Slam Dunk Festival North returns for another year at it’s new home of Temple Newsham Park in Leeds.


★★★★★ (5/5)

Slam Dunk North opened its gates at 9;30am precisely allowing festival gowers to flock into the amusement section of the park ahead of the music starting at 12pm sharp. Early attendees of the popular punk festival were greeted by warm sunshine and happy faces as they flocked into the festival area ready for the festivities to begin. Slam Dunk this year had so many bands to choose from leaving fans wanting more and struggling to choose who to see and when. The festival had 8 stages which were home to a vast amount of acts, this allowed attendees the freedom to choose who they wanted to see and when.

First up on my list to shoot was Gloucestershire born punk band Milk Teeth playing on the Dickies stage. The three piece band exploded onto the stage with their catchy lyrics and enchanting guitar riffs. Frontwoman Becky Bloomfield brings sass with her vocals as she leads her band into their set. The band had a great turn out considering they were one of the first bands to play and raised the mood of their audience instantly. Having seen this band play previously I was intrigued to see how their set would differ from the last time, to sum it up in a few words; They smashed it.

Next on my list was American metal band The Plot in You playing on the Jagermister stage. The band opened the stage with their signature sound which was a delight to the audience who had flocked in to see them, again a good turn out for one of the first bands of the day. Frontman Landon Tewers owned the stage with his signature sound and undeniable energy. An interesting band to see if you ever get the chance!

Boston Manor were next, Blackpool born the band took to the stage abruptly. Having never seen this band play before I had no expectations for what I was about to see during their set. They appeared on stage wearing white ski masks to the delight of the fans who began singing along with the band instantly. Frontman Henry Cox had undeniable stage presence and always kept the crowd engaged  encouraging mosh pits and crowd surfing to occur. Their sound flooding out of the monster energy stage into the already full festival site.

Next was the set I was personally most excited to see. The buzz around who could be playing this secret set kept everybody on the edge of their set right up until the band took to the stage. Busted appeared on stage to a crowd of excited attendees who filled the key club tent and flooded out into the field outside. The band performed their classics and had crowd engagement throughout the entirety of their set. An instant highlight in my opinion.

As It Is were next, the British born pop punk band took to the monster energy stage to the delight of the fans. Fans began opening the mosh pits and crowd surfing their way to the front seconds after the band took to the stage much to the delight of frontman Patty Walters. I’d never seen the band live before but they didn’t disappoint from their black and white aesthetic to their catchy lyrics the band kept fans engaged from start to finish.

Waterparks took to the stage around 3;30pm and had the crowd bouncing around not long after. The vibrant hair of frontman Awsten Knight matched the energy of the band perfectly in my opinion, he successfully had his attendees moshing and jumping from start to finish. Having seen the band before I was curious to see how they’d differ from the previous time, they came with insane amounts of attitude and the energy to match. A real crowd favourite in my opinion.

IDKHow took to the stage as the sun began to set behind the otherwise wet atmosphere existing just outside the key club tent. The wet weather had brought a range of people into the tent to shelter from the downpour, which had IDKHow coming on stage to a fully packed tent. The band appeared on stage under an aesthetic range of lighting and began their intro to the crowd which I felt was an extremely unique way of opening the set but it worked in their favour. Having never seen the band play before I was intrigued to see what they were all about and they didn’t disappoint. Frontman Dallon Weekes provided some killer vocals to accompany drummer Ryan Seaman’s beat. Thoroughly a good set by an interesting band, definitely one to watch.

Then it was time for headliners All Time Low to take to the monster stage. It was as if they were in kahoots with the weather as the rain stopped as soon as the band came on stage which was mentioned by frontman Alex Gaskarth, they joked with the crowd that they “had the power” which earned some cheers from the packed crowd. The band opened their set with crowd favourite Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t) and had the crowd jumping about with them within seconds. The band played a mixture of old songs and new ensuring to commemorate their album Nothing Personal which turns 10 this year with a few oldies making their way back into the setlist for the occasion. The band then premiered a new song that had never been played live before called Getaway Green, the song went down well amongst the crowd with its catchy lyrics and signature All Time Low guitar riffs that everybody loves. A song that’ll be stuck in your head for a while. The band provided fans with their signature jokes and stage presence which is something they’re loved for. Fan favourite Time Bomb made a comeback within the setlist which saw lucky fans be brought on stage to dance the song out with the band, this had insane amounts of energy both on stage and off. The band closed their set with staple song Dear Maria the crowd went wild one last time before the band took their bow and thanked fans for coming. The bands contagious energy had the crowd engaged from start to finish, All Time Low never disappoint and always put on a killer set come rain or shine!

Having shifted into an all outdoor festival this year fans were hesitant of what to expect from the festival, but it did not disappoint! Slam Dunk was a rollercoaster of weather elements from start to finish but it didn’t dampen the experience one bit. Having not attended Slam Dunk before I was open minded with what to expect from the event. All bands gave killer performances that left fans wanting more and possible converted some haters into lovers. I can guarantee you’ll have a great day/evening out and even find some new bands to listen too, so I strongly encourage you all to attend in 2020!


The Modern Record