2017 line-up includes: Enter Shikari, Don Broco, Bowling For Soup, Neckdeep, Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, Deaf Havana, Beartooth, Tonight Alive and We Are The Ocean.

Showcasing the best in contemporary emo, punk and ska, this three-stop touring festival last year moved its Midlands date from Wolverhampton to the NEC, allowing for easy access from across the country. 
Linked to the Leeds-based club nights and indie record label of the same name, Slam Dunk takes place over the May bank holiday weekend and boasts more than 40 acts over multiple stages, as well as DJ sets, exclusive signings and a riotous afterparty to round things off.

Showcasing the best in contemporary emo, punk and ska, the three-stop touring Slamdunk Festival this year moves its Midlands date from Wolverhampton to the NEC. Associated with the Leeds-based club nights and indie record label of the same name, Slam Dunk Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, meaning that attendees in 2016 can expect to experience the biggest and best Slam Dunk party to date. Over 50 artists will play across seven stages, alongside DJ sets, exclusive signings and a riotous afterparty to round things off.

2016 Line-up Includes: Panic! at the Disco, Of Mice & Men, New Found Glory, Mallory Knox, Yellowcard, Shikari Sounds System, Mayday Parade, The King Blues, The Story So Far and many more.

Slam Dunk Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Take us through the journey from its inception... 
It started in 2006, when I needed a large venue to put on Fall Out Boy in the city of Leeds. I ended up using the large Millennium Square - and as it was a Saturday, I turned it into an all-day event and called it a festival! It’s then just grown over the last 10 years - and we’ve added more stages and more venues as it’s done so. That’s increased the audience size from a couple of thousand to nearly 40,000. We first added a Midlands event, in Wolverhampton, in 2013. After three successful years there, we’ve moved to Birmingham’s NEC for 2016.
 
You’ve stated the 2016 event is going to be the best party you’ve ever thrown. What’s going to make this year better than the previous nine?
Its simply much bigger than before. The NEC is a great venue, and we’ll also be throwing a big after-party in conjunction with Birmingham-based promoter Uprawr. Taking place in one of the Pavilions at the NEC, it will be the biggest rock club night the Midlands has ever seen. 

The festival is usually held at Wolverhampton’s Civic Hall but has relocated for the time being due to the venue’s refurbishment. Is the plan to move back to Wolverhampton when the Civic reopens?
We will look at the options. It will ultimately come down to the size of the acts we have on.

Slam Dunk Festival won Best Festival at the Kerrang! Awards in both 2014 and 2015. Did you ever imagine the event would be so successful?
No, not at all. It started almost as an accident - I never set out to create a festival. The event has grown at a good, slow rate. It wouldn’t have been such a success if we’d tried too much, too quickly. 

Who are you most looking forward to seeing play at this year’s event?
As it’s the 10th anniversary, it was important to book a line-up that represented the 10 years. I think we’ve done that, so I’m looking forward to re-living some great memories as well as discovering new artists. 

It must be a real bonus that Panic! At The Disco’s only UK dates this year are for Slam Dunk. How did booking them come about?
I knew they were planning to tour Europe around the time of the event, as I’ve always done their shows in Leeds, so I offered them the slot.

Are there any moments, good or bad, from previous years that are particularly memorable?
Nothing sticks out because there have been so many of both! It’s really fun and really stressful at the same time. 

Generally speaking, rock bands have a reputation for being rebellious. Are there any moments from previous years where this was particularly evident?
Back in 2010, the last time New Found Glory played, they and a load of other bands invaded the stage during the set of alternative girl band The Millionaires. It was pretty chaotic, so I hope they don’t do that again!

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever come across on an artist’s rider?
A framed picture of Cuba Gooding Jr.

What are your hopes for the festival in the future?
Just to keep getting bigger and better!

By Lauren Foster

Slamdunk Festival is at the NEC, Birmingham on Sun 29 May. Tickets HERE


on Wed, 27 Apr 2016

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