May 29, 2024

Preview: Slam Dunk 2018 – Debut Darlings!


As we all know, Slam Dunk festival is not only the best way to kick off your summer festival season with one of the biggest line-ups around, but it also features one crucial element. A hotbed for upcoming talent. Over the years, we’ve regularly seen bands start on the smaller stages and make their way up, but of course you will have already seen those bands in the past. 

This is a guide to those who’ve already seen all the people playing the main stages and points out the artists you have to see that are making their first appearance at Slam Dunk. This list will also comprise of bands only featured on the The Key Club acoustic stage, Rocksound Breakout Stage, Signature Brew Stage and the Impericon Stage. So, prepare to meet your new favourite bands! 

Loathe – Impericon Stage

There’s very little we can say about Loathe that hasn’t already been said. After releasing The Cold Sun in 2017, they’ve taken the world by storm. A US tour, multiple huge UK runs, a UK/Euro dual headliner with fellow Slam Dunk line up members Holding Absence, and they’re booked up for the majority of the year, including this years Download Festival, Loathe bring theatrical vision to life with their relentlessly heavy riffs, chaotic sound and an incredibly unique onslaught of sound and performance. They’re simply not to be missed.


Luke Rainsford – The Key Club Acoustic Stage

Whilst the day is mostly about full electric bands, we’d be nowhere without a good acoustic act and Luke Rainsford is not only good, but tremendous. A relentless worth ethic and growing fanbase has seen Rainsford grow immensely and his spot at this years festival is easily one of the most deserving over the years. A quick listen to his debut LP, I’m Nothing Like My Dad Turned Out To Be displays a combination of beautiful songbird melody, a passionate story teller and a core Pop Punk positivity, allowing all listeners to engage and adore his style and presence. If you want intimacy with an overall uplifting nature, Luke Rainsford is your guy!


Can’t Swim – Signature Brew Stage

Can’t Swim are the emotive rock bands we not only need, but deserve. Signing straight to Pure Noise records in 2015, their debut album, Fail You Again, was released last year to critical acclaim and have furthered their fan base since. Covering a rather eclectic sound, emotive lyrics are one thing but the additional pop rock style they nail brings this band into it’s own league, not to mention the huge character they put forward on stage. This year’s Slam Dunk is without a doubt going to be the first of many, so make sure to catch them on a small stage before you’re clambering to see them on the main stage.



Grayscale – Rocksound Breakout Stage

Grayscale have been a band since 2011, forming in high school in Philadelphia and blasted into the Philly scene thereon after. Having shared the stage with many Slam Dunk alumni such as Neck Deep, The Wonder Years and Knuckle Puck (featuring on the main stage this year), Grayscale bring their own twist on Pop Punk melodies to the Rocksound Breakout Stage, with huge chorus’, an upbeat spring in their step and a totally uplifting sound, you’d be hard pressed to think why these guys aren’t bigger already!


Counterparts – Impericon Stage

Now this may seem like a bit of an odd one to throw in here, as Counterparts have been touring the UK for a long time and have also release three albums, but, this is Counterparts first time playing the festival. Coming off of the back of their newest album, You’re Not You Anymore, the Canadian five piece have a unique blend of hardcore chunk and metal core riffs, but with tremendously dynamic melodies and strong and emotive lyrical content, you’ll be hard to find anyone stood still whilst watching this band.




Tickets on sale now and are available from

Cost £49 or £55 including the infamous afterparty. All subject to booking fees.


slam dunk festival

Preview: Adam Jones

About Author