So the news came through yesterday that Slam Dunk North 2019 will be upping sticks from the city of Leeds and heading to the grand location of Temple Newsam. They also released the first band announcements, which were met with a mixed reaction from what I saw on my social media accounts. To be honest, the whole reaction to both bits of information from Slam Dunk was pretty muted, deflated, even angry. I’m going to set out some of the main points I’ve seen and you can make your own judgment.
Firstly, let’s tackle the location change information. Temple Newsam has held festivals before, but last time it held a festival of a similar size to what Slam Dunk aspires to be it got shut down. Leeds Festival (or Carling Weekend as it used to be called. Yes, I’m old enough to remember this) spent the first four years of its life at Temple Newsam. 2001’s lineup is a belter, with such luminaries as The Donnas, OPM, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, D12, My Vitriol, and Oxide & Neutrino.
Admittedly, the line-ups haven’t aged well. On the Monday in 2002 after the music was over and people were due to go home, a bunch of people rioted. The Yorkshire Evening Post says of it that the festival site was too small for the amount of people attending which led to widespread theft, toilet destruction and fires. Even the Police got roughed up. I remember watching the footage of some people smashing up tents on the news when I was a 13. What’s this got to do with Slam Dunk North? Well, if the organisers are wanting to move to the site, they’ve obviously got designs on expanding. This is agreeable, but they need to learn from where Leeds Festival/Carling Weekend made mistakes. A lot of comments I saw were labelling Slam Dunk as greedy for wanting to move, and threatened to boycott if a ticket price hike was impending.
Secondly, Slam Dunk have taken the decision to cancel the Midlands leg. This is obviously lame for the fine people of the Midlands, who regularly get shat on when gigs and festivals get announced. The organisers have instead organised party coaches from Birmingham to Slam Dunk South or Slam Dunk North. This to me, is unacceptable. Like, full Lemongrab from Adventure Time UNACCEPTABLE. While it may justify using a location in the North such as Temple Newsam, what was brilliant particularly about Slam Dunk North was that accommodation was easily reached in the city centre. If there was a lull in bands that you wanted to see, you could easily do one to your lodgings or a pub or get some food and then be ready for a band you were really hyped for. By robbing everyone at Slam Dunk North and the whole of the Midlands of such an option, I don’t blame everyone interested in this for being salty as hell. I am.
Thirdly, SLAM DUNK NORTH‘S WHOLE ISSUE WAS A LACK OF SIGNPOSTING. IF YOU FIXED THAT THEN THE WHOLE DAY WOULD HAVE RUN BETTER. GOD!
If they book Zebrahead again….
What are your thoughts on the Slam Dunk announcements? What hot takes have you got about this? Let Atom Smasher Music Know!