REVIEW: DLH Hardcore Day 2023

DLH Hardcore Day 2023 lived up to the motto “Ain’t Nuthin Meaner Than The Deaner” as Bristol’s best alternative festival, and drew a crowd out for a day in the park.

Words & Images: Leon Riccio, @leonricciojourno


“You can tell we’re here because it smells like shit,” I overheard someone say as they walked through the gates to Dame Emily Park, Bedminster, home to Dean Lane Skatepark, home to Dean Lane Hardcore Fun Day.

As expected, a sea of piercings, tattoos, and startling haircuts mobbed to the park on Saturday, September 2, to take part in the highly-anticipated skateboarding/live music event, featuring big names from both worlds in their own respects.

The line-up, featuring local bands Split Dogs, Empire of Dust, Hot Flab, and a few out-of-town acts like RAD PITT, Scene Killers, and RANK played throughout the baking late-summer day until the evening, while lunatics on four plastic wheels flung themselves across the park known to every skater in the country.

David Cook of Bristol band Empire Of Dust

The solvent-y smell of fresh spray paint hung around the circumference of the event, and the earthy smell of something else emanated around the grassy patch beside the skatepark – both of which are of course unofficially welcomed.

While the music – stretching from the big four corners of punk (crust, skate, pop, hardcore) – firmly gripped a large audience, if you weren’t watching the skateboarding down the lower half of the park you really missed out.

A huge crowd encircled the 12-foot halfpipe as guys and girls alike launched themselves around the bowl circuit, getting big airs, and landing huge handplants against the Volcom board. It was skateboarding in its purest form – DIY daredevils performing death-defying stunts to a captivated crowd.

Leon Riccio is a freelance journalist who joined our team to share his love of music with our audience. More of his work can be found via his website