'Bring your kids' is festival's message

A THRIVING children's area is one of the features of the festival that even took organisers by surprise.

Jonathan Barnes

A THRIVING children's area is one of the features of the festival that even took organisers by surprise.

“We weren't planning to have one for the first year,” says Sharon Reuben, who organises all the youth events.

“But lots of people started emailing saying they wanted to bring their kids. Melvin (Benn) rang me and asked me if I could put something together. We got such an incredible response it has gone from there.”


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Youngsters now get their own Latitude experience, with musical theatre, night-time walks, a tuck shop and pond-dipping sessions.

There is a direct route from the family campsite to the children's area, which is the earliest section of the site to get going in the morning.

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The site also involves huge collaboration with the local community, with Suffolk Libraries, the council's recycling team, Suffolk Wildlife Trust and local artists, authors, musicians and theatre workers joining the fun.

“The children's activities have become a massive part of the festival. Kids are incredibly bright, excited and excitable, they want to be stimulated and I didn't want to dumb things down. I wanted to reflect the festival - the arts, the poetry and the culture - for them. I wanted to see them building things and making things, watching musical theatre.

“It's such a beautiful site and we want to make use of that too, we want to make children feel they are in a magical place - and you don't get that from bouncy castles.”

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