• Sadie Maude

LOUDER FEATURES: Slam Dunk North 2021 Highlights

On 4th September Slam Dunk made its long-awaited return to its north site Temple Newsam. Despite the pretty gloomy weather, festival goers were out in full force, with fish nets and Dr Martens at the ready!

Waiting for the return of live music has felt like a lifetime, especially when it’s such an important outlet for so many people. Yet, as we walked around the festival grounds it felt as though the last 18 months were a distant memory. People were dancing with their friends, bands were performing new music, and the circle pits were bigger and better than ever.

The Bottom Line by Bethan Miller

Slam Dunk newcomers The Bottom Line had the mighty job of opening up the main stage, and boy did they do us all proud! Not only did they attract an impressive crowd for so early on, but their energy just set the tone for the rest of the day. From frontman Cal’s first crowd surf for 18 months, to playing smashing new singles “Long Time Coming” and “Broke”, the second this set began we knew we were in for a great day.

As with most events there were some technical hitches throughout the day but regardless, there was an overriding sense of appreciation. For the most part, people didn’t care about line-up changes or delays in set times, people were just happy to be back.

As the secret set rolled around a large crowd was gathered at the Key Club Stage, one that would not be unusual at the main stage. The general consensus was that in a few minutes we’d be faced with a performance from pop-punk legends Neck Deep, but as a very distinctive slender, spikey haired silhouette appeared in the side-lines we realised it was OBVIOUSLY McFly! Their set was nostalgic banger after banger and even brought a lot of the crowd to tears…happy tears of course!

McFly by Apertunes / Nathan Robinson
Static Dress by Eddy Maynard

After the secret set there was an indescribable buzz, each band delivered their set with more energy than the last and the crowds were getting bigger and bigger as the hours passed. Static Dress and Wargasm were by far two of the most ferocious and hooking sets of the day. Not one person in those crowds wasn’t feeling the vigour that these bands delivered, they got everyone up off their feet and were the perfect cathartic outlet for releasing the frustrations of the last 18 months.

As the day was coming to a close, anticipation was growing for headliners Don Broco, and it’s safe to say they lived up to expectations! They came crashing on to the stage with “Pretty” and instantly had the crowd rearing to go. They performed an absolutely classic set with appearances from “Waterparks’” Awsten Knight and “While She Sleeps’” Loz Taylor just adding to the experience.

Waterparks by Katie McMillan

Slam Dunk had a different vibe this year to say the least, but the return of this festival was just what we all needed. With the announcement of next year’s dates already out, we finally feel like we’re back to some kind of normality. Roll on 3rd June 2022!