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Bury St Edmunds rock show Just Push Play Festival taking place on July 30 in aid of St Nicholas Hospice Care



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An avid rock music fan is staging the eighth annual fundraising gig in memory of his ‘hero’.

Lee Graham, 34, is the organiser of the Just Push Play Festival, which he founded in 2015 in aid of St Nicholas Hospice Care to mark the fifth anniversary of losing his dad Ian.

Lee, who now works for the hospice as a corporate fundraiser, said the event, this year taking place on Saturday, July 30, had evolved from its humble beginnings to an annual one-day rock music festival at the Apex in Bury St Edmunds.

Lee Graham with Those Damn Crows at last year's Just Push Play Festival. Picture: Two Finger Media
Lee Graham with Those Damn Crows at last year's Just Push Play Festival. Picture: Two Finger Media

To date, it has raised more than £20,000 for the hospice, which cared for Ian at his home in Stanton during his final days.

Lee, from Honington, said he and his sister Kirsty had lost their ‘best-friend’.

Speaking of the importance of supporting the hospice, he said: “It was the worst time I ever went through in my life losing my dad. It was the hardest time for us as a family - my mum, sister, cousins, anyone close to him.

“You never forget when you are in that moment, those who have got your back and are supporting you during those times.”

Ian Graham, who passed away in 2010 aged 50 after suffering with cancer (58104076)
Ian Graham, who passed away in 2010 aged 50 after suffering with cancer (58104076)

He added: “He was and always will be my hero, and when a hero is suffering and someone is looking after them, I don’t think you can ever say thank you enough.”

Ian, who had worked as a health and safety officer, had succumbed to a short, but intense battle with cancer in 2010, aged 50.

Lee and his dad enjoyed a shared love of rock music, with Ian taking Lee to see Aerosmith when he was about 11 years old - the start of going to gigs together. "That's why the festival made sense," said Lee.

Lee Graham with Florence Black at last year's festival. Picture: Two Finger Media
Lee Graham with Florence Black at last year's festival. Picture: Two Finger Media

He said this year’s show sees Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons headlining. “So we do have some serious rock royalty headlining the show this year and with further sets from The Howling Tides, Massive, Skam, Empyre, These Wicked Rivers, Just A Ride, The Karma Effect, Mike Ross and Gallows Circus it is set to be another jam-packed day of killer live bands and all for St Nicholas Hospice Care,” said Lee, who has his own rock show on RWSfm 103.3.

As part of the festival's fundraising efforts, there is an online 'buy a square' auction via www.justpushplayfestival.co.uk, with one item being a signed guitar.

Those Damn Crows performing at last year's Just Push Play Festival. Picture: Two Finger Media
Those Damn Crows performing at last year's Just Push Play Festival. Picture: Two Finger Media

For more information also visit the Facebook page 'Just Push Play Festival'.

For tickets go to the festival website or The Apex box office.