Blog || 10 bands you shouldn't miss at Slam Dunk Festival 2021

Credit: Ashley Kalinoski photo

 Slam Dunk is literally around the corner and we couldn't be more excited. After being postponed 3 times because of the pandemic, the festival is finally taking place on September 4 and 5 in Leeds and Hatfield respectively. Sure, things are a little different this year with a pandemic still raging, with safety regulations and lack of signings or staff giving out entry bracelets but live music is getting up on its feet. In anticipation -and preparation for pilgrimage- now that the running orders are out, we have prepared a list with 10 bands that no festival goer should miss.

01. Comeback Kid

Obvious, innit. It's no secret we have a soft spot for Canadian bands in general, and Manitoba's finest in particular. Comeback Kid is celebrating 11 years of Symptoms & Cures and 16 years of Wake the Dead. After two years of inactivity, and with a new album in the works, their set will be a damn party through and through.
When: 15:00-15:40
Where: Jagermeister stage 

02. Your Demise

The band's plans to return to live action after a decade were put into a halt because of Covid. Your Demise recently performed in a packed, long sold out Underworld in Camden and we are looking forward to enjoying their classics and remembering our best years.
When: 15:40-16:20
Where: Jagermeister stage

03. Alkaline Trio

The Chicago punk outfit never goes out of style. With Matt Skiba's recognizable voice, melodic guitars and unparalleled energy, they have raised two generations of punk rockers and they are guaranteed to get a party started for fans of all ages at the Punk In Drublic stage. 
When: 19:35-20:25 (north) | 18:25-19:15 (south)
Where: Punk In Drublic stage

04. Holding Absence

The British outfit is on a linear trajectory. Having released a brilliant album in the spring, they are destined for greatness. Their emotive melodies are engaging while their songwriting hits the listener straight in the feels. If you felt moved that live music is back, when Holding Absence walks on stage and Lucas Woodland sings "I'm Alive!", you will be crying your heart out.
When: 19:40-20:15
Where: Key Club stage (right key)

05. Anti-Flag

Another soft spot, the Pittsburgh quartet is flying the flag of the revolution and makes sure that everyone knows what they're about. Their latest album, "20/20 Vision" dropped in view of the American election and turned out to be almost prophetic. Anti-Flag's anger is ever-resent but not dividing and that's a lesson that all political bands should take.
When: 18:35-19:15 (north) | 17:25-18:05 (south)
Where: Punk in Drublic stage

06. Bury Tomorrow

We are very biased when it comes to Bury Tomorrow. We absolutely love the band's energy and their live shows are big mayhem, where vocalist Dani Winter-Bated makes sure that security guards are always at work, catching waves of crowdsurfers. We are also very curious to see what the situation will be like following the recent departure of guitarist/clean singer Jason Cameron, although we have a feeling that for the time being our voices will be filling in his parts.
When: 18:55-19:55
Where: Jagermeister stage

07. Boston Manor

You saw that coming. The quintet was only recently announced as the secret headliner of The Key Club stage, and with good reason if you ask us. Their last album, "Glue", was critically acclaimed and as of late the band is part of the SharpTone records family, with new music on the way. Sure, they clash with While She Sleeps (and a little with Frank Turner) but, being familiar with their shows too, we really wouldn't miss them.
When: 20:20-20:55
Where: The Key Club stage (left key)

08. State Champs

Heavily clashing with Alkaline Trio but hear us out. These kids are the undeniable kinds of pop punk, with countless shows under their belts, and that experience really shines at their performances. Rest assured that their dynamic show and vibes will be worth the clashing.
When: 18:25-19:10
Where: Rock Scene stage

09. Funeral For A Friend

The OG emo pantheon wouldn't be complete without Funeral For A Friend. Nostalgia will be real, as a generation grew up yelling "it's not just a phase, mom!". Want scientific proof? There's two kinds of people; those who sing along to all the lyrics to "Streetcar" and those who lie. 
When: 17:05-17:55
Where: Jagermeister tent

Honorable mentions
Lizzy Farrall: Possessing a truly unique voice, we would be very interested in seeing her translate her weird world into a stage performance.
NOFX: One of the most influential punk bands of the last 30 years, responsible for a lot of teens picking up a guitar and embracing skate punk as a religion.
Normandie: Another very interesting band with a brand new album out that we'll defintiely be catching a glimpse of.

10. While She Sleeps
Not a choice because we are avid metalcore fans but because the Sleeps brothers are incredible performers who feed on the fans' energy; vocalist Loz Taylor will climb on anything he can find and then jump to the crowd, guitarist Mat Welsh jumps all the time, drummer Adam Savage is about to break his kit at every show... You get the picture. Even if you're not a Sleeps fan, you just have to see them play at least one song.
When: 20:00-21:00
Where: Jagermeister stage

Slam Dunk takes place on September 4 (Leeds) and 5 (Hatfield).
For info and tickets visit

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