Jellycats
I Divide

 Macbeth Stage

Hit The Lights
The Story So Far
Save Your Breath
No Trigger
Our Time Down Here

 Punktastic Acoustic Stage

Charlie Simpson
Shane Henderson
Into It. Over It.
Rob Lynch
Neil Starr
Opie Deino
Portia Conn & Friends

 Event Related Links
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?