SFG: When did you decide you wanted to run your own festival?
Lee: A big group of us were sitting in my garden in the summer of 2006 feeling pretty bored. My parents had gone away and said ‘no house parties’. When someone made a joke about running a festival in the back garden instead, we went for it! Haven’t looked back since.
SFG: What inspired you to start this festival and how did you go about starting Lee Fest?
Lee: The area we live in is real suburbia and there really isn’t much going on for kids around here. I guess we combined that boredom with our love for live music and came up with the perfect solution! In terms of starting it all we needed were a few local bands, lots of crates of beer, and a (very unsteady) wooden stage!
SFG: What was the very first act to play the first Lee Fest?
Lee: Tough to remember the first act of the first day, but i remember who played last – it was a band called Isobel which was a few of my mates – sadly they have split up now but that is a good lasting memory!!
SFG: Lee Fest a non-profit festival, what is your chosen charity and why?
Lee: For the last two years we have chosen to work with Kids Company. LeeFest is all about young people and the work they do with under privileged children in London is absolutely fantastic. When we first met with them it really clicked and they have been so supportive ever since.
SFG: What type of crowd can be expected at Lee Fest?
Lee: Our capacity this year is 2000 so let’s hope it’s a sell out! We’ve only got enough room for 500 campers though so make sure you get a ticket fast if you’re keen to camp.
SFG: From the lineup for 2010 who are you most looking forward to seeing and why?
Lee: I’m overwhelmed by our line-up this year, the two boys booking the bands have done such a great job. Obviously The Futureheads are a huge band so i can’t wait to see them on our stage. At the moment i’m listening to Johnny Foreigner a lot – they’ll be headlining in our live tent, and also Marcel Legane, who is one of our local acts and played a fantastic set last year.
SFG: Who is your dream headliner for future Lee Fests?
Lee: As a Beckenham boy himself, and a rock icon, it has to be David Bowie. Someone told me recently that he set up his own festival here when he was young – let’s hope he hears about leefest and comes along one day!
SFG: What do you enjoy most about Lee Fest?
Lee: Every year there is about a minute when I stop running around frantically during the headline act and just watch. That is the climax of so much hard work and it’s an incredible rush. To see a huge band entertaining hundereds of people on our own stage makes it all worth it.
SFG: What is the funniest thing you have seen at Lee Fest?
Lee: Last year a group of guys bought a blow up beer pong table! It went down very well – you have to spit table tennis tables into big beer glasses for points!
SFG: What is the worst thing you have seen / experienced at Lee Fest?
Lee: Luckily we’ve avoided any real disasters! Last year the hoplloways dressing room (which was in fact just a small gazebo, managed to fly away in the wind! That was pretty embarassing – at least they were all dressed!)
SFG: What would be your advice to up and coming events / festival promoters?
Lee: If you are driven to achieve something it will happen. Make sure you have a committed team working with you though, trying to do this on my own would not be possible!
And for good measure we threw in a couple of random questions!
SFG: What do you do when your not busy organising Lee Fest?
Lee: Somehow i managed to get a physics degree! And theatre, i love acting in and going to the theatre.
SFG: What is your favourite drink?
Lee: In the summer? Pimms.
SFG: What other festivals will you be heading to this year?
Lee: Lots hopefully! Secret garden party & green man are two i’m really looking forward to.
SFG: Sum up the BP Oil Leak in one word?
Lee from LeeFest
See the lineup below for LeeFest 2010