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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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The festival that started in someone's backyard
leefest, camping
LeeFest 2012

LeeFest is a festival that began in a teenager's back garden and has transformed into a full-fledged weekend camping trip at a little farm in the south east of London. It is not Glastonbury, but they have aspirations.

Back in 2006, Lee's parents were going away for the weekend, and he was under strict instructions not to have a house party. Lee did what he was told. There was no house party. There was a festival garden party.

Although there was a lot of illegal underage drinking, all the money Lee and his friends made went to the Teenager Cancer Trust; it could have been for selfless reasons, or perhaps it was a way to sweeten his parents when they got home. Well, it must have worked, because the next year, Lee was given permission to hold a second garden festival.

With the guest list getting bigger, Lee moved the festival to his school playing fields in 2008, attracting six hundred people. It's success made Lee decide to make the event more official, and in 2009 got full licensing. In 2010, LeeFest moved to Highams Hill Farm, and last year there were over two thousand visitors.

The festival is non-profit organisation run by volunteers, with all the earnings going towards the Bids for Beds charity. The performers, musicians, and artists all apply to get a place on stage, which has brought together a diverse line-up for this year's event, which is between the 12-14th July.

Tickets can be bought for a single day (35-40) or the long weekend (70 adult, 45 teenagers), and any child twelve or under goes free. This does not include the price of camping equipment, which starts from 50.
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Why? Fun for music lovers
When: 12th-14th July
Where: Highams Hill Farm
Cost: 35-70 adult, 35-40 teen, free for under 12s
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