Slam Dunk Festival 2018: The bands you NEED to see

Slam Dunk Festival 2018: The bands you NEED to see

We’re already well into 2018, which means festival season is fast approaching. And you know that it wouldn’t be festival season without our favourite pop-punk blow out at Slam Dunk Festival.

Last year Slam Dunk was without the BEST day of the year, and Slam Dunk Festival 2018 promises to be no different. In fact, I’ve been going for nearly 10 years now and I think that 2018 might just be their best line-up yet. With so many bands to pick from (there’s over 50 spread out throughout the day!) I’ve put together a list of the bands you NEED to see at this year’s festival!

Good Charlotte AND Jimmy Eat World

Slam Dunk Festival 2018 are offering up not one, but two amazing headliners, and you’d struggle to find two bands that are better suited for the job. That’s right, you’ll be hearing classics like “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” and “The Middle” basically back to back. Can you even imagine? You’re basically guaranteed two sets of endless sign along anthems and it’s going to be pretty spectacular. Now the only choice you have to make is which band you’ll be seeing the festival out with…

Taking Back Sunday

My ticket to Slam Dunk Festival 2018 was guaranteed as soon as I saw Taking Back Sunday on the line-up. Just picture it – standing in the summer sun with your friends, a beer in hand, singing along to the likes of ‘MakeDamnSure’, ‘Cute Without the E’ and ‘Tidal Wave’. Those kind of moments are what Slam Dunk is all about – it just doesn’t really get much better than that.

The Audition

World-exclusive reunion. That’s how special it is to see The Audition on the Slam Dunk Festival 2018 poster. One of my all-time favourite bands, I can’t even put into words how excited I am to see this band again. For fans of peak mid-2000s pop-punk (think The Academy Is… and Cute Is What We Aim For), The Audition have some mighty fine tunes. If they basically play everything from Champion and Controversy Loves Company that would be 100% okay with me.

8 reasons Slam Dunk 2017 was the best day of the year | Joseph Burrows

Can’t Swim

Another band I’ve recently got into (partly due to them being announced for Slam Dunk), Can’t Swim are one of those bands who are starting to make waves. Their debut was released in 2017 and it certainly does not disappoint – I’m sure there are plenty of big things to come from this band in the future, and Slam Dunk 2018 might well be the beginning of that. Plus, ‘Stranger’ is guaranteed to be one of the biggest songs you hear over the weekend, I promise.


Considering Pvris made their UK debut near the bottom of the Slam Dunk main stage back in 2015, it’s great to see the band return off of the back of 2017’s rather excellent All We Know Of Heaven… Pvris have come a long way in recent years and they somehow pack even more of a punch live than they do on record (Lynn Gunn is a powerhouse when it comes to vocals). One thing’s for certain – if you spend your time with Pvris, you won’t leave disappointed.

The Dangerous Summer

A band I’ve always known of, but had never really listened to, The Dangerous Summer are a bit of a new discovery for me. They’ve got that kind of nostalgic vibe to their sound, like when I listen to them I feel 15 again and I really like that. I’m definitely looking forward to checking out more of the band’s material at Slam Dunk – fingers crossed I’m not disappointed!

8 reasons Slam Dunk 2017 was the best day of the year | Joseph Burrows
8 reasons Slam Dunk 2017 was the best day of the year | Joseph Burrows

State Champs

Pure pop-punk perfection, State Champs are guaranteed to be one of the stand-out bands of the Slam Dunk weekend. Seriously, few bands encapsulate Slam Dunk Festival quite like State Champs do. The band is planning to release their new album over the summer, so fingers crossed they debut some new material at the festival! Plus, I’m not ashamed to say I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed for their cover of ‘Stitches’ because damn that’s a good song.


Festivals are all about stumbling upon new bands, and the best place to do that at Slam Dunk Festival 2018 will be the Rock Sound Breakout Stage! Chapel are one of the bands that have stood out to me the most on the stage. There’s something weirdly charming about their quirky synth-pop sound – kind of like Hellogoodbye (god, do you remember Hellogoodbye?)!

I wasn’t lying when I said that 2018 might be the best Slam Dunk line-up yet, was I? And that’s just a small selection of bands I think you NEED to see, with plenty more for you to pick from!

Slam Dunk Festival 2018 will be returning to Leeds, Hatfield and Birmingham over the May Bank Holiday weekend. I’ll once again be partying at Leeds, but tickets are still available for all three dates.

Will you be heading to Slam Dunk this year? Which site will you be at? If you’re at Leeds make sure you hit me up!