Latitude Festival 2012: More than just Mud!

Once you have been to Latitude, it’s clear to see where the Suffolk festival got its name from. The dictionary says that Latitude is a freedom of restriction and this perfectly sums up the atmosphere of the event.

Latitude prides itself on being ‘more than just a music festival’, offering festival goers not only a wide range of music, but an eclectic mix of comedy, theatre, poetry and cabaret. The huge range of choice means that the audience at Latitude is pretty random; from cool indie kids to couple in their sixties, making the festival one of a kind!

Created in 2006 and run by Festival Republic (the masterminds behind Reading and Leeds Festivals), Latitude has been compared to European festivals because of its variety of four music stages; the Obelisk Arena, The World Stage, i Arena, and The Lake Stage.

Before losing my Latitude virginity this year, I was concerned by the festival’s middle class audience reputation. However, I was pleasantly surprised that apart from a few jokes made by some comedians there, everyone traditionally ‘roughed’ it festival style, putting up with a mountain of mud.  Although there was an onsite hairdressers and Shakespeare performances to add a touch of class!

Latitude Festival

Latitude Festival

Music wise, Bon Iver and Ben Howard were my favourite performances of the weekend. It was a pretty special moment when the rain had stopped and the entire crowd were singing along to Skinny Love during Bon Iver’s Friday night headlining set.

Like-wise, Ben Howard’s Sunday set was spectacular. Howard’s humble shock at the size of the crowd and the pleasant visit from the sun made his performance the best of the weekend.

Due to the several rain showers we experienced over the weekend, the covered comedy tent was a great place to dry off and have a laugh. The highlights for me were Russell Kane, Jack Dee and the ridiculously talented Tim Minchin. It was also great to watch comedians I previously hadn’t heard of, such as Des Bishop and Tony Law who I was highly recommend you Youtube!

Attending Latitude for the first time, I was amazed by how much there is to do at the somewhat small festival. Having been used to attending festivals just for the music, I found it refreshing to go to one where people were getting excited about comedy and poetry too.

The nightlife at Latitude has to be one of the best out of the UK festivals, making you not want to go back to your (hopefully dry) tents until the early hours of the morning. Each night, campers were able to enjoy the brilliant silent disco run by Lucazade followed by Latitude’s famous rave in the woods. Complete with hundreds of fairy lights, the rave in the woods, DJ-ed by Dermot O’Leary on the Friday, was a magical way to end the day.

This year, Latitude encompasses everything that’s great about the UK, from Benjamin Zephaniah’s poetry reading to Paul Weller headlining on the Sunday. If you want to experience a festival which isn’t just about the music, then you have to make a visit to Latitude next summer.

Kat Morgan

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