Search

Coronavirus claims LeeStock 2020 and Smile music festivals

PUBLISHED: 12:18 26 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:35 26 March 2020

Ash have pledged to play LeeStock next year after coronavirus forced this year's event to be cancelled. Picture: ISABEL INFANTES/PA WIRE

Ash have pledged to play LeeStock next year after coronavirus forced this year's event to be cancelled. Picture: ISABEL INFANTES/PA WIRE

PA Archive/PA Images

Two Suffolk music festivals have had to be cancelled because of the coronavirus crisis.

The LeeStock music festival is held at Melford Hall in Long Melford. Picture: PHIL MORLEYThe LeeStock music festival is held at Melford Hall in Long Melford. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

LeeStock was due to take place at Melford Hall near Sudbury on the weekend of May 23-24 but it was announced today (Thursday March 26) by the organisers that it has now been postponed until 2021.

However headline acts Ash, Scouting For Girls, Stereo MCs and Lucy Spraggan plus other bands booked have confirmed they will play the new dates of May 29 and 30.

The crisis has also forced the cancellation of the Smile festival in Sudbury on July 18.

LeeStock festival spokesman and co-organiser Andy Piper said they had been left with little option because of the coronavirus situation.

The festival is held in memory of local musician Lee Dunford. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDThe festival is held in memory of local musician Lee Dunford. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

But he said: “We have already enjoyed very positive dialogue with many of the artists due to play this year and are delighted to confirm that some have immediately re-confirmed for the new festival dates.

“These already include Ash, The Dunwells, Electric Six, Lucy Spraggan, Scouting for Girls, Space, Stereo MCs, Tom Hingley and Toploader - we are hugely grateful for the support of these artists in assisting us by committing to next year.”

Mr Piper said tickets already purchased for this year’s festival would automatically be valid for the new dates next year.

MORE: Top 90s band Ash to headline LeeStock 2020

Anyone unable to attend would be offered a refund, and those who had bought tickets online would be contacted by the ticket agents shortly to discuss similar options.

The festival has been held in Sudbury since 2006 in memory of popular local musician Lee Dunford, who died from cancer that year.

You may also want to watch:

It has raised £165,000 for the Willow Foundation, a charity which gives special days to seriously ill young adults and last year was awarded Best Festival in Suffolk 2019 by the East Anglian Festival Network.

Mr Piper thanked festival-goers for their support over the years: “Without you, the festival literally would not be what it has become, and hundreds of seriously ill young adults would not have benefitted from the Special Days they have been provided by the Willow Foundation.

“We hope you can continue to support us by attending next year to help us to keep raising money for the Willow Foundation for years to come.”

For more details go to the LeeStock website.

The Smile festival was due to take place at Sudbury football club on July 18, but in a statement on its Facebook page the “gutted” organisers said it would now not be going ahead.

Tickets would be refunded over the next few days and anyone who did not receive one within the next 14 days should email organisers.

The festival is held every year by the family of 13-year-old Arran Tosh, from Sudbury, who died of a brain tumour in 2014.

It raises money for The Smile of Arran Trust, a children’s brain tumour charity set up in Arran’s memory, which supports children and their families suffering from brain tumours and brain cancer, helps organisations such as Clic Sargent, and funding schemes such as music therapy at Addenbrookes Hospital.

For all the latest updates on coronavirus in Suffolk join our Facebook group, and for a full list of all our coronavirus coverage see here.

You can also keep up-to-date with all the latest coronavirus updates and government advice by signing up to our newsletter for daily content.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star