Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 0°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Latitude: Art of surprise keeps festival on its toes but what was your highlight?

12:32 21 July 2014

Aerial pic of Latitude Festival 2014 - Mike Page

Aerial pic of Latitude Festival 2014 - Mike Page

Copypright Mike Page, All Rights Reserved Before any use is made of this picture, including dispaly, publication, broadcast, syndication, web or any other form or reproduction, permission must be obtained in writing.

What makes Latitude so continually successful? After three days at the Southwold festival, Andrew Fitchett says this year it had much to do with the festival’s surprises, twists and turns.

Haim at Latitude 2014 - Paul BayfieldHaim at Latitude 2014 - Paul Bayfield

After six years as a Mecca for fans of culture of all kinds, Latitude Festival could be forgiven for taking the safe option.

Great music, theatre and comedy, a blissed-out atmosphere, beautiful surroundings and stands selling hummus and halloumi have all become stock in trade for the festival dubbed the UK’s “most middle class”.

But familiarity breeds contempt. With 35,000 people attending every year, how do you stop them from getting bored?

This year, the organisers decided that the answer is simple. Utilising the art of surprise.

The Latitude Festival 2014 at Henham Park.
The BBC Radio 6 music stage in the distance as people make their way around the festival.

Picture: James BassThe Latitude Festival 2014 at Henham Park. The BBC Radio 6 music stage in the distance as people make their way around the festival. Picture: James Bass

Festival-goers were kept on their toes with shock announcements from the off, with the news that Lily Allen was stepping in for Two Door Cinema Club - who pulled out due to sickness - coming before the festival had even begun.

Allen suffered some social media abuse beforehand, but pulled out a stellar set in the Obelisk Arena on Friday night to prove the doubters wrong.

That was after she stunned fans with a 15-minute impromptu performance on the waterfront stage, joined by her dad, Keith Allen, and two youngest children.

Next, thousands of fans had to rip up their schedule when UK dance act, Rudimental, were announced as the secret act for the main stage on Friday.

Damon Albarn at Latitude 2014 - Paul BayfieldDamon Albarn at Latitude 2014 - Paul Bayfield

It didn’t stop there. First, festival organiser Melvin Benn jetted in with news that Damon Albarn would be joined by a special guest. It turned out to be Blur guitarist Graham Coxon, with the pair putting on a stirring rendition of the Britpop giant’s track, Tender, during Albarn’s headlining Saturday set.

James cancelling their Saturday show on the Obelisk Stage was the next twist, with their set postponed to Sunday lunchtime.

Surprise celebrity sightings – including Emma Watson – had tongues wagging, and the ensemble cast of Sunday afternoon special guests, Atomic Bomb! Who is William Onyeabor, was revealed to contain Alexis Taylor from Hot Chip.

The surprises stopped when it came to British summertime weather. On Friday night, the crowds stopped and marvelled at an incredible sunset which framed Henham Park in shades of pink.

Just 24 hours later, they were staring into the face of a torrential downpour which turned the festival into a mudbath.

That only served to bring out the familiar Latitude spirit, with the crowds surfing giant mudslides and helping each other navigate lagoons of mud which were swallowing up flip-flops by the dozen.

It’s a reaction that Melvin Benn knows only too well. On Friday, he described the festival as feeling like home. For the thousands who return every year, it’s a feeling they can relate to.

After such a thrilling weekend, that’s no surprise at all.

What was your Latitude highlight? Leave a comment below or email us

1 comment

  • "After six years as a Mecca for fans of culture of all kinds, Latitude Festival could be forgiven for taking the safe option." Think its actually 9 years since the first festival in 2006!

    Report this comment

    swatts

    Monday, July 21, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

The Snow Queen, the latest Christmas Spectacular from the Ipswich Co-Op Juniors

The Ipswich Co-op Juniors certainly know how to stage a spectacle and this year’s festive extravaganza is as glitzy and glamorous – and as technically accomplished – as anything you would see on a West End stage.

Steve Ruston as Sinbad in Sinbad, the New Wolsey's latest rock'n'roll pantomime

In an age when most pantomimes are traditional and predictable, the New Wolsey’s new rock’n’roll panto, Sinbad, doesn’t arrive like a breath of fresh air but more like a full-blown tempest. In among the rock’n’roll classics like Living on a Prayer, Smoke on the Water, The Tide Is High and Sending Out an SOS, we even get some lines of Shakespeare’s King Lear: “Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks!” to underline the power of the story.

Elf on Shelf is back for Christmas 2016

Families in Ipswich, Felixstowe, Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket, Woodbridge and Newmarket will be expecting a visit from a naughty little elf tonight as the Christmas tradition continues.

Dorothy (Charlotte Sheenan),  Scarecrow (Sam Brown); Tin Man (Michael Haywood Smith) and The Cowardly Lion (Nathan Cant) in The Wizard of Oz by Ipswich Operatic Society at the Ipswich Regent. Picture by Gavin King Photography

The Wizard of Oz, a Hollywood musical classic, is brought to the Ipswich Regent with style by the Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society.

Barrell of Fun: The Barton Players rolling out the barrell this weekend with their traditional Olde Tyme Music Hall. Amanda Kingsnorth and the Men's Company

Tickets are selling fast for tomorrow’s performances of an old-time musical by the Barton Players – but there are still a few seats left.

Behind the scenes at The New Wolsey Theatre as they set up for 'Sinbad' - photo by Sarah Lucy Brown

Panto season is almost upon us and photographer Sarah Lucy Brown and Arts editor Andrew Clarke have been behind the scenes at the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich to discover that a lot of planning goes into the creation of so much chaos, music and magic

Jasmin Vardimon presents Pinocchio with DanceEast this Christmas - photo by Ben Harries

There are dozens of traditional pantomimes taking place in Suffolk this Christmas season, but there are also a selection of other shows ideal for the whole family.

Round The Horne

It was an evening of innocent, hilarious, barely concealed filth straight from the 1960s.

Panto cast arrive at Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds.

The cast for this year’s Beauty and the Beast pantomime at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds arrived in town yesterday ready for rehearsals.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24