Latitude Festival security stepped up after Manchester attack

Latitude Festival’s Melvin Benn revealed he’s met with high-ranking officers of the Metropolitan Police in the wake of last month’s Manchester Arena attack and is in almost daily contact with counter-terrorism teams across the country.

Some 40,000 people will descend on Suffolk’s Henham Park next month for the three-day music and culture event, now in its 12th year.

“We’ve developed a very pro-active position about changes and additional training for security - profiling and vigilance - not just for Latitude but our other festivals too,” said Mr Benn, director of organisers Festival Republic.

Changes at Latitude include dogs trained to sniff out explosives checking everything coming into the site via the production entrances. You will be asked to bring smaller bags into the arenas, with a team currently coming up with a sample size to guide festival-goers. There will be more bag searches.

“The reward for that is you feel safer. We’ll try to keep things moving, obviously. We as Brits wouldn’t want to be defeated and we’re not going to be but we have to be more vigilant.

“The reality is Latitude would be a low target but everything’s a low target and everything’s a high target now.”

More than 750 acts will play across 15 different stages from July 14-16.

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New literature and poetry highlights announced yesterday included Brooker-nominated Irish author Colm Toibin, who will discuss his latest novel, House of Names; a reimagining of the Greek classic tale of Clytemnestra’s family tragedy.

Recent Ted Hughes Award winner and spoken word-poet Hollie McNish will discuss her latest anthology Plum.

Music highlights include Pumarosa, who bring their live show straight from London to the Obelisk Arena hot off the back of their acclaimed debut album The Witch.

Ipswich’s Bessie Turner, who performed several songs at yesterday’s press launch as well as singer-songerwriter Lucy Rose, will appear on The Lake Stage.

Turner’s been described by BBC Music Introducing as a superstar in the making. Her debut single, Big Sleep, was only released in April but has already gained the love of BBC Radio One and BBC 6 Music.

Full line-up here.

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