Latitude 2012: Seventh Latitude hits the ground running

LATITUDE 2012 hit its stride yesterday with headline sets from Bon Iver and White Lies, a haunting turn from Lana Del Rey and retro hits from the evergreen Dexys.

The festival at Henham Park, Southwold, now in its seventh year, is a showcase for the arts like no other – with huge names on the bill across the music, comedy, literary, poetry and theatre stages.

An extra bridge has made moving around the woodland site much easier, although the mud – a consequence of July’s miserable wet weather – was slowing the pace down around some parts of the arena and camping area.

But a small army of stewards armed with woodchips has helped keep much of the mud at bay and festival-goers seem well-prepared for the conditions.

Bon Iver brought a vivid and powerful close to proceedings last night, following on from a lively Metronomy set and the global rhythms of Amadou and Mariam.

Today, Elbow are set to headline but will not be performing their new Olympic anthem First Steps – they have promised not to “confuse” fans by playing it.

Also on the bill are Low, Richard Hawley, Laura Marling, The Horrors and Daryl Hall.

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The vast array of food stalls offering a good standard of dishes from around the world, excellently-managed bar system and general high standard of organisation makes this year’s edition of Latitude as enjoyable as ever for the 34,000 people on site yesterday.

Managing director of Festival Republic and creator of Latitude, Melvin Benn said: “There’s a god up there looking after Latitude.

“So far the weather is holding, and we expect heavy rain to stay away for the rest of the weekend.

“As for numbers, we have 34,000 people on Friday and Sunday, and will be at our sold-out capacity of 35,000 on Saturday night for Elbow’s headline appearance.

“They’re set to play a spectacular set complete with a firework display and a 25ft stage thrust we’re putting up just for Guy Garvey.

“We’d also like to extend a special thank-you to all the riders from the Tour de Latitude.

“Over 100 intrepid cyclists, who travelled to the festival in the environmentally-friendly way, had a great day, and have so far raised nearly �14,500 for charity, with proceeds going to Kenyan Orphan Project and Julie’s Bicycle. It’s all shaping up to be the best Latitude yet.”

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