Travels across the UK: Slam Dunk Festival Leeds 25/5/13

by - 03:03

Every year everyone who is into the more alternative pop rock/ pop punk / warped tour music scene looks forward to the Slam Dunk Festival. I have wanted to go to the festival ever since 2010, but I  never had the opportunity to do so due to the fact that the festivals were always the weekend before my exams.  This year however, I was fortunate enough to be able to afford to go to Slam Dunk North in Leeds and Slam Dunk South in Hatfield. I missed out on Slam Dunk midlands as it is was on the Bank Holiday Monday and I had a International Relations Exam the following day.
Anyways, we woke up bright and early to get to Leeds via train. Majority of the journey was spent catching up on sleep. I did catch a glimpse of the pretty cities the train passed through such as Shefield on the way up. Upon arrival in Leeds we faced the challenge of locating the city center firstly for some breakfast and then the University for the festival.  After asking a few friendly locals, we were able to navigate our way through to the city center and enjoy some morning sunshine.
We managed to get some breakfast at a Gregs store. The Leeds University  campus is really pretty, it was one of the Universities I had considered applying if I had turned down my adjustment offer from Cardiff and took a year off. I kind of wish I looked at the university earlier on in the year as it is genuinely somewhere I would of considered when I first applied through UCAS. What genuinely did amuse us though. For example, some of the building names just really went with the inside jokes of our friend group.
When we finally got to the venue, we met two girls outside the union at the front of the line and struck up conversation with them about the festival. Later on in the day,  Sian Arrived and it was finally time to exchange our tickets from 18+ wristbands. We also got some great freebies such as Monster energy drinks which were really great. I can’t remember exactly what bands we saw but I’m sure we watched the summer set open the main stage. Excuse the shitty iPhone quality photographs.
Shortly after their set, we went to merch to talk to Elis and say hi to him. My friend Shane was right next to Elis’ table and I hadn’t seen him in so long. Shane and I discussed our little Film studies A level competition thing we had going. You see he got a B in Film Studies and insisted I wouldn’t do as well as him. Obviously, I rubbed in the fact he was wrong and I had gotten and A. After catching up with Shane, I went off and saw my buddies in Action Item who were hanging about. My best friend Laura was also at the show and we went to the union store at the uni to get some lunch, which for me was a sandwich bagel and a liter of orange juice.
I got to see most of The Story So far’s set as well at some point, but I can’t exactly remember if that was before or after the food. At some point I also managed to catch William Beckett play a set and talk to Josh a bit who was hanging out in the room. We chatted a bit about travel and the cost of it all, and how I did it to visit all my friends across the country in the most cost effective manner. William Beckett’s set was nothing short of spectacular. I’ve always loved his old band The Academy is… and it was a really great opportunity in my opinion to have the chance to see him sing live.  He played some of his solo stuff and a couple The Academy is… songs. This really got me emotional as  I remember as early as 2007 when I lived in Singapore and spent hours with my best friend Mia dancing and covering their songs. The Academy is… had always played a significant part in our friendship from dancing along to Slow Down to Everything We Had.
After William’s set we managed to catch the second half of Kid’s In Glass houses’ set. Kids In Glass houses are always an amazing band to watch live and are from Cardiff where I go to University. I managed to meet William Beckett by his merch stand after Kid’s set and have a short conversation with him. He’s such a delightful guy, full of high spirits and positivity. My friend managed to fuck up our photo but oh well this will have to do.
We also got to see All time low live but they weren’t very good live this time and I fell asleep during their set.
After All time low and such we had to make our way out of the building to line up for the after party. There was the AAA bar and the bar downstairs for the general public. At this point, Laura’s hair began to look a lot like our friend Ale’s and we took a picture of it just because we thought it was overall so funny.image
Sian and I spent most of the night downing Vodka and lemonade while Madi went off somewhere and charged her phone or whatever.  The music was pretty good at the after party and I ran into a few familiar faces as well as some band members and got a few drunken photos in which I don’t look too excellent. I ran into Aled from Kids In Glass houses’ which is always a pleasure. He’s always the nicest person to have conversations about and all I did in my drunk state was talk about Pop bubble rock Cardiff.
We also ran into Zack from All time low and got some photos.
Laura was so happy with her photograph with Zack and in my opinion it turned out pretty darn well!
Half way through the party we left as Madi was tired, even though we didn’t have a hotel. So we went to Laura’s hotel and we sat in the Lobby for hours before leaving for our bus. We went to the bus station earlier than anticipated and there were a few hilarious people from Canada in the station. It’s pretty weird that at the time I didn’t know who they were and literally months later I met Alli who was actually one of the girls there in the bus station. After several hours of waiting, we finally boarded our bus to London for Slam Dunk South. I won’t spend this blog post talking about Slam dunk south because I intend to create an entire post about that day.
The Leeds slam dunk was pretty good despite the fact I only got to see like 3 bands which Isn’t quite worth the money I paid. But getting to see some old friends was definitely the highlight of day.
(I apologize for the quality of these photos, i’m posting this over 3G, hopefully I can fix this when I get wifi again.)

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