Festival Preview: Slam Dunk North

Published on 3 May 2023 at 17:29

By Craig McInnes


With more and more bills coming in thick as fast, we look towards another jam packed festival season. And kicking off 2023 is one of the first major festival names to start the season and really the best day out of the year. Slam Dunk returns once again with quite possibly the biggest and best lineup they have ever dropped, and I mean this in every single way - the lineup is perfect. The headache over clashes will last the entire summer. 


I’ll be taking a look at some of the must see acts across the day as I gear up to return to the North version in Leeds on Sunday the 27th of May - along with this I’ll even drop a few little things you can get up to between bands (if you even have the chance I mean this bill is stacked). 


Kicking off things for all the early birds who are there for doors - supporting the Scottish side to the line-up, Ayrshire’s very own Vukovi who will be taking on the Rock Scene Stage at lunchtime. I’ve always spoke to highly of this band and when you see their live show you’ll understand why. Having recently dropped another top tier record in Nula, be sure to be taken on an adventure for the entirely of their slot - just trust me on this. Vukovi are not to be missed. 


Next up, for me has to be one of my favourite vocalists in music right now and just an all round amazing person. From LA to Leeds (no difference really) it’s LOLO. I first seen her in Glasgow near the end of last year and I was blown away with her voice - her range and overall stage presence is honestly incredible and a must see for anyone. With over 800,000 monthly listeners on Spotify alone, her popularity speaks for itself. From her iconic Debbie Downer banger to most recent drop of 5,6,7,8 (ft Girlfriends) - expect to get the full mix of what this LA superstar has to offer - catch her on the Key Club Stage from 1:45. 


Between the bands there is certainly plenty to get up while you wait for your must see act to take to the stage. With a wide range of food and drinks options, you really are spoiled for choice. Although the food vendors are yet to be announced, you can be certain there will be an option there for you - with ranges from vegan, to Chinese, traditional fish and chips, burritos and even since it’s custom around these parts, a lovely Yorkshire wrap. 


You now need something to wash all that down don’t you? Well, look no further than the trusty bars dotted throughout the arena and VIP - the festival organisers have confirmed names like The Five Points Brewing Co, Lucky Saint, Schofferhofer & Vocation Brewery to name a few will have their own brewed beverages on offer throughout the day so you really are spoiled on all fronts. 


Back to the music and it’s time to turn my focus to another act I personally can’t wait for - Southampton hero’s, Creeper. Now, the north is no new ground for the band having taken on as many venues as you can imagine over the years and even Slam Dunk regulars. With a whole back catalogues behind them, you can expect to hear some classics as they take to the Kerrang Stage to headline for the very first time. Although you may get a classic Creeper set, who knows if the bands new chapter announcement late last year will see some new songs land in our ears - especially the one new song that we do have in Ghost Brigade. 


Holding Absence, a band that have quickly claimed my heart with their mix of post hardcore and alt rock sounds that can either make you cry or mosh there’s just no in between - and I mean this in the best possible way, whatever they drop it finds it’s way into my heart every time. Following a hugely successful U.K. and European tour followed by a new track in A Crooked Melody, the Welsh rockers return to U.K. soil to tackle another busy festival schedule - with new music on the horizon and the next stage of this bands career already looking tasty, this is a set you’ll want to see. 


From future headliners to headliners I am so happy to see at the top of festival line-ups. St Albans icons Enter Shikari make their return to the north and to mark with their first Slam Dunk headline slot. Personally I don’t think any band deserves it more than these guys, the efforts that they have put in to their insane journey has to be admired - and to top off all of this, will be closing the festival celebrating their very first number one record, A Kiss for the Whole World


Their live shows are legendary and no matter how many times you witness a show, the next one tops it time and time again and for me this is what makes them a cut above so many. They may change the set, the production but the passion and commitment to giving fans the best night of their lives remains the same. The band have just signed off on a 3 month tour taking over small independent venues across the U.K. and Europe supporting the new album, while recently dropping their biggest headline tour to date that’ll see the boys headline Wembley Arena, the sky is limit and above all, for me this is the must see set of the weekend. Expect to see enough confetti to cover a small nation, mosh pits the width of the stage and dance moves from Rou that would put the cast of Strictly to shame. Dear future historians, this is Shikari’s time. 


After bands, you can catch DJ Fresh taking over the Knotfest tent to spin out some tasty bangers before the main after party kicks off in the Leeds Academy in town. With David Roman playing the very best and the Slam Dunk House Band nailing some covers - there’s only one place to be to see out your day. 


Slam Dunk is completely sold out across both dates in North & South so if you are lucky enough to be walking through they gates, you are in for the best day out of the year. With the above bands and the insane others on offer, get ready for the best Slam Dunk yet. 


See you in the fields!