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Are you in our LeeStock Festival gallery? Newton Faulkener and Tinchy Stryder help mark memory of Lee Dunford

PUBLISHED: 16:23 28 May 2017

The tenth anniversary LeeStock concert in the grounds of Long Melford Hall.  Picture:  ANDY ABBOTT

The tenth anniversary LeeStock concert in the grounds of Long Melford Hall. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Archant

From a small one-off gig in memory of a friend, a Suffolk festival has now celebrated their 10th event with a star-studded lineup and their biggest ever turnout.

The tenth anniversary LeeStock concert in the grounds of Long Melford Hall.  Picture:  ANDY ABBOTTThe tenth anniversary LeeStock concert in the grounds of Long Melford Hall. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

The organisers of LeeStock, held in memory of 21-year-old Sudbury musician Lee Dunford, have hailed their best ever event.

The festival ran over Saturday and Sunday in the grounds of Melford Hall, with 3,000 people turning out on both days.

During the past decade, it has raised more than £100,000 for the Willow Foundation, a national charity that provides special days for seriously-ill young adults. The charity helped Lee shortly before he died.

Festival co-organiser Matt Keogh said: “It has been absolutely gorgeous weather. It completely sold out and we had 3,000 people here each day.

The tenth anniversary LeeStock concert in the grounds of Long Melford Hall.  Picture:  ANDY ABBOTTThe tenth anniversary LeeStock concert in the grounds of Long Melford Hall. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

“It will certainly be our biggest so far, we don’t really know how much we will raise for charity, but it will help us put on an even better event next year as well.”

Mr Keogh, a friend of Lee, said the festival has come a long way in the nine years they have been running it.

“We started as a small gig with just six acts at Glemsford Social Club, we probably had about 250 people,” Mr Keogh said.

“Now it is just a totally different scale. It was called LeeFest then, and we had no idea what it would become.”

The tenth anniversary LeeStock concert in the grounds of Long Melford Hall.  Picture:  ANDY ABBOTTThe tenth anniversary LeeStock concert in the grounds of Long Melford Hall. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

This year’s lineup featured Tinchy Stryder and headliners from previous events such as Newton Faulkner, Wheatus and Toploader returning.

The lineup included rising Suffolk star Gabby Rivers, a singer/songwriter who played last year’s festival after winning the LeeStock battle of the bands.

Mr Keogh said Gabby was set to be “our Ed Sheeran”, praising the singer for her “amazing talents”.

“When you think that nine years ago her bedroom window overlooked the Glemsford Social Club, where we had our first event, and now she is playing on stage at our tenth,” he said. “It is what LeeStock is about, being a great event for local people and for the bands.”

The tenth anniversary LeeStock concert in the grounds of Long Melford Hall.  Picture:  ANDY ABBOTTThe tenth anniversary LeeStock concert in the grounds of Long Melford Hall. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

He said Lee’s parents, Rob and Rosie Dunford, spoke at the event and said LeeStock is exactly the kind of festival their son would have gone to.

“For them to say that about the event is the highest honour we could have really,” he said.

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