LIVE: Slam Dunk Festival 2014

On Sunday 25th May Slam Dunk Festival returned to The Forum at Hatfield; designated ‘Slam Dunk South’ it was sandwiched between the Leeds event on the Saturday and Wolverhampton on the Monday. In a fairly short time Slam Dunk has become a well-established event attracting a large number of fans and is now firmly placed as one of the biggest one day alternative festivals in the country.

The bad weather mercifully subsided for a day to make loitering around the outside Main Stage for most of the festival a pleasant experience. Blitz Kids opened proceedings and received a decent reaction; guitarist Jono Yates later told us it had been his favourite ever show and seemed genuinely humbled. It was great to see how much the bands appreciate the support and in this case the crowd reaction was definitely very well deserved. Big things hopefully await this quartet from Cheshire.

After some time interviewing bands in the press room we were treated to an incredible performance from Motion City Soundtrack; again the crowd lapped up the performance and showed their appreciation with some excellent sing-alongs. Real Friends were a band I admit to not having heard before but based on their performance I’d fully recommend checking them out. They pulled a really passionate crowd and knew exactly how to work it. On the Monster Energy stage letlive. provided the strongest performance of any band I have ever watched in a bus stop, before The All American Rejects closed the Main Stage with a set full of sing-along classics.

The festival was a well-organised affair with seemingly enough food outlets and a healthy supply of merchandise stands. Security was omnipresent without it feeling like they were stifling, and the one unfortunate incident I saw necessitating first aid had members of St John ambulance there almost immediately. Overcrowding was sometimes an issue in the main building as crowds travelled between stages but this was unavoidable and as good a system as possible had been introduced to keep people moving.

Overall a fun, friendly event which will surely continue to provide up-and-coming alternative bands the chance to play to great crowds who love their music.