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Ash to headline LeeStock 2020 music festival

PUBLISHED: 11:30 26 February 2020

Tim Wheeler, lead singer from rock band Ash who are to play at LeeStock 2020. Picture: ISABEL INFANTES/PA WIRE

Tim Wheeler, lead singer from rock band Ash who are to play at LeeStock 2020. Picture: ISABEL INFANTES/PA WIRE

PA Archive/PA Images

Northern Irish rock stars ASH have been announced as headline act for this year’s LeeStock Music Festival in Suffolk.

LeeStock is held in aid of the Willow Foundation in memory of 

Lee Dunford, from Sudbury, who died of cancer aged 21 in 2006. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDLeeStock is held in aid of the Willow Foundation in memory of Lee Dunford, from Sudbury, who died of cancer aged 21 in 2006. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

The trio will be celebrating their 25th year in the music business at the charity festival held at Melford Hall over the weekend of May 23-24 in aid of the Willow Foundation.

Ash join the previously announced Scouting For Girls, Electric Six, Stereo MCs, Space and Lucy Spraggan with more acts to follow.

The three-piece - Tim Wheeler, Mark Hamilton and Rick McMurray - formed in 1992 and have enjoyed a successful career since bursting onto the scene with their debut Jack Names The Planets while still at school in their hometown of Downpatrick, County Down.

Their first full album, 1977, went to number one, was named by NME as one of the 500 greatest albums of all time and featured the rock/indie anthems of Girl From Mars, Goldfinger and Oh Yeah.

LeeStock has become so popular it is now staged in the grounds of Melford Hall at Long Melford. Picture: BARRY PULLENLeeStock has become so popular it is now staged in the grounds of Melford Hall at Long Melford. Picture: BARRY PULLEN

Since then they have chalked up one silver, two gold and two platinum-selling albums, as well as 18 singles in the top 40 of the UK Singles Chart including Free All Angels, Shining Light, Burn Baby Burn and A Life Less Ordinary.

A retrospective career spanning double album - Teenage Wildlife: 25 Years - is being released to mark their anniversary.

Edd Keogh, LeeStock organiser said: "We're delighted to announce that the amazing Ash are joining this year's LeeStock with possibly one of the best line-ups we've ever put together!"

LeeStock Music Festival has been held in Sudbury since 2006 in memory of a popular local musician Lee Dunford, who died from cancer that year.

The festival raises money for the Willow Foundation, a national charity that gives special days to seriously ill young adults.

It is part of a number of events for the Foundation, including a pub crawl, a football match, and a Twenty20 cricket match.

It began life at Glemsford Social Club with local bands but has steadily grown in stature, moving on to the White Horse in North Street, Sudbury, and featuring indie artists Dodgy and Mark Morriss of the The Bluetones.

In 2013 the festival moved to National Trust-owned stately home Melford Hall in nearby Long Melford.

During the last seven years the festival has welcomed a range of top acts including Feeder, Rebecca Ferguson, Pixie Lott, The Wildhearts, Starsailor, Republica, Reef, B*Witched, Pigeon Detectives, Goldie Looking Chain, Toploader, Space, Scouting For Girls, The Hoosiers, Lucy Spraggan, Lightning Seeds, Terrorvison, Newton Faulkner and The Feeling.

Tickets have sold out well in advance for the last three years and the event has now donated more than £160,000 to the Willow Foundation.

LeeStock was awarded Best Festival in Suffolk 2019 by the East Anglian Festival Network last October.

Tickets for LeeStock are now available online via skiddle.com or at the LeeStock website.

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