Festival Preview: Slam Dunk Festival 2023

Slam Dunk 2023 Already Heard Preview
Photo Credit: Eddy Maynard

The festival season has begun, and for many, Slam Dunk Festival is the first major gathering of the summer. The 2023 edition is once again set to be a celebration of some of the best rock, metal, pop-punk, emo, and alternative music today.

When it comes to line-ups, Slam Dunk Festival never fails to deliver, spoiling festival-goers with an abundance of major players, cult favourites, and up-and-comers. 

This year follows that trend, and with some much to choose from, I’ve offered a friendly, helpful hand by picking up some of the “essential” acts to watch at Slam Dunk Festival 2023.

Enter Shikari 2023 | Photo Credit: Lukasz Palka
Photo Credit: Lukasz Palka

Enter Shikari

Fresh off the back of their critically-acclaimed seventh album, A Kiss for the Whole World’, Enter Shikari return to headline Slam Dunk after six years.

Having transformed from “that MySpace band” to becoming an influential, eclectic rock band, Enter Shikari have built an arsenal of festival-headlining tracks. The St Albans quartet have constantly produced a sonic palette of sounds, styles, and textures. 

The aforementioned ‘A Kiss for the Whole World’ backs up that statement with vibrancy running throughout its 12 tracks. While in a live setting, Shikari continues to be a tour-de-force. Having toured up and down the UK in recent months playing a wrath of intimate shows, Slam Dunk is sure to give Enter Shikari the platform where they excel. Expect dynamic, stunning production mixed with a blend of old and new favourites.

Where & When: 21:00 – 22:15 @ ‘Amazon Music Presents Rock Scene’ Stage

Movements 2023
Photo Credit: Anthony Purcella


California emotional post-hardcore band Movements have gradually been building a strong following since their debut album, ‘Feel Something’, in 2017.

Vocalist Patrick Miranda’s songwriting has proved to be captivating while being aligned with a brand of atmospheric emo rock that ebbs and flows with execution. 2020’s ‘No Good Left To Give’ LP exemplified this through its dark, emotional core. 

However, the quartet continue to evolve. Last year’s ‘Cherry Thrill’ single honed in on a groove-laden sound, serving as probably their most upbeat track to date, albeit with subtle dark context that’s served them so well. More recently, ‘Killing Time’ and ‘Lead Pipe’ demonstrated their more intense, gritty side.

With further new material expected, and returning to the UK off the back of shows in Australia with Boston Manor, Slam Dunk marks the start of Movements‘ next evolution.

Where & When: 12:35 – 13:10 @ The Kerrang Tent – Right Stage

Holding Absence 2023

Holding Absence

This Cardiff four-piece continues to be one of the best up-and-coming bands on these shores. Ever since arriving with ‘Dream of Me’ six years ago, Holding Absence have been on an upwards trajectory, adding a wealth of emotionally-ridden bangers to their repertoire. 

It’s no surprise the Welsh quartet continues to thrive in a live setting. Led by stunning vocalist Lucas Woodland, Holding Absence certainly back up any hype that surrounds them with ease. This past winter’s run of intimate shows exemplified their ability to deliver a cohesive and memorable set, serving as a celebration for everything they’ve achieved so far.

Returning to Slam Dunk for the third time, Holding Absence have all the credentials to steal the show; heartfelt choruses, towering melodies, and more.

Where & When: 14:10 – 14:45 @ ‘Amazon Music Presents Rock Scene’ Stage

The Menzingers / Photo Credit: Jess Flynn
Photo Credit: Jess Flynn

The Menzingers

Four years on from headlining one of Slam Dunk Festival‘s “smaller” stages, Philadelphia’s The Menzingers are set to make their return. Emerging from dive bars and basements, the quartet have become a beloved punk band.

Led by the songwriting pairing of Greg Barnett and Tom May, The Menzingers specialise in heartfelt, introspective songs delivered with anthemic qualities. Last year saw them celebrate the 10th anniversary of ‘On the Impossible Past’, an album that grows in influence with each passing year.

Although not granted a headline spot this time around, The Menzingers are bound to deliver a crowd-pleasing set with plenty of reflective and anthemic songs.

Where & When: 17:40 – 18:25 @ The Kerrang Tent – Right Stage

Spanish Love Songs 2023
Photo Credit: Hannah Hall

Spanish Love Songs

Having pulled out of last year’s festivities due to that goddamn COVID-19, Spanish Love Songs will finally return to the UK this month. 

Since ‘Schmaltz’ landed in my inbox in 2018, their brand of self-deprecating punk has become a firm favourite of mine. Dylan Slocum and company have built on the momentum since then with 2020’s Brave Faces Everyone’ maintaining the earnest and anthemic punk vibes. Furthermore, the accompanying ‘Brave Faces, Etc’ allowed the quintet to reimagine and experiment with the record with compelling results.

Nevertheless, it’s been far too long since we Spanish Love Songs over here and as part of a stage that includes CreeperTrophy Eyes, and former touring pals The Menzingers, you’ll probably will not want to leave the Kerrang! tent.

Where & When: 13:45 – 14:20 @ The Kerrang Tent – Right Stage

Kids In Glass Houses

Kids In Glass Houses

Slam Dunk Festival has a history of delivering reunions and this year they’re are giving us two!

