Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 5°C

ESTD 1874 Search

WIN A NEW HYUNDAI i10 - See the EADT on June 8 for full details

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.

shares
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

shares

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

Little Shop of Horrors. Directed by Gareth Machin. Colchester Mercury. Skid Row

Little Shop of Horrors is a classic piece of West End retro theatre. As Arts Editor Andrew Clarke discovers it taps into an early 60s soundscape while the drama has plenty to say about the here and now

Comedian Matt Richardson

V Festival has added more established and up and coming stand-ups to The Glee Club Comedy Tent line-up.

Andrew Fleming, playing Wishee Washee in Enchanted Entertainment's 2015 pantomime Aladdin

Impressionist Andrew Fleming’s Britain’s Got Talent dream may be over, but he’ll be back to wow Ipswich audiences this Christmas.

John Barrowman, coming to the Ipswich Regent Tuesday

Stage and screen star John Barrowman talks to entertainment writer Wayne Savage about what’s wrong with Saturday night telly, Captain Jack Harkness’ return and why he has the best fans in the world.

The company of Slice of Saturday Night

There was an Emile Zola quote on the front of the programme for West Suffolk College’s production of 60s musical, A Slice of Saturday Night: “If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”

Sunset Boulevard Publicity Photos
Please note all rights remain with the Photographer b

Sunset Boulevard is undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest pieces of musical theatre.

The Business of Murder by Richard Harris at the New Wolsey Theatre Joanna Higson and Paul Opacic as Dee and Detective Superintendent Hallett with Robert Gwilym as the strange and creepy Mr Stone.

Set in a London bedsit during the early eighties Richard Harris’s psychological thriller gets off to a slow and somewhat plodding start.

Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society stage Sunset Boulevard at the Ipswich Regent this week. Photos: Lucy Taylor

Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society turned 60 this year. Unlike the subject of its latest production, Sunset Boulevard, its star shows no sign of fading. Entertainment writer Wayne Savage talks to director and choreographer Mark Connell.

Frozen Light, in association with The New Wolsey Theatre, present The Forest - a multi-sensory adventure for teenagers and adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities and their companions. 
Al Watts, Amber Onat Gregory and Lucy Garland. Photos: Lucy Taylor

Theatre company Frozen Light invites teenagers and adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities to join them on a mythical quest, with a bit of an unusual romance thrown in. Entertainment writer Wayne Savage talks to co-artistic director Amber Onat Gregory and even gets serenaded.

Bromance, a circus-skills performnace that opens this year's Pulse theatre festival at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

Pulse, the New Wolsey Theatre’s annual celebration of inventive fringe theatre, is launched onto the world at the end of the month in a blur of limbs and inspired thoughts – some of which may have escaped from wartime codebreaking HQ Bletchley Park.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages