Slam Dunk Festival North 2022 – Live Review & Photoset

Slam Dunk Festival 2022 is our first festival of the year, and one we look forward to the most, due to the amazing line-up the festival usually puts on. This year was of no exception, with a broad range of artists performing from a variety of sub-genres within the rock, punk and metal categories. Read on below to find out how we got on!

Review by Jane Howkins

Photos by Jamie MacMillan, @apertunes, @bethanmillerco, @KatieMcMillanPhoto, & @stateofloveandtrustalex

We managed to catch The Vandals on The Dickies Stage as soon as we arrived and were pleased to see that they were still on top form, after all these years. They were one of the longest running bands at the festival, and it was amazing to see a crowd of all ages going wild for their punk rock stylings. Live Fast Diarrhea got everyone singing along to the naughty chorus, whilst a cover of Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now at the end of their set went down a treat.

We more or less stayed at The Dickies Stage all day, as there were so many good acts to see there. Streetlight Manifesto’s set felt a little short compared to some of the other bands performing on this stage, but they gave it their all, with dark-sounding ska punk anthems being the name of the game here. The brass section sounded fantastic, kicking off in style with A Moment Of Violence. I’ll definitely be checking out more of their music!

Punk stalwarts Pennywise were up next, putting on a fantastic show with their own brand of fast punk rock. Same Old Story & Society sounded great, as did cover versions of Territorial Pissings by Nirvana & T.N.T. by AC/DC. Their political punk felt very on point with the current political situation within the UK, with a rousing rendition of anthem Bro Hymn rounding things out with a mass singalong.

The Interrupters are a band that I’ve recently gotten into, so I was excited to finally catch them live. They were one of the only female fronted bands at the festival this year, but frontwoman Aimee Interrupter proved that she had the chops to stand up there with the rest of the acts on show at Slam Dunk Festival, as she has a fantastic voice that can instantly switch between poppy melodies and a ferocious punk rock growl. Gave You Everything was a particular highlight for me, as was their cover of Bad Religion’s Sorrow, a punk great.

We decided to leave The Dickies Stage for a bit to have a wander around the site. The merch stalls were plentiful, although they seemed to run out of a lot of t-shirts very fast, which should be improved upon for next year. Food and drink prices were extortionate, although sadly that’s expected for a festival setting. Another issue we had was there was no mobile phone signal, which made it hard to coordinate meeting people/finding lost friends, and some of the stalls also had issues taking payments due to this – perhaps temporary wi-fi could be instigated for the next iteration of the festival. All things considered though, the infrastructure was planned out very well.

Next, we decided to head across to The Jägermeister Stage to catch Alexisonfire and their headline set. I’ve always wanted to see Alexisonfire perform live, but I’ve never had the opportunity, so I was very excited for this. The band didn’t let us down, putting on a phenomenal set full of energy, with the crowd going wild. George Petitt has an amazing stage presence and the mix of his harsh vocals with Dallas Green’s soaring clean vocals sounded fantastic, seeing the band going through a range of songs from the whole of their back catalogue. The instrumental jams worked well and mass singalongs to This Could Be Anywhere In The World & Young Cardinals got the entire crowd worked up.

Finally, it was time to go and see the main headliners, Sum 41. They’ve been performing for donkeys years now, so they were obviously well versed in getting the audience going, with many a mosh pit ensuing. The show was very impressive, with a range of hits from their back catalogue being performed, as well as a fiery pyrotechnic show.

All in all, Slam Dunk Festival 2022 was a hit – if you’ve never been to the festival and enjoy this sort of music, I highly recommend giving it a go next year!