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Festival staged in memory of musician

PUBLISHED: 08:49 04 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:35 12 March 2010

ORGANISERS of a festival arranged in memory of popular musician Lee Dunford have told how it was an event the 21-year-old himself would have enjoyed.

ORGANISERS of a festival arranged in memory of popular musician Lee Dunford have told how it was an event the 21-year-old himself would have enjoyed.

Now in its third year, LeeFest was held at Glemsford Social Club, in Glemsford, in memory of Lee Dunford, of Sudbury, who died in 2006 following a battle with Hodgkin's disease.

Close friend Edd Keogh and his brothers Matt and Peter, all of Sudbury, organised the event to raise cash for the Willow Foundation charity, founded by former Arsenal and Scotland goalkeeper Bob Wilson and his wife Megs, to provide special days for seriously ill 16 to 40-year-olds.

This year, LeeFest was extended from one to two days and included a set by the Crimson Dixies, Mr Dunford's former band.

Matt Keogh said: “It went really, really well. We don't know all the numbers yet but we had a great turnout.

“Lee would have loved it. We first organised it because he loved music and it was his band which inspired it. This year we went for a two day event and it was the type of event Lee would have gone to.

“It takes a lot of time to organise but it is for such a good and worthwhile cause.”

Last year's LeeFest raised more than £3,000 for the Willow Foundation and the Keogh brothers hope to top that figure this year.

Mr Keogh said he hoped LeeFest would now be a mainstay of Suffolk's musical calendar.

Diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma aged 17, Mr Dunford underwent four-and-a-half years of bone marrow transplants and chemotherapy before his death.

His special day, provided by the Willow Foundation in 2005, was a dream come true - visiting Slap Studios in Brixton, London, to record a track and staying overnight at the five-star Grosvenor hotel with friends, including Andrew Heller, singer in LeeFest headline act Crimson Dixies.

A 19-track album featuring all of the acts is available at £5, with proceeds to the Willow Foundation. For more information visit www.leefest.org.

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