Gallery: Curtains up on fifth Latitude festival

THE finishing touches have been made, the stages are ready and the sheep have undergone their usual colourful makeover.

More than 35,000 revellers were expected to descend on a picturesque corner of Suffolk to see 700 performers take to the stage for the Latitude Festival.

The festival-goers began arriving at the four-day event, now in its fifth year, yesterday to watch one of the biggest stars of pop music for the past 50 years.

Sir Tom Jones, whose hits include What’s New Pussycat?, Delilah, It’s Not Unusual and Sex Bomb, was one of the highlights of the opening night with a breathtakingly intimate midnight performance in front of hundreds of fans.

The appearance, which was welcomed with mass applause, saw Sir Tom perform songs from his forthcoming album Praise & Blame on the In The Woods stage.

The landmark album comes in the singer’s 70th year, a glowing achievement in what has been a distinguished 45-year musical career.

Also opening the highly-anticipated festival was world-renowned violin virtuoso Nigel Kennedy.

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Campers flocked to Henham Park, near Southwold, yesterday, however many were subjected to massive delays as traffic came to a standstill on the A12.

The weekend is set to include performances from headline acts Florence and the Machine, indie pop band Belle and Sebastian, New York rock quartet Vampire Weekend and Australian electric music duo Empire of the Sun.Other big names include popular 90s band James, pop outfit The Feeling and Mexican duo Rodrigo y Gabriela.

Melvin Benn, the festival founder, said he was pleased that preparations for the event had been successful and added that the festival’s iconic coloured sheep would be back.

He said some changes had been made to the site’s layout – the main obelisk stage has been made bigger and a restaurant has been added to the grounds allowing revellers to experience fine dining.

In another twist, organisers have this year launched the Latitude Contemporary Art (LCA) Exhibition and �10,000 LCA Award.

Six new and emerging artists are competing for the award which will be judged by Mr Benn, broadcaster and journalist Martha Kearney and young British artist Gavin Turk.

Main act timings:-

The Obelisk Arena

Today

Florence and the Machine – 9.30pm-11pm.

Empire of the Sun – 8-9pm.

Laura Marling – 6.40-7.30pm.

The Unthanks – 3.35-4.10pm.

Tomorrow

Belle and Sebastian – 9.30-11pm.

Crystal Castles – 8-9pm.

The Maccabees – 6.40-7.30pm.

James – 5.35-6.25pm.

Corinne Bailey Rae – 3.35-4.15pm

Sunday

Vampire Weekend – 9.30–11pm.

Rodrigo Y Gabriela – 8- 9pm.

The Temper Trap – 6.40-7.30pm.

Mumford & Sons – 3.35-4.10pm.

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