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Slam Dunk Festival 2021: Local Festival Heroes

After the temptation of not relieving Slam Dunk in 2019, the local favourite festival showcasing the best of ritualistic rock and punk, returned to both locations south and north of England over the weekend for 2021.

With the likes of Don Broco, Frank Turner and While She Sleeps leading the way with hectic headline sets that lit the cities of London and Leeds, it turned to be another massive prospective turning point for live rock music.

Despite some certain health concerns regarding COVID with festival-goers and European bands struggling to get to the festival due to travel restrictions (not to mention Waterparks pulling out of the line-up due to crew staff being COVID positive), it was another world for us to implore into, forget the sadness from last year, and enjoy ourselves again in the world of live music.

Your thoughts: did you go yourself? Did anyone you know went? How did you see the festival? – all positive I hope!

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Reading and Leeds: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

With Reading and Leeds festival finally coming to a close this week, with ample amounts of music lovers flocking to our festival fields once more, it was hugely gratifying and humbling to see the love of UK music return – almost as if the last 12 months just didn’t happen. But with the festival amidst the end of a pandemic, it comes with hesitations.

What was the ratio from men to women in artists performing and why was it so disproportionate to gender? Amidst the rumours followed, why wasn’t COVID ruled as important and encouraged with regular checks? With live music set to return in full swing, it is imperative that we still understand that the virus is still active and prompt on our shores.

But we mustn’t ruin the party, as it was a roaring success of live music and made us really miss it all throughout the lockdown. More so than most. It takes us all back to when times were normal and enjoying ourselves at a music festival was seen as simply fun and not a moral obligation to test crowd control and vaccine efficiency. It was so nice seeing so many fond memories being made, when all we wanted to do for the past year was forget. Hopefully, this gives us a fantastic insight into always looking forward now and revitalising our future. Thanks R+L, til next year!

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Are We Planning For Music Festivals Too Soon?

I’m all for getting the industry back on track again – but is a mass summer festival the way to do it?
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After the news that both Reading and Leeds festivals are set to continue this year in August – which was undoubtedly followed by pretty much all festival days being sold out – it’s made me think, are we ready to return to our festivals or are we planning them too soon?

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Now, I know that August surpasses the date of June where all legal rulings against social distancing are scrapped, but it is especially important to not get ahead of ourselves at this time, especially when we all want to get back to normality and enjoy ourselves in the sun. I think that this drastic course of action is an aspect of greed as well as opportunity missed in the past from last year, and it has undoubtedly given hope for the people attending.

I would have certainly thought that all festival organisers, planners and the ‘committee’ themselves, would follow the same steps as their Glastonbury counterparts – both festivals are merely a month apart, after all. But I guess money talks.

Now, don’t get me wrong – part of me wants to ignore the warnings, sit back and let everyone enjoy the fun – because, by God, do we deserve it. But there is another part that is telling me otherwise – another strain and active cases still in the summer? We’re back where we started.

After all, it’s one thing to see a small live gig setting at your local pub for instance, but its another thing to pack thousands of avid music fans into fields rife with music. Rest assured, those attending will hold nothing back to receive their much-missed antidote of attending music festivals during the Summer.

Personally, there is nothing I’d want more than for us to watch live music again – and not just on our screens, either.

The question is – is now the best time to drop our guard and relax because of the vaccination or is it time to be as attentive as ever?