Praise the Lord, LeeFest is back!

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Characters at LeeFest 2014 by Sara Bowrey

One of the UK’s best-loved independent music festivals is set to make a big return in 2016, celebrating its 10th year at a brand new, bigger-than-ever festival site in Kent.

LeeFest has possibly the greatest grassroot festival stories going. Now festival folklore, it was Lee Denny who, back in 2006, aged just 17, found himself home alone whilst his parents were away on holiday and therefore enjoying the free run of the family house and, more importantly, the garden. With little time nor money he built the ultimate garden festival for just 150 people, donating the money raised from ticket sales to the Teenage Cancer Trust. Lee Denny, rather modestly, called his creation LeeFest.

My parents went away on holiday and said that we couldn’t have any house parties,” said Lee, talking to Virtual Festivals back in 2010. “We were all pretty bored sitting around at my house and decided that if we weren’t allowed to use the house we’d use the garden. Someone suggested a music festival and LeeFest was born!

The success of the resulting event gave rise to an emboldened Lee and new plans for world domination. LeeFest quickly grew and then moved from Lee’s house in West Wickham, Kent to Highams Hill Farm where festival crowds soared to nearly 5,000.

Lee decided to take a ‘fallow year’ in 2015 and look for a new location to grow the event and celebrate the festival’s 10th anniversary in 2016.

We can now confirm LeeFest will return next year from Friday 28 - 30 July at a still-to-be-announced location in Kent.

The first acts for LeeFest 2016 are still to be announced. The event prides itself on discovering emerging talent and the greats of LeeFest alumni include Bastille, London Grammar, Years & Years, Young Fathers and Frightened Rabbit.

Lee himself said: “We’ve been crafting LeeFest for 10 years now, and we’re about to embark on our next adventure! We’re moving to a new venue, taking the best bits from our past and throwing in some new ideas to create something really special. A new era begins!

It will be LeeFest as you know it with some big secrets that we’re holding onto for now.

A strictly limited number of super early bird LeeFest tickets, priced at £70 for the weekend, go on sale at 9am tomorrow (Thursday 12th) - they’re expected to sell out fast!