Panic! announced as Slam Dunk anniversary headliners

Panic At The Disco's Brendan Urie. Picture: Ian Harber

Panic At The Disco's Brendan Urie. Picture: Ian Harber

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Leeds’ Slam Dunk Festival is set to mark its tenth anniversary with its biggest line-up since it started in 2006.

Taking place over the Spring Bank Holiday of 2016, the festival is going from strength to strength and will be headlined by Panic! At The Disco next year.

Tickets for the Leeds leg of a three-city event set to take place on Saturday, May 28 will go on sale from 9am on Friday.

Slam Dunk Festival has won ‘Best Festival’ at the Kerrang! Awards in both 2014 and 2015. Widely regarded as the biggest awards in rock, the festival beat strong competition from major events such as Reading and Leeds and Download.

Slam Dunk has also been in the final shortlists for ‘Best Metropolitan Festival’ at the UK Festival Awards, in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and ‘Best Festival’ (up to 15,000 daily capacity) at The Live UK Awards 2015.

Headlining in 2016 will be Panic! At The Disco with an exclusive UK festival performance while more than 40 bands will play across seven stages, including other festival exclusives from Of Mice and Men (the first UK appearance of 2016) and New Found Glory who will play their only UK gig of 2016 here.

Following the success of last year, the Leeds site will remain in the city centre. Closing off roads in and around Millennium Square (which hosts the main stage), further stages happen at Leeds Beckett University, O2 Academy, the Rose Bowl car park, Baa Bar and a further outdoor stage on Cookridge Street. The after-party returns to Leeds University Union.

Festival founder and director Ben Ray, said: “I’m so happy to be able to do the festival again in the same place. After designing the site it was amazing to see it come together and work so well and seeing thousands of music fans watching stages in the middle of the street was surreal!

“I can’t thank all the different departments in Leeds City Council that have come together to make the event work and for the support they have given us.”

Leader of Leeds City Council Coun Judith Blake said: “It’s exciting to be welcoming back Slam Dunk to Millennium Square, which has become a real focal point for live music, concerts and performances in the city centre.

“Last year’s Slam Dunk created a huge buzz and I’m sure this year will be bigger and better than ever.”

For headliners Panic! At The Disco it will be their first Slam Dunk Festival.

Ten years have passed since the release of their huge debut album ‘A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out’, so expect to hear plenty of floor fillers from their eclectic back catalogue, plus tracks from their highly anticipated new record ‘Death of a Bachelor’ which is released on January 15.

Frontman Brendon Urie said: “It’s awesome, it’s so cool and I’m very excited. We haven’t actually played it before, but we have friends who have, and have heard it’s awesome! And sure, there’s a little bit of pressure, I’m not gonna lie!”

Of Mice & Men will make their return to the festival after their triumphant set back in 2012 when they thrilled crowds.

Slam Dunk crowd favourites New Found Glory will be playing the festival as their exclusive UK shows of 2016 while Four Year Strong will be playing in support of their well received new record that came out earlier this year.

Singer Dan O’Connor said: “Slam Dunk was one of the first fests to have us in the UK and was one of the best shows we had ever played there.

“We always love playing SDF because we know the shows are going to be insane and the crowd is going to show up ready to get crazy.“

Every Time I Die will be returning to the festival after having to sadly postpone some UK dates. Singer Keith Buckley is excited to return to the festival after their last performance: “Everyone seemed to be having the best time of their lives”.

Issues will be bringing the party to Slam Dunk 2016 while self-proclaimed “Illinois sad boys” Real Friends are “very stoked to come back to the UK and play Slam Dunk”.

Texan metalcore heavyweights, Memphis May Fire will also be returning to the festival.

Tickets are priced at £42 or £47 including after show - visit www.slamdunkmusic.com for all ticketing links.