Ahh Latitude you are yet to disappoint me in anyway, which is not too bad after a four year attendance. Firstly there’s the weather, I don’t want to jinx it and make it rain on us all next year but lets just say I’ve always needed sun cream at Latitude and my wellies have never left the back of the car…not bad going for a festival in the British summer time.
I have to admit that this year the main draw for me was The Maccabees headline slot on Friday night. Having been a fan since they started out over 10 years ago (eeek) I knew there was no way I would miss their first ever time as festival headliners, and they were fab. Playing songs from all four of their albums they made sure the celebrations were in full swing as the confetti cannons went off during their final song Pelican.
Last year the line-up was so full of bands I wanted to see I spent the whole weekend running from stage to stage and sticking to a schedule whereas this year it was a much more chilled affair meaning it was a great opportunity to make some new discoveries and see some artists I’ve been meaning to for a few months – Petite Noir, Oscar, Loyle Carner and Barns Courtney to name a few. It also meant that I got to see a few things in the comedy, film & music and poetry tents this year! Including the brilliant Nick Helm followed by Sarah Pascoe in the comedy arena on Friday morning and Adam Buxton interviewing Louis Theroux (worth the sweltering heat of the jam-packed film & music tent), we also caught Yomi Sode reading his poems at the Action Aid UK pop-up, find out more about Action Aid’s work at the festival and elsewhere here!
Finally getting the chance to see Christine and the Queens in the 6 Music tent on Friday was one of the highlights of the festival, there has been so much hype surrounding them that I was fully prepared to be a little bit cynical, but they are just brilliant and so captivating to watch, they must have drawn one of the biggest (happiest) crowds of the weekend too. The Magic Gang were another stand-out highlight, packing the DIY tent on Sunday evening, I only recently saw these guys in London after being recommended them several times and missing them on just as many occasions, they have super catchy tunes and are really fun to watch, as my friend said they are like a mini Weezer (for anyone that remembers them!). The only annoying clash of the weekend for me was that The Magic Gang were up against Bill Ryder-Jones – who I adore a little bit (alot) – in the Sunrise Arena, luckily because the Latitide site is so easy to get around I ran from one to another in a couple of minutes so I managed to see a bit of both.
Latitude is as much about its idyllic setting alongside a lake and surrounded by forests where you can find all sorts of magical happenings, especially after the sun sets as it is about the music. There are plenty of spots just to relax in the sun (or shade), and loads to keep the kids entertained. It is definitely one of the most family-friendly festivals!
Oh and the food, I’m not sure where to start with the food, but I do know we spent at least half of every day talking about what we had eaten or what we were going to eat, the standard burger vans are a rare sight and there are lots of yummy choices – the halloumi and chorizo buns were a winner, as were the local strawberry’s smothered in hot chocolate sauce, oh and a s/o to Madame Gautier’s Fabulous French Food which served AMAZING grilled lamb with Greek salad. This year there was the addition of the Solas area where you could head into a mini woodland retreat for relaxation treatments, yoga and immerse yourself in a range of art installations.
In terms of Sunday night headliners Latitude got it spot on with New Order, they had the crowd at the Obelisk Arena dancing along to every song, from their new record Music Complete and of course from their back catalogue including Temptation, Blue Monday and True Faith. Closing the party with their version of the Joy Division song Love Will Tear Us Apart, a poignant moment on what would have been Ian Curtis’ 60th birthday week, their were a few tears, lots of dancing and singing along, it really was the perfect end to another wonderful Latitude!