This weekend, Slam Dunk Festival returns to Temple Newsam in Leeds (North) on May 28th and Hatfield Park in Hatfield (South) on May 27th.

Promising a weekend of the best in alternative rock, metal, hardcore, punk and pop across multiple stages, this year’s bill sees the likes of Enter Shikari, PVRIS, Yellowcard and Malevolence leading the cream of the alternative scene.

With so much quality to choose from across all genres of alternative music, we can understand if you’re struggling to pick your list, so to help, we’ve picked ten bands who are on our must-see list for Slam Dunk this weekend.

For more information, visit the official Slam Dunk Festival website.

10. Heriot (Knotfest Stage)

What better way to kick start festival season in the UK than with a blast of abrasive noise/metallic hardcore from one of the most ferocious live bands on the UK circuit. Having dropped their Profound Morality EP last year, Heriot will make sure your Slam Dunk gets off to an unforgettable start.

9. SeeYouSpaceCowboy (Knotfest Stage)

After Heriot why not keep up the tempo with a faceful of grindcore/modern metal from Californian’s SeeYouSpaceCowboy. Taking inspiration from the Myspace generation of grindcore bands adding into a mix of modern metal, if you thought Slam Dunk was going to ease you into the afternoon, think again as thirty minutes in the company of these hardcore punks will be far from easy.

8. Spanish Love Songs (Kerrang Stage Right)

Having just announced their new album, No Joy, will drop in August, the Los Angeles indie-punk quartet will no doubt treat fans to a thought-provoking set of songs which will hopefully include new single “Haunted” and more tracks from that eagerly-awaited new album.

7. Gogol Bordello (Dickies Stage)

Hailing from New York, Gogol Bordello are undoubtedly going to bring the party to the Dickies Stage with their brand of Eastern European-drenched punk rock. While you can expect the unexpected when the Gypsy punks hit the stage for their set, one thing you can be guaranteed is that they will make you dance till your feet hurt.

6. Flogging Molly (Dickies Stage)

If you saw the carnage that was the moshpit when Dropkick Murphy’s brought their punk rock to Slam Dunk, you’ll be right to expect more of the same when Los Angeles Irish/American Celtic punks Flogging Molly arrives in town. Now, while the moshpit may be a mess, there will be smiles plastered across faces as far as you can see. We can’t wait, so we’ll see you down the front.

5. PVRIS (Amazon Stage)

One of the big draws of this year’s Slam Dunk line-up, the Lyndsey Gunn fronted outfit arrive at Slam Dunk off the back of a sold-out UK tour which brought rave reviews across from fans and media alike. In the early evening sunshine, expect their emotionally-charged pop-rock to be one of the highlights of the day especially if it includes tasters from their upcoming new album Evergreen due later this Summer.

4. Maggie Lindemann (Key Club Right)

American singer-songwriter Maggie Lindemann brings a slice of pop-punk to Slam Dunk in support of her 2022 EP, Suckerpunch. Inspired by everyone from Lana Del Rey to Paramore, Linedmann recently supported Pvris on their UK tour and returns hoping to walk away with many more news fans after her set this weekend.

3. Bowling For Soup (Dickes Stage)

Come on; we don’t need to tell you why you need to see Bowling For Soup. Just be there when the pop-punk stalwarts rock up because you’ll have the most fun you can (just about) legally have. For the uninitiated, expect dumb jokes, unforgettable pop-punk anthems and a ridiculously fun time. If you’ve seen them before and, let’s face it, we all have, you’ll know not to expect anything different, which is exactly why they should be on your must-see list.

2. Malevolence (Jagermeister Stage)

We started heavy, so why not wind down that way with Sheffield metallic hardcore bruisers Malevolence? Having recently supported Trivium on their UK tour, Malevolence have laid waste to many a stage, big and small, across the UK and Europe over the last eighteen months. Expect a bruising end to your Slam Dunk if you venture into the Jagermeister stage for this one.

1. Enter Shikari (Amazon Stage)

In our recent Cover Story with frontman Rou Reynolds, the Enter Shikari vocalist told us live shows were what he lived for. Last month, the band returned with a Number 1 album in A Kiss For The Whole World and a series of not-to-be-missed intimate live shows. Make no mistake; their Slam Dunk headline set will be an absolute barnstormer as Enter Shikari show, yet again, why they are one of Britain’s most exciting modern rock bands.

Slam Dunk 2023 Festival Artwork
Slam Dunk 2023 Festival Artwork

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.