First up are Cardiff rockers Kids in Glass Houses. Having called it quits in 2014, the Welsh quintet will be reforming to celebrate 15 years of their debut LP – ‘Smart Casual’. Full to the brim of catchy and cool Brit rock, the record set the standard for many UK bands that followed, making KIGH an influential band.

With standout tracks such as ‘Give Me What I Want, ‘Saturday’ and ‘Easy Tiger’ bound to get a raucous welcome, the pairing of Slam Dunk and Kids in Glass Houses is pretty much perfect.

Where & When: 17:20 – 18:05 @ ‘Amazon Music Presents Rock Scene’ Stage



The second reunion hitting Slam Dunk is that of Yellowcard. It doesn’t seem five minutes since we bid Floridia group farewell, but here we are five years later welcoming them back. 

Coincidentally, this year marks 20 years since they released their breakthrough album, ‘Ocean Avenue’. Having become a cult favourite among pop-punk fans, it’s become a record that continues to grow in stature. With an abundance of massive choruses, complemented by swirling violins and emotionally-charged lyricism, Yellowcard‘s return to Slam Dunk is sure to be a celebratory highlight of the weekend.

Where & When: 20:05 – 20:55 @ The Kerrang Tent – Left Stage


Having bought down the curtain on ‘Sex, Death & the Infinite Void’ (and ‘American Noir’) era last November, Creeper return to Slam Dunk to headline the Kerrang! Tent Right Stage.

In the months since dropping ‘Ghost Brigade’, the quintet have been silent but it wouldn’t surprise me if the Southampton theatrical punks start dropping hints about their third album soon.  

While ‘Sex, Death & the Infinite Void’ saw Creeper expand their sound, ‘Ghost Brigade’ arguably saw them return to the horror punk origins. Nonetheless, Creeper are sure to deliver a memorable set at Slam Dunk full of massive sing-alongs and punk-fuelled swagger. 

Where & When: 19:15 – 20:00 @ The Kerrang Tent – Right Stage

Static Dress

In the time Already Heard has been away, there have been a plethora of exciting new bands making a name for themselves with one of them being Static Dress.

Having played shows with Bring Me The Horizon, Knocked Loose, Funeral For A Friend, Creeper, Sleeping With Sirens, and a host of others, it’s safe to say this Leeds-based lot have put the work in. 

With vocalist Olli Appleyard as their creative leader, Static Dress have built a unique narrative to everything they do, both musically and visually (including comic books). It’s a world you can easily get lost in. Last year’s debut full-length, ‘Rouge Carpet Disaster’, proved to be a thrilling post-hardcore ride. Rooted in their influences from the 2000s, their use of ambient undertones showed they’re not tied down to genre.

Having injected post-hardcore with a hint of nostalgic adrenaline, Static Dress are the epitome of “ones to watch” when it comes to breakthrough bands at Slam Dunk.

Where & When: 15:05 – 15:35 @ Knotfest Stage

Less Than Jake

Less Than Jake

What would Slam Dunk Festival be without ska punk? Throughout its history, some of the best ska punk bands have graced the festival, brightening up the day rain or shine. And there is no better than Less Than Jake.

The Gainesville gang have repeatedly shown their ability to become a festival highlight with their brand of fast-paced, brass-blasting punk rock. While they are considerably Slam Dunk regulars, this year’s appearance is extra special as they’re celebrating 25 years of ‘Hello Rockview’

Having become a cherished favourite amongst fans, it’s sure to be a party-like atmosphere as LTJ blasts through ‘History of a Boring Town,’ ‘Last One Out of Liberty City,‘ and of course, ‘All My Best Friends Are Metalheads’. Trust me, you’ll have the best time getting wrapped up skanking away carelessly.

Where & When: 18:25 – 19:15 @ Dickies Stage



Meet girlfriends aka Travis Mills (vocals and guitar) and Nick Gross (drums). Before coming together, they had their own musical ventures. Most notably Mills performed as a rapper during the 2010s. 

Having come together in 2020, girlfriends have quickly churned out loads of new material with the forthcoming ‘Over My Dead Body’ EP being added to their catalogue which includes two albums. With producer extraordinaire John Feldmann being a frequent collaborator, girlfriends stylistically provide an accessible take of pop-punk that has seen them share the stage with Avril Lavigne and Machine Gun Kelly.

The Californian duo wrap bold, energetic hooks around lyrical themes of self-expression and catharsis. Appearing on Slam Dunk‘s Key Club stage alongside other rising names such as Sueco, NOAHFINNCEJXDN, and Maggie Lindemann, expect girlfriends to deliver an abundance of irresistibly catchy powerpop-punk bangers like ‘Life’s a Brittany’, ‘Where Were You‘, and ‘Toaster For a Swim’.

Where & When: 12:35 – 13:05 @ Key Club Stages – Right Key

Here’s the full Slam Dunk Festival 2023 Line-Up

Slam Dunk Festival 2023 Poster

Slam Dunk Festival 2023 Clashfinder

Slam Dunk Festival 2023 Clashfinder

Listen to our Slam Dunk Festival 2023 Playlist

Tickets for Slam Dunk Festival 2023 are completely sold out. However, you can head to for further details about this year’s festival.


This website collects cookies to deliver better user experience. Learn more.