Brentwood house music festival is back this September

Partners in crime, Stefan Poelman and Sam Cottrell

Partners in crime, Stefan Poelman and Sam Cottrell - Credit: Stefan Poelman

Brentwood best mates are putting on music festival ZENfest for the third time in 2021.

ZENfest was born in 2018, when friends Stefan Poelman and Sam Cottrell, both 25, decided to put on a party in Sam's back garden to celebrate a year of their clothing brand, ZEN Apparel.

Partners in crime, Stefan Poelman and Sam Cottrell

They started the dream three years ago after a party in Sam's garden - Credit: Stefan Poelman

Dubbing their party "Zenro" after the famous Elrow festival, the pair decided maybe they were quite good at throwing a bash.

The first ZENfest had 250 people in a field in High Ongar, the second had 1,000 and now the duo hope to smash the 3,000 mark with a new event planned for September in Kelvedon Hall.

The former Anglo European School pupils have also set up a marketing agency - Stefan joined after he could no longer work as a chef as of March last year.

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Stefan said: "[ZENfest] is also a family ordeal, I've got my sister in it making the decorations and we get party-goers from ages 18 to 40.

They're building two different stages this year

They're building two different stages this year - Credit: Poelman

"This year we've got two stages, we're stepping it up and we're making sure everywhere you look, there's something different happening, we specialise in making the vibe right."

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He said there will be dragons, pandas, bamboo and lanterns, channelling a "zen" vibe. 

"We just wanted to create the best event we could think of, we wanted to include all the different things that we enjoy and could think of and turn it into a reality," he said. 

This year they're hoping to step it up to 3000 revellers

This year they're hoping to step it up to 3,000 revellers - Credit: Stefan Poelman

"We’re not just here to make money, we want the event to be the best it can be. You’ll definitely see us in the crowd on the day enjoying ourselves. We really are our own target audience.”

It will take place in an ancient woodland at the Edwardian house on September 4 and promises an international line-up, including Richy Ahmed, ANOTR, Rossi, Pat Wilson, Max Dean, Ryan Resso, DJ Caspa and Funk Cartel. 

Stefan Poelman

Stefan and Sam have been best pals since both going to the Anglo European school - Credit: Stefan Poelman

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