One very hot August in Beckenham, when we were 16, my parents went on holiday and left me home alone. Before leaving they gave my friends and I one strict instruction: do not have a house party… so we did the logical thing and decided to have a festival in the garden.
This introduction sums up the beginning of LeeFest, a home-grown festival based in South-East London which prides itself on being non-profit and open to everyone. The team are compiled of a large group of friends along with the festival’s namesake, Lee Denny, who work hard all year round to make the event a success.
To give you an idea of how much the project has developed over the years, the LeeFest team looks over its success in terms of toilets with a brilliant diagram on its website. In 2006 LeeFest was accompanied by one tiny household toilet, having been a back garden gathering. Just last year, in 2011, the festival had evolved to require twenty-six port-a-loos, four toilets and two urinals. All festival veterans know a weekend is easily judged by its toilet facilities and LeeFest has taken this to another level! But the evolution of the festival is clear, and the event has over 5,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook as well as an award. Not bad for what began as a makeshift house-party…
This year the festival plays host to over thirty acts, with The Mystery Jets and Slow Club to headline. They will be joined by a multitude of others, including Ghostpoet, Casio Kids, To Kill a King and Bastille, amongst many more. BBC Kent Introducing will also be there, presenting a showcase evening in ‘The Colin Denny Lava Lounge’, named after Lee’s father, which will feature Tom Williams and the Boat, Broken Hands and Lion.
LeeFest prides itself on being non-profit and has supported the charity Kids Company for years. The festival is held just outside of Bromley and Croydon, at Highams Hill Farm from the 29th to 30th June, with weekend camping tickets on sale now.
For more information visit http://www.leefest.org.uk.