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LeeFest 2017 – NextFest Preview

Billed by the BBC as ‘a mini version of Glastonbury’LeeFest returns this year with a line-up that really knocks the ball right out of the park. Taking place in Tunbridge Wells, from August 10th-12th, John Darlings Farm is the location to head towards between these dates if you want to get a load of one of the UK’s most celebrated independent festivals.

The festival started out back in 2006, when organiser Lee Denny waved his parents off on holiday and decided to throw caution to the wind (and their ‘no parties’ warning back in their faces) and arrange his own mini festival. One lineup, bar, stage, and PA later and that was that! LeeFest had begun.

From there, the festival has grown at a somewhat exponential rate. Helped by the recognition brought by winning the UK Festival Awards‘ ‘Best Grassroots Festival’ and Association of Independent Music‘s ‘Best Festival’, the festival hit its 10th year in 2016 and isn’t looking back.

2017 sees a celebration of the arts, incorporating music, poetry, and all in-between, LeeFest has pulled out all the stops to bring a huge programme to this year’s Neverland themed event, in which attractions are spread across 3 magical areas.

But what of the music?! Well, there’s bloody loads to choose from, if we’re honest, and you’re going to have your work cut out for you if you want to catch all of your favourites. Why not let NextFest do all the hard work for you and give you a little run down of who we think you should be watching?

First up is the tea-loving selector, Mr Scruff. If you haven’t heard or seen a Scruff set, then you need to come out from underneath that rock a little more often. His sets are wonderfully varied, but always nice and heavy on the old bottom end. You’re likely to hear plenty of bumpy house music with Mr Scruff behind the decks. Check him out, he’s really quite a remarkable DJ who really knows how to throw down an awesome set.

Indulge yourself in some singer-songwriter action, courtesy of Liverpool’s John Joseph Brill. His recent release, I’m Not Alright, draws upon his intimate confessional lyrics and smooth vocal delivery, while incorporating a deft nod towards the 1980s. His wonderful method of storytelling through his lyrics make Brill one not to be missed.

Another must see is Bedford born singer-songwriter Tom Grennan, who has enjoyed an incredible breakthrough year since his collaboration with Chase & Status back in 2016.

His two EP’s Something In The Water and Release The Brakes have gained much critical acclaim and you’ll definitely be seeing him at the top of festival bills in years to come.

The location is set to be split into three separate areas. These include The MermaidsThe Lost Boys, and The Pirates, each of which will have its own theme (which is probably fairly obvious from the name each area has been given). With so much spectacle on offer, the entire sensorium will be satisfied by this year’s LeeFest. Enjoy!

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