Download Festival 2023 will mark their special 20th-anniversary edition, their biggest and longest festival yet, being four days instead of the usual three and taking place on 8-11th June 2023. Metallica, Bring Me The Horizon, and Slipknot headline a great year for the UK’s biggest rock festival, and Metallica will perform two headline sets with no repeat songs. As expected, their 20th-anniversary celebration boasts a mega line-up for a record-breaking year for the festival, as 2023’s event is the fastest-selling Download ever. Here are some reasons this year’s event is breaking records and some bands we are particularly excited to see added to the anniversary bill!
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!
Kreator is currently touring with Lamb Of God as support, but they managed to slot in two UK headline shows, one in Leeds and the other in Brighton on the 11th of March, which I was fortunate to attend. To make the occasion even more unique, this was the first time the German Thrash veterans have played in Brighton, and to top it off, they played a special deep cuts set list, especially for these two shows. The CHALK venue is a small intimate venue; you wouldn’t expect a band of their calibre to play here, which added to the rare thrash metal spectacle.
October 19, 2022, Paradise Lost and Hangman’s Chair filled Pakkahuone in Tampere, Finland with the most resonating performance I’ve ever witnessed at that venue both sonically and viscerally.
Initially the gig was planned for the smaller “club” sized part of the building, but after weeks of the gig being sold out, hours before doors they announced they would move to the larger hall, opening up more tickets. It was 110% the right decision, in my opinion. Of course, the intimacy of Klubi can enhance many things when bands such as these play, it would have definitely been a completely different gig had it been kept there. However, both of these bands have such a deep, powerful sound I feel the space of Pakkahuone allowed their sound and atmosphere to expand to is full potential.
Hangman’s Chair blew me away during the first chords struck. Their sound and presence were literally and unexpectedly breathtaking. There was one audience member standing in the middle of the crowd just listening with his eyes closed, I joined him for a few seconds and yes, without sight, you could feel the music and energy in your bones. Hangman’s Chair have probably been the most energetic and raw band to fit into the “doom”genre that I have seen live. It’s pretty unique and intriguing how diverse the “doom” genre, sound and aesthetic has become. I look forward to seeing them again with Igorr in the spring.
Paradise Lost played an equally spectacular gig. Their set flowed elegantly between old and new songs, across their diverse discography of genres and vibes. The bands stage presence was chameleon-like in adapting and flowing along with the varying sounds and atmosphere of the music. Not taking themselves too seriously, they (specifically Nick Holmes) gave of a slight Type-O/Pete Steele sarcastic vibe, which, by the count of Type-O logos spotted in the audience, was just perfect. They seem to really know their fans, what they want to hear, what atmosphere to bring to the stage… would definitely love to see them again.
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