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Festival: LeeFest 2011

Here at Killing Moon we’re big fans of all things grass roots, DIY, self start, home-grown, enterprising, ambitious and go-getting, and hopefully devoid of any sense of cuntishness, primarily based on the fact we feel we slot nicely into (most of) these categories and always enjoy following the success of anyone else who has been brave enough to follow this path. One person who very much fits this criteria is Lee Denny, founder and creator of Lee Fest. A festival which was inadvertently started in his back garden in 2006 off the back of his parents going away and leaving him in trust of their home for a week. With strict instructions not to have a party, Lee cleverly saw past this and held a festival instead…..nice. With 150 friends a small selections of bands and DJs and a slightly dodgy bar, the first ever LeeFest was born. As with many ambitious young types, Lee felt it went so well he decided to fess up to his parents and hold another festival the following year. Perhaps to stifle the guilt of throwing a huge festival in his back garden, Lee has made his festival a non-profit organisation from day one, which enables him to donate profits to charity, yet still invest back into the festival to sustain its growth year on year. LAD. Fellow Killing Moon lad Ben Lowe popped down last year to check it all out…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2gZj1kj7snk]

Now in 2011, 5 years after its incarnation Lee Fest has outgrown its humble beginnings of the back garden. Now playing host to over 2000 people at Higams Hill Farm just outside Bromley in South London, with over 40 acts including British Sea Power, Fenech Soler, Young Knives and DJ Fresh this year looks to be the biggest and baddest yet. We also dig the fact Lee and his team picked out new, local and unsigned talent to join the line up, with the addition of KM- faves Professor Penguin, Keston Cobblers Club and Pengilly’s.

As with all festivals, there comes a point when you don’t really want to push your way through a crowd to watch the next band on the main stage but would rather take some time out and enjoy the surroundings that may not be littered with the sight of teenage kids getting their kicks right through the night. Well, at Lee Fest this sort of fun has not been left out. With activities ranging from the weird and wonderful in The Wonderland Tent where you can listen to lyrical jams from Benny Silver, learn how to swing dance, listen to wistful words of writer and spoken word performer Paul Cree, watch fire performers or just enjoy their tea and cakes, smoke a hooka….all before the ‘in tent’ Wonderland DJs get started. Further gems of joy include a healing tent, campfire, graffiti wall and swing ball……
Since the first festival, Lee and his mates have gauged the success of each event on the amount of portaloos on site. This started with zero on year one (only using the toilet in Lee’s house), to a solid 39 set for this year. To celebrate this momentous record LeeFest are launching V.I.Pee, a charity auction with a twist. Yes ladies and gents, boys and girls, festival goers are being given the chance to bid for exclusive access to their very own VIP, red-carpeted, teat-filled portaloo, along with 4 weekend tickets to the festival. All proceeds will also go straight to the London-based Kids Company charity.
And guess what else? At £55 a pop for a standard weekend ticket (available here) and easily commutable from any location in London, you’d have very little reason to go. Unless of course you’ve got a wedding in Poland to go to. Goddammit.

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