2016 looks set to be a sink or soar year for festivals. While the losses of Hevy Fest & Temples (RIP) and Hit The Deck - ducking quietly into the aether without ever being announced for this summer - are keenly felt, Slam Dunk has gone from strength to strength.
Relocating the Midlands setup to Birmingham's NEC complex (the best transport links in the midlands, don't you know) seemed a statement of intent, and proved a masterstroke. Snaking queues for the wristband exchange aside, it's a well-thought out setup, and there are plenty in for Moose Blood to open the main stage. They sound great too, which helps.
Hellions fare just as well, the Kerrang! Fresh Blood stage bathed in sunshine for the Australians to open proceedings. There are plenty of eyes on Cane Hill, thanks in no small part to their statement self-titled EP. There's smattering's of KING 810 in their low end rumble and intensity, just enough Jonathan Davis in frontman Elijah Witt's erratic nature, paired with the occasional Corey Taylor-referencing roar. They're basically Slipknot's 2015 UK arena tour, but Gemini, Sunday School and Timebomb hit hard, while new addition The New Jesus looks to be a strong hint of what's to come.
Continue reading: Slam Dunk 2016 - Live Review
Few festivals nail their demographic quite as well as Slam Dunk. Not needing to be concerned with catering for every taste, Slam Dunk have generated a reputation for providing their audience with the perfect lineup.
This year appears to be no different. Panic! At The Disco, whose early output helped soundtrack the Slam Dunk generation, as well as an infectious early 2016 release in Death of a Bachelor, and New Found Glory encapsulate the festival's ethos like no other, while Of Mice & Men - headlining the Atlas Stage - have their sights set on the stratosphere. But who goes to a festival just to see the headliners? Here are five bands you won't want to miss.
Every Time I Die
Every Time I Die aren't just one of the best bands playing this festival, they're one of the best bands playing any festival. Southern-tinged rip-roaring hardcore laced with rock & roll flair? Yes please.
While they've never been mainstream media darlings, they've cultivated a fiercely loyal fanbase and their hour-long set crowning the Impericon Stage has show-stealer written all over it.
Continue reading: Slam Dunk 2016 Preview
Already carrying a health warning of sorts in their name, Cancer Bats have definitely cemented their reputation for an atomic live show. Now onto their third album, the Toronto band have met with acclaim and success both on both sides of the Atlantic. Their fusion of the most acerbic, lean edges of metal with the inclusive ethos of punk means in some ways, they appeal to everyone. And there's no signs of mellowing out just yet: Seeing how the kids at their gigs throw themselves around shows how they are prized. Lead singer Liam Cormier is only too happy to expound his never ending enthusiasm for the band, their fans and their new album, Bears, Mayors, Scraps and Bones.
Continue reading: Cancer Bats, Interview