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Slam Dunk Music Festival Hits Leeds in May 2017 & The Specials Play the City

27 February 2017


One of the UKs Biggest Alternative Events Plays Over Bank Holiday Weekend

Slam Dunk’s 11th edition promises an outstanding alternative music festival across the whole of Leeds this May. Expect a packed day of gigs, at 8 different venues, including highly anticipated performances from Enter Shikari and Bowling for Soup. Also in the city for the weekend, legendary ska performers, The Specials and Toots and the Maytals.

Sunday 28th of May for Slam Dunk in Leeds

If you are thinking of attending Slam Dunk this year, there are going to be multi-music events all over Millennium Square. Taking advantage of the centre’s live entertainment venues, the festival returns to celebrate all things, punk, rock and hardcore. Each venue will be crammed with hungry young bands and world-renowned music legends. With tickets being snapped up fast, it’s time to get your Dockers on and grab yours now. 

All up-and-coming acts kick off on a Saturday afternoon at the outdoor Fresh Blood stage, in the pleasantly hip surroundings of Leeds Beckett University. Bands to listen to include MC Lars, Too Close to Touch, Oceans Alaska and Ice Nine Kills. There’s also the distorted rattlings of metalcore band, Stray from the Path. Conjuring up a sound that is thunderously meaty, these acts will see you through the nail-biting wait for the headliners. Other smaller stages – like the Key Club and The Desperados – couldn’t be more different; and are packed with full-of-attitude, punk and rock bands just waiting for the screaming to begin. 

All stages are tucked between Leeds City College and The Rose Bowl; so getting from stage to stage is an easy stroll. Plan ahead before you visit the festival by downloading the online map here. You’ve only got one day to fit in an impressive number of bands and you don’t want to waste time by wandering aimlessly across Leeds. 

The Leeds First Direct Arena
The Leeds First Direct Arena

The Main Stage at First Direct Arena, Featuring The Masters of Alternative Rock 

Sunday’s opening salvo comes from Bedford’s very own DonBorco, and their massive guitar riffs such as ‘What You Do To Me’ and ‘Keep On Pushing’. They are followed by headliners Enter Shikari, as they celebrate the 10th anniversary of their debut album ‘Take To The Skies’. Their brutally complex blend of post-hardcore, electronicore, alternative rock, prog punk and trance might not sound great on paper, but somehow it works on stage. Expect them to do something different, maybe throw in a drum and bass beat into the mix, but their politically outspoken lyrics elevates them into something unique.

The UK’s Biggest Rock Club Afterparty 

Tying up the whole shebang there will be the colossal Slam Dunk North after show at the Leeds First Direct Arena. Organiser, Ben Ray says, “With more than 4,000 people set to be partying to some of the biggest rock anthems, the event is set to possibly be the biggest rock club night the UK has ever seen… we are even in contact with the Guinness World Records to see if we can set an official record!” It’s guaranteed to be a smash and guaranteed to be rammed, so book your tickets early here for another taste of the Leeds City rock scene. 

The Specials 1
The Specials Playing Live

Saturday 27th May: The Specials Play with Toots and the Maytals in Millennium Square

With the Slam Dunk Festival playing in Birmingham, Leeds and Hatfield across the weekend… The Specials will be following it around the country and taking advantage of the readymade stages and bouncing audiences.

Two stepping into Leeds the day before Slam Dunk, the legendary band will be sharing the stage with reggae heroes, Toots and the Maytals. One of the most celebrated UK bands, The Specials pioneered the Two Tone movement, fusing ska with a punk-rock attitude and inspiring bouts of ‘skanking’ across the country with hits such as ‘Too Much Too Young’ and ‘Enjoy Yourself’.

Expect a rich contrast between Terry Hall’s reed-thin vocals… and the silky sounds of Frederick Nathaniel “Toots” Hibbert that will surely illicit at least as much screaming as the Slam Dunkers. The show promises to be a celebration of two bands who helped redefine reggae and ska.

A Nearby Hotel for a Weekend of Partying

42 The Calls is just a 17-minute walk from the venues and offers a relaxing four-star end to a night of great music. Book your stay early and benefit from a range of advance booking packages.

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42, The Calls, Leeds, LS2 7EW, Tel: +44 (0) 113 244 0099, Fax: +44 (0) 113 234 4100, reservations@42thecalls.co.uk