Slam Dunk Festival returning to Hatfield and Leeds but not Birmingham in 2019
PUBLISHED: 19:19 14 October 2018 | UPDATED: 20:19 14 October 2018
Organisers of Slam Dunk Festival have axed one of the touring music event’s three dates, leaving just big shows in Hatfield and Leeds for 2019.
The touring pop punk, ska punk, metal and alternative rock festival will return to its new Slam Dunk South home in Hatfield Park over the late Spring May Bank Holiday weekend on Sunday, May 26.
Slam Dunk will also visit Yorkshire for its North leg on Saturday, May 25. This will now take place at new outdoor venue Temple Newsam Park – instead of Leeds city centre.
The Midlands leg at the NEC in Birmingham has been cut from the schedule.
Details of the Slam Dunk Festival 2019 line-up is due to be announced “very soon”, according to organisers.
After being held on the University of Hertfordshire’s College Lane Campus and Forum Hertfordshire in Hatfield for many years, Slam Dunk South moved across town in 2018 to a much larger outdoor site in Hatfield Park.
With an increased capacity, the festival’s debut in its new Hatfield location was co-headlined by Good Charlotte and Jimmy Eat World, with PVRIS, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, Taking Back Sunday and Lower Than Atlantis also on the 2018 bill.
The success of the first festival in the grounds of Hertfordshire stately home Hatfield House has prompted promoters to follow suit in Leeds with a switch to an outdoor parkland site.
A statement posted on Slam Dunk’s Facebook page read: “2018 was a massive year for Slam Dunk Festival, especially the site move in South to Hatfield Park which was a great success.
“Everyone loved the new site; it was easy to access, there were very small queues to get in, and then no queuing to see bands or access venues once inside.
“The larger outdoor stages meant everyone could see who they wanted to, with no small indoor venues becoming full to capacity, and the stages were still close enough together to move around quickly and see many more of the bands fans wanted to see.
“Due to this, we are pleased to announce that Slam Dunk Festival North will also be moving to a new outdoor site.
“The new site will be Temple Newsam Park, just outside Leeds City Centre.”
The Facebook post stated the new Leeds site “will be very easy to access” and organisers “will also be providing a shuttle bus service from the city centre”.
The statement continued: “We would like to thank all the venues in Leeds that have worked with us over the last four years in the City Centre, but everyone agrees that (mainly due to the necessary, heightened security checks) it was just getting too hard for people to move easily around all the different venues in use.
“Going forward, we have two large outdoor sites where we have much more flexibility to deliver what you want.
“Unfortunately this means we are unable to run a third day, so Slam Dunk Festival Midlands will not be happening in 2019.
“People of the Midlands fear not, you can still easily get to either of the other two sites.
“With the help of our travel partner, Big Green Coach Company, we will be putting on coaches from all around the UK.
“Across the North, coaches will go to Leeds, and across the South coaches will go to Hatfield; however from Birmingham there will be extra coaches to go to both sites.
“As you know we did rotate the days each year, but one event always had to draw the short straw of having to be on the Monday, with many people having to go to work or education the next day.
“Like many people did before we hosted a Midlands event, we hope you are willing to go those few extra miles to have a much bigger and better party!”
The Slam Dunk Festival statement also addressed issues encountered in Hatfield Park this year, such as complaints about the long queues for the toilets and getting out of the car park.
The Facebook post said: “As a brand new site, SDF South 2018 had its teething problems, however we have listened to and are working hard to address those problems for next year.
“Toilets facilities is one of the main points that came up, however we cannot stress enough there were ample toilets for the amount of people in attendance.
“The problem was people were not spread as equally as we predicted across the three toilet block locations, leading to one being heavily overused, and one being very underused.
“We will try to solve this with better distribution of the toilets in 2019.
“Car park queues to get off site were fairly long like any festival – however further delays were caused by 3 taxis who tried driving against the one-way flow of the exit which blocked everything.
“Things will be put in place to stop this from happening next year, including increased staff numbers and better signage.
“An accurate prediction of how many cars we should expect will help us to plan, so please buy car park tickets in advance if possible, which will be reduced next year to £4 plus booking fees.”
Festival-goers who have other suggestions of how we can improve the site should firstname.lastname@example.org
The Slam Dunk post added: “Site suggestions only please, not bands!
“We have already asked many to play and the ones that are available are currently letting us know if they can do it or not. Then we will let you all know!
“Details of first band announcement coming very soon!”
• For more on Slam Dunk 2019, visit www.slamdunkfestival.com/