Preview: LeeFest 2017

By on Thursday, 22nd June 2017 at 11:00 am
 

Of all the smaller festivals that have popped up over recent years, LeeFest (10-12 August in Edenbridge, Kent) is perhaps the best one. Somewhat a mini-Glastonbury-style festival, ‘The Neverland’ as it’s become known, is a place where fun and imagination are encouraged to run wild. Three separate sections are dedicated to different aspects of the lineup, with Skull Ridge being my personal favourite, where the pirates (yes, pirates!) roam free to the sound of punk, rock, grunge and grime. Last year’s lineup, including the surprise Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes set, was filled with some of the loudest and heaviest new acts around.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9XwFecNXyU[/youtube]

For those of you who aren’t into the same flavours of music as I, fear not: the full lineup for this year’s LeeFest has some great names from all across the spectrum. Topping the bill this year are two voices who will convey their outlook on current society with their own individual brand of lyrical poetry. Jake Bugg and Kate Tempest, one of the UK’s youngest and brightest songwriters and one of the UK’s most prominent spoken word poets, respectively. With them both at LeeFest, you can’t help but feel like things could get a little bit magical.

Slightly, ok, very away from that spectrum are Wild Beasts, who last year released ‘Boy King’, one of the funkiest and sleaziest – in a good way – honest! – albums we’ve ever heard. It’s amazing, and so are they, and this will be the perfect environment to see them live. LeeFest is a place that prides itself on being a real-life Neverland. You’ve already heard about Skull Ridge and its pirates, but there’s also The Neverwoods aka the main arena, where the Bangarang stage (YES) and Tootles Circus stage take pride of place. Completing the festival’s trio of sections is Mermaid’s Lagoon, or the dance arena, which includes hot tubs. That’s right. Hot tubs.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTvrv30b7C0[/youtube]

Steering away from hot tubs and mermaids of LeeFest, looking in on the lineup once more and the brightest names in UK music at the moment, and all stand out. Representing indie pop is Fickle Friends who never fail to compose a banger: latest track ‘Glue’ is a testament to this. For rock, Milk Teeth more than hold their own. The foursome are prepping to release a new EP in the coming months and with the incredible work that was their debut, ‘Vile Child’ in 2016, the future is bright for the Gloucestershire-based band. While Jake Bugg may be a well-known name in the songwriting world, a new up-and-comer is Tom Grennan. Against his soulful and often crushing tracks that radiate honesty, his sharply contrasting persona filled with confidence and swagger works incredibly well. You’ll have to catch him live to see what I mean.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMkIIvc-8J0[/youtube]

LeeFest is often likened to being a small, more accessible version of Glastonbury, and all of these claims are accurate. Seeing is believing, so get your tickets quick because the last bunch are on sale and these won’t hang around long. You can still get tier two day tickets, but full weekend tickets are now only available on the final tier. Go here to see all available ticket options at the moment.

You can read my coverage on it last year, including chats with Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Everything Everything and Oscar, through here.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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