We expected a field, a really big field in the country… and that’s pretty much what we got and we may even have seen some animal inhabitants or that could have just been a group of festival dwellers in their onsies. Anyways, Leefest was a complete hit with me and my plus one and here’s where you find out why.
1) It was family orientated yet teenage and adult friendly: There was literally an activity for every age to get stuck into, there was Leefest t-shirt customising, an arts & crafts area and free face paints for all. Humungous pigs and elephants to climb upon and lots of other props just ready to be photographed.
2) The vibe – I don’t think I’ve been to such a relaxed festival. Everyone was appreciating the fine music but also appreciating the sunshine, after all we don’t get it often. This meant that there wasn’t much moshing going on mid- afternoon but everyone looked content and was happy to cheer on my hero also known as dancing man. He jived, used the jazz hands and spun to the likes of Santiago Street Machine and Bwani Junction. There were sections where people were playing ‘It’ with random people and a time when I had a man rub his kiwi covered face against mine. Lovely.
3) The bands – I’ll admit that other than The Mystery Jets, Ghost Poet, Marcus Nasty and the rest of the Urban Nerd crew, I wasn’t very clued up on the other acts. Being a lover of most music I found that I came away with an ever increasing list of bands I will be checking out in the near future. I particularly loved Bwani Junction, Man Like Me and Big Kids, with Man Like Me being the performance of the festival.
The band could not have looked more like they shouldn’t be together. One of them dressed in a neon pink and Mark Ronson style suit, one in in full tribal, another in a white tee and trousers and the last in a rather dapper looking 60’s suit. If as a youngster you enjoyed singing along to ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes,’ you may find their anthem ‘Squeeze’ entirely delectable and rather catchy. The main singer at one point scaling the metal stage fixings and dangling 10ft above the stage… WITH ONE ARM *GASP* and for the rest of the time, the band performed very amusing dance routines. I was laughing and dancing throughout their set!
4) The crowd – We eventually had moshing, cotton eye joe like dance moves and so many other moves I’d have to tell Chris Brown where to shove it. Every stage/ tent/ bar area I went to, I got talking, moving and shaking with someone new. Everyone was so relaxed and up for having a mad time but of all the places we particularly loved the Dis-Ko stage where we had some amazing DJ’s spinning funky house, old skool hip hop, current drum and bass and r ‘n’ b. This stage wasn’t rammo but the people that were there were pulling out all the stops.
There were ping pong championships taking place, a shisha pipe area, healthy food stalls and vintage stalls. We wanted to buy everything! Their eco ethics had us disapproving of anyone flinging their paper cups on the floor, with us instead and other volunteer’s taking them to the recycling points. You could get to wherever you needed to be within 2 minutes, there was camping on site and the lovely people at Leefest even sorted us out with a bus there and back. Leefest taught me that big does not always have to be the most beautiful and my one regret was that I didn’t track Lee down. Maybe next year.