12 Jul 2016

LeeFest: The Neverland | A Preview

“The ultimate party” – NME
During the long hot summer of 2006, Lee Denny’s parents left him alone in the house whilst they went on a well-deserved holiday. Aged 16, Lee thought an ingenious solution would be to have a festival in the garden. Ten years later, LeeFest is going strong, returning this year for a summer celebration like no other. Ahead of the festivities, here are our top 10 picks from the fantastic musical line-up.

Everything Everything
Last year Get To Heaven saw this Manchester quartet propelled to new heights, heading out an extensive headline tour (when they weren’t hitting up arenas with Foals). Catch them on the Thursday night at LeeFest for what promises to be an eccentric and exciting performance.

From landing a spot in the BBC’s ‘Sound of 2015’ poll to hitting up festie stages at the likes of Latitude and Glastonbury, this rising electro-pop star has gone from strength to strength since she landed on the scene nearly two years ago. Now, with a fantastic debut album Nothing's Real in the shops, she’s not one to miss this festival season.

Skinny Girl Diet 
This London trio make punky, in-your-face music and are sure to pack a punch live when they take to LeeFest on Saturday afternoon. Get these self described ‘badass scream-queens’ in your life ASAP.

Continuing the girl power theme is neon pink shit-stirrer Girli, who can hop from bashing gender inequality to riffing about ‘drinking booze from Costa cups’ in a matter of seconds. Her hip-hop-meets-90s-pop whirlwind of a live show improves with every performance – an absolute must see for an injection of teen party fever.

Little Simz 
If hip-hop is your bag then Little Simz, real name Simbi Ajikawo, should be top of your list as well. Counting Zane Lowe, Dizzee Rascal and Tinie Tempah as fans, her shows are fast and furious, mixing rap, R&B and more in an exciting and experimental mix that’s not to be missed.

Circa Waves 
Upbeat, indie anthems can make or break a weekend. With Liverpool lads Circa Waves topping the bill on Friday, we think this festival is in good hands. Insert pun here about t-shirt weather, anyone?
Spring King 
Come on, you know Spring King. No? Where have you been living? Well, brace yourself for when Tarek and company descend on LeeFest with their fantastic arsenal of percussion driven belters, freshly restocked with the release of their debut album ‘Tell Me If You Like To’.

Expect sweat-dripping madness from Brighton rockers VANT who make their LeeFest debut this month. Frontman Mattie Vant is effortlessly cool and leads each garage rock number with a fierce energy, his candid lyrics that heavily address social politics adding substance to this rising quartet's fantastic music.

Hannah Lou Clark 
On her latest release It’s Your Love, Hannah Lou Clark jumps skilfully from vintage rock melodies to jaunty St Vincent-esque jerks. The London based singer songwriter has a delightfully dusky aesthetic, a winning choice for a lazy Saturday evening at the festival. 

Lianne La Havas 
Closing LeeFest will be Lianne La Havas, fresh from opening for Coldplay on their European tour. But leaving the stadiums behind, her performance promises to be a sweltering and intimate experience. Cuts from the lush Blood and Mercury Prize/Ivor Novello nominated Is Your Love Big Enough? are sure to bring a stunning end to a spectacular three-day programme of music.

Honourable mentions go to Formation, Clean Cut Kid, We Are Scientists, Demob Happy, Loyle Carner, The Big Moon, Oscar, Nimmo and Dinosaur Pile Up who will all perform across multiple stages over the three days. Elsewhere at the festival, there will be cabaret, cinema, wrestling, parties, hot tubs, hidden venues and much, much more!

LeeFest: The Neverland takes place on July 28th – 30th near Edenbridge, Kent (about an hour south-east of London). Tickets are still available. 


Words: Alex Cabré