Sun 30 May – Slam Dunk Festival North 2010
I thought I'd share my positive Slam Dunk experience with everyone, despite the majority of bad experiences I've heard. This was the first festival I've ever been to, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. But let me tell you it has to be one of my highlights of the year!
So lets get started...
Despite the mix-up with my friends ticket, causing me to have to queue twice, I Started off the day well. Met two people on the train to Slam Dunk, had a laugh before departing which got me in the perfect mood. The weather was great, who could be complaining!
We got there nice and early to get our wristbands after a queue of 5 people, the queue flowed quickly and was well organised. (my second time queuing was around 2:45 pm and took about 30 mins but also flowed smoothly). Gave us plenty of time to get in and find the right stage, as well as enjoying the weather!
Getting around wasn't too hard, the map was pretty much useless but the officials seemed friendly and could give simple directions to get around quick.
Started off the day with Save Your Breath
. I'd only listened to them a few times but their live set started off with a boom. There was a few people who knew them well and got the crowd going with a nice friendly pit as a side dish :). They seemed a great bunch of guys. Sound quality was A*, and their set featured vocals from Sean Smith (The Blackout
) and Dan Campbell (The Wonder Years
). Great start to the afternoon.
Still in a fantastic mood, despite being a tad tired we went outside and enjoyed an overpriced beer to the smell of a barby, before proceeding to one of the best bands of the night, Me vs Hero
The Vans stage was perfectly set up towards the start of the night. We got in just to avoid the sound-check but managed to get right at the front to see the amazing Me vs Hero
. Lights dimmed, they came on to a monster cheer. As soon as the first band kicked in the whole crowd went crazy. The pit spanned across most of the room! and there was so much energy inside. Most people were singing along and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. They could have gone on all day but they finished with a full wham bam POW 'Days that shape our lives', which totally made their set.
Outside for another pint! While enjoying the sounds from the Baby-cakes stage, which weren't to my taste but better than listening to a load of random banter. And let me tell you, those burgers were expensive but fucking delicious!
I split with my friends so I could go see Out of Sight
.Out of Sight
played on the main stage. It was getting quite busy but cosy. Managed to make it, missed their first few songs, but they were a great happy bunch of guys. Played a decent cover of a song in the charts that I can't remember the name. But they pleased the crowd, and after I managed to push my way into the 'pit' I say that like it was a pit, but basically it was just an open area where the fun was, and a few people were drunk and stumbling already. The sound was great, but the band left earlier than expected, their set should have been longer.Fact
Okay, probably the most disappointing act of the night. Well it wasn't the act themselves, They had a problem with the sound-check which caused them to run about 30 mins late. People started leaving, though it meant I managed to get to the front, THEIR loss. As soon as the band came on they got everyone going. There was a few crazy hardcore fans at the front, room was a tad small but they got decent volume out of the speakers! They managed to make the crowd laughing with their poor English. 'Are your Pen-is wet?' xD. Their set was short lived but their songs were full of energy.
DRINK => Quick laugh at the millionaires => TO THE MAIN STAGE
Okay, so Not Advised
. Okay, I couldn't stop looking at the guys hair, it just amazed me. anyway.. I'd not really heard them, but they seemed to be alright, I was more just waiting to see Set Your Goals while having a cool down
One of the moments I'd been waiting for.. Set Your Goals
! It was packed! but no, that didn't matter, the whole fucking crowd were going crazy!. Managed to sneak down the side to the frontish, but looking back everyone was singing the lyrics. All dressed in their suits , the pop punk band stood their ground, with an amazing set list!. Everyone was going bazerk for the whole set, despite being in a little pit with 3 topless guys and elbowing my girlfriend in the head twice! They finished the set with my favourite song! Our Ethos, followed by Mutiny! Left ears ringing and I was soaked like a sponge! Man I was exhausted, but their set made my night! I'd have been happy if they were the last band I'd see that night.
But fuck the lack of energy => To Deaf Havana
Okay, A little pre information, I was told they'd lost their singer about a week before slam dunk, so hats off to the guys for STILL managing to perform.
They weren't really helped along by the lack of competence of the sound check team, but hey it can't all be perfect. They finished with their trademark song, 'friends like these' which everyone could sing along to, after playing an average set.
Now, you'd expect me to see Four Year Strong
.. one of my favourite bands.. But their clash with Skindred
left me a bit upset, I decided to leave fys to see on Wednesday, which I booked before I managed to scrape my SD ticket.Skindred
The infamous. We relaxed and regained out energy while their sound-check ran a whole 20 mins late :/. But when they kicked off they did it in style, coming on one at a time, to some spacey music.. followed by the rasta legend! They had to be the best crowd pleaser, getting everyone in the mood moving. Despite the room being full of hardcore kids and drunktards :(. They covered a remix of nobody, followed by the actual song, and all the others you'd expect them to play. They left the crowd well and truly fucked over with a sense of euthanasia.
By this time I was basically dead, I could barely stand any more, after spending at least half the set to most of the bands in the pits. So I decided to go walk between Alkaline Trio
and New Found Glory
, neither of which I'd really got into, but I'll let you know what I could see:Alkaline Trio
's Room was absolutely packed, in the central area and all round the 'balcony's' area. They were a relaxing end to the night, most people there were all 'arms up singing the lyrics' The trio put on a good performance, but to be fair they weren't really my style of music. So we left for NFGNew Found Glory
Were at the main stage. Full to the brim. Hot. Sweaty. T-shirts off, Full volume. No matter how far back we were, the few people behind us were hands in the air singing lyrics, and we were right by the back wall/other stage. I'd say if I liked them.. then their set was basically like the Set Your Goals performance.
Exhausted, after one of the best days ever, we left for the station. To say this was the first festival I'd been to, I'll definitely be going next year.. and for many years to come! I had the best time ever! Amazing bands, Alcohol, Great weather, cheap merch. It was well organised for the size of the event, and the sound quality was in most cases great!. My ears are still ringing now writing this!
So tell me.. why all the hate? I guess I had the better experience! *Reaches for my Set Your Goals