Part two of Marianne’s Harris’ festival diary, including Black Star Fest and Slam Dunk North and South….
Festival: Black Star Fest (Belgium)
What it’s all about: Black Star is a small, alternative metal and hardcore independent all dayer.
Why did you go?: A band I manage, The Valiant, were added to the bill, had fun at the same event last year with Shadows Chasing Ghosts, any excuse to visit Belgium is a winner.
Who played?: Bury Tomorrow, Devil Sold His Soul, Bleed From Within, Martyr Defiled.
Highlights: Taking Troy to Belgium for the first time, road trip with friends, finally doing that promo shoot with Bleed From Within, drinking cider in the sunshine, Bury Tomorrow’s set.
How does it rate?: 5 out of 10. An initially promising event that was sadly disappointing on the day, only saved by the bands that played.
Festival: Slam Dunk North (Leeds)
What it’s all about: 6,000 pop, pop punk and alternative rock music fans spread across 7 rooms in Leeds University for the 10th year of this popular 2 day annual event.
Why did you go?: Been going for 4 years so it’s become a tradition. And some pretty decent bands of course.
Who played? Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, 3!oh3!, Mayday Parade, Set Your Goals, Lower than Atlantis, Bury Tomorrow, While She Sleeps, Yashin, Hyro Da Hero, We Are The Ocean, Hit The Lights, Deaf Havana, Dance Gavin Dance, Tek One.
Festival goer opinion: A diverse line up, lots of band merch, good vibes, not the easiest of venues to travel from stage to stage, too much choice?
Photographer’s eye view: Few photographers, good access to stages, no shooting restrictions on smaller stages.
Highlights: All the bands on the Honor Over Glory stage, blondes being blonde, Mc Lars rocking the heck out of the Front stage, the drunk guy randomly measuring everyone at the after show, too much Sambuca, being rescued by Failsafe and a madly surreal trip in the back of a van with said band.
How does it rate?: 8 out of 10. For the excellent hang outs, band choices and overall entertainment factor.
Festival: Slam Dunk South (Hatfield)
What it’s all about: Day two of this 2 day event, at the sister site of Leeds Uni. But better.
Why did you go?: Was curious about the site, nothing else planned, to shoot/see different bands than the day before, had access.
Festival goer opinion: Extremely well organised, wrinkles from last year ironed out, outside stages, great access to and viewing of outside stages, well supplied food and merch stalls, great sound, rammed smaller stages.
Photographer’s eye view: Well organised, once again few photographers, no restrictions on most stages, better access, good lighting, dynamic bands, friendly / helpful staff.
Highlights: Hang outs, promo shoot with Mc Lars, Reel Big Fish, getting awesome photos all day.
Lowlights: Not seeing any different bands, missing Lower Than Atlantis, getting a flat tyre, having to leave before the after party.
How does it rate?: 9 out of 10. Immensely looking forward to next year.
Words & Photos: Marianne Harris
You can also view more photos on Mar’s facebook page: www.facebook.com/MarianneHarrisPhotography