Slam Dunk Festival 2023 is guaranteed to be one of the biggest weekends in the alternative music world, bringing the best punk, rock, metal and alternative acts since 2006 and has grown bigger each year. It started as a one-stage event in Leeds Millenium Square, and Slam Dunk Festival expanded its site to Hatfield University in 2010 before moving to the green field site of Hatfield Park in 2018. In 2019, Slam Dunk Festival North moved out of Leeds City Centre to take over Leeds Temple Newsam, making Slam Dunk Festival a fully outdoor event for the first time. Slam Dunk Festival 2023 is the sixteenth instalment of the festival and has seen an increased capacity to 60,000 across both sites. The fact that the Slam Dunk Festival South event on Saturday, the 27th of May, has sold out and that the North event the following day, on the 28th of May, is also close to selling out is a testament to the success and popularity of the festival. So with sold-out events and a massive and mighty line-up, here are some reasons and bands to get excited about!

Festival Headliners The Offspring make their Slam dunk debut. Californian punk icons are one of rock music’s best-selling bands. These punk rockers have been around since 1984 and still have it, as their latest tenth album released in 2021, ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’ asserted. They are showing maturity whilst sticking to their core roots. While their set will undoubtedly feature their new material, they are bound to hark back to their classic, most well-known tracks, so hopefully, all will be treated to the likes of ‘Pretty Fly (For A White Guy), ‘Self Esteem’ and ‘The Kids Aren’t Alright’ but whatever they decide to play it’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun!

Enter Shikari return to headline the festival again after their triumphant 2017 set. British electro-rockers are known for their dynamic and explosive live shows, and armed with their fresh new album ‘A Kiss for the Whole World’, released on the 21st of April 2023, their latest release heralds the band’s most vibrant, direct and life-affirming album so far. They have been doing extensive touring already this year in the UK, but their headline slot at Slam Dunk Festival is their only UK festival appearance of 2023, and you know they will make it extra special.

The KNOTFEST stage will deliver the heaviest offerings at this year’s Slam Dunk Festival in a brand-new partnership for 2023. It will be headlined by South Yorkshire’s rising and unrelenting metallers Malevolence. With their critically acclaimed new studio album Malicious Intent, Malevolence released last year (2022), they are ones to watch as one of contemporary metal’s heavyweight acts. The band have already been causing chaos and blowing audiences away at festivals such as Download Festival, Bloodstock Festival, and Knotfest Germany, as well as landing some massive support slots with the likes of Architects and Lamb Of God. See them continue to conquer with an unforgettable headline slot at Slam Dunk!

Aside from the stellar headliners, the line-up boasts some huge acts, such as Billy Talent, one of Canada’s most successful and distinct rock bands. They unleashed their sixth album last year, ‘Crisis Of Faith’, which is their most daring and ambitious yet, so now is a great time to witness them live.

Ska-punk heavyweights Less Than Jake will be lots of fun at the festival and to make it extra special, they will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of their third album, “Hello Rockview”.

Keeping with the pop-punk vibes, American rockers Bowling For Soup will keep the fun and nostalgia going. Hopefully, they will play their popular hits ‘1985’, ‘Girl All The Bad Guys Want’ and ‘Stacy’s Mom’ along with their newer material from their hilariously titled eleventh album, 2022’s ‘Pop Drunk Snot Bread’ marking their return after a six-year wait following 2016’s ‘Drunk Dynasty’.

The Dickies stage will see Swedish punk rock heroes Millencolin return to the festival with their infectiously catchy sound. Hopefully, they will grace us with hits such as ‘No Cigar’, ‘Kemp’ and ‘Penguins & Polarbears’.

The festival also features some exciting exclusive reunions from Welsh rockers Kids In Glass Houses, who released their debut album ‘Smart Casual’ in 2008 and their last fourth album ‘Peace’ in 2013. They announced their breakup in 2014, and last year they announced their reunion with two sets at Slam Dunk Festival 2023 celebrating 15 years of ‘Smart Casual’.

The second exclusive reunion comes from American rockers The Academy Is…, who released their final album ‘Fast Times At Barrington High’ in 2008 and split in 2011. They did have a comeback tour in the US in 2015, but fortunately, we are now getting a reunion show in the UK.

Rising Punk-Laced Hard Rockers Dragged Under from Seattle is a band to watch with their hard-hitting melodic, anthemic sound. They released their latest sophomore album ‘Upright Animals’ last year via Mascot Records and recently supported The Ghost Inside on their UK tour. They are headed back to the UK for Slam Dunk, fortunately for those who missed them or for those who aren’t yet familiar.

There are just a few reasons to head to Slam Dunk Festival 2023!

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