Suffolk: Celebrated festival extends stay in county

Suffolk will remain home to one of the country’s most acclaimed music festivals for at least another 15 years.

Preparing for their sixth year at Henham Park, near Southwold, organisers of the Latitude Festival yesterday revealed they had sealed a deal to guarantee the event returns to the sunshine coast for at least another 15 summers.

Melvin Benn, head of music promoters Festival Republic, which runs a number of similar events nationwide, told gathered press that festival-goers could expect some “real treats” next month.

Mr Benn said Latitude, which takes place from Thursday, July 14 to Sunday, July 17 and bills itself as “more than just a music festival”, will this time feature some unmissable performances from local and internationally recognised acts.

Improvements have been made to the festival site, which is again expected to host about 35,000 visitors pumping millions into the local economy over four days.


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Last year the main footbridge strained under the weight of an unexpectedly large crowd of people who had turned out to view the floating Waterfront Stage.

A second bridge across the central lake is now in place and will be unveiled by local MPs Peter Aldous and Dr Therese Coffey in time for the festival.

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Latitude will also receive television coverage for the first time, with Sky Arts signed up to broadcast a two-hour show live from the site each evening.

A new area of the festival, dedicated entirely to teenagers, will offer bushcraft and survival skill workshops alongside other conservation activities, and young musicians can even record a track in a fully equipped studio and take home their own CD.

This year’s line-up includes Framlingham singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, who has been making waves in the industry of late and currently sits at number three in the singles chart.

Mr Benn: “He is very much a local lad who has been absolutely determined to be recognise as he is. I saw him last year and it was one of the most extraordinary performances I have ever seen. He’s really not to be missed.”

Just added to the line-up, and closing the festival on the Lake Stage, is electronic composer James Blake, who will provide the final musical performance of the weekend.

Suffolk born actor Ralph Fiennes will also appear for a Bafta hosted question and answer session in the Film and Music Arena.

For the full list of bands, artists, comedians and performers appearing at this year’s event, go to www.latitudefestival.co.uk.

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