Video: Bill Bailey, Milton Jones and Katherine Ryan among comedy stars heading to Latitude Festival

Comedian Bill Bailey headlines Latitude Festival's comedy arena this year

Comedian Bill Bailey headlines Latitude Festival's comedy arena this year - Credit: Archant

A shake-up of Latitude’s traffic plan has been revealed by festival founder Melvin Benn, who described last year’s situation as “nothing short of a disaster”.

Latitude festival founder Melvin Benn announces the additions to the comedy arena, as well as new tr

Latitude festival founder Melvin Benn announces the additions to the comedy arena, as well as new traffic plans. Photo: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

The announcement came during the addition of more names to this year’s comedy arena line-up, which sees stars such as Bill Bailey, who headlines; Milton Jones and Katherine Ryan performing. Today’s launch also gave us a sneak peek at what to expect from music acts Oktoba, aka Boxford-Brighton based Chris Athorne; and AYA, otherwise known as Suffolk sisters Bess and Jayna Cavendish. Hit the links for video of their performances.

“Traffic last year was nothing short of a disaster I’m afraid, it was really tough getting in. We’ve had a complete change... Essentially we’ve separated the families, the pick-up and drop off, the north and the south traffic all arriving and descending on one particular place,” said Mr Benn.

“We’ve taken what was the car park across the road on the A12, which caused quite a lot of slowness, away. Hopefully it will improve things a lot.”

Full details are available on the festival website.

Suffolk singer-songwriter Oktoba, aka Chris Athorne, performs at the Latitude Festival comedy launch

Suffolk singer-songwriter Oktoba, aka Chris Athorne, performs at the Latitude Festival comedy launch event. Photo: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

He also promised improved facilities for people wanting to swim in the lake this year.


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“I’d anticipated about 500 during the course of the weekend, about 9,000 people swam so we didn’t really have anywhere to get changed or anything like that so the facilities were pretty poor unfortunately, but they’re better this year.”

Appearing alongside Bailey, Jones and Ryan in the comedy arena are The League of Gentlemen’s Reece Shearsmith and comedian, actor and presenter Rufus Hound who will be the special guests for Robin Ince and Josie Long’s Festival Shambles, a special take on their hit podcast Book Shambles.

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Other acts include YouTube sensation Piff the Magic Dragon with his critically acclaimed mix of magic tricks and deadpan comedy, Radio 4 stalwart Marcus Brigstocke’s Prince Fest, a tribute to the late world-changing artist, Dane Baptiste appears hot off the heels of his new BBC 3 sitcom Sunny D and Jimmy McGhie, who has just finished a string of sell out shows during his second tour of Asia following a welcome return to Edinburgh Fringe.

AYA, aka Suffolk sisters Bess and Jayna Cavendish perform at the Latitude Festival comedy arena laun

AYA, aka Suffolk sisters Bess and Jayna Cavendish perform at the Latitude Festival comedy arena launch. Photo: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

American comic and New York Times bestselling author of I Can Barely Take Care of Myself, Jen Kirkman performs following the release of her Netflix comedy special I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine) – which was named one of the top ten stand-up specials of 2015 by The Atlantic and Time Out New York.

Jonny and The Baptists deliver a light-hearted yet satirical take on right-wing politics and media hysteria and Jonathan Pie will bring a cutting parody of broadcast journalism. Award-winning comedian and warm-up for The Graham Norton Show Joe Bor performs as Jasper Cromwell Jones, a hapless climber who retells the story of a treacherous climb.

Then there’s Lou Sanders, who featured in The Times’ Witty Women To Watch 2014, hopeless romantic comedic poet Micky P Kerr, Luke McQueen and Joey Page, who has been named by Chortle as “one of comedy’s most unique and exciting new talents”.

Finally, Thom Foole’s Shed Party provides an evening of clowning, comedy, storytelling, mischief and party games in the Shed of Stories, hosted by absurd character comedy acts, cabaret performances and DJ’s.

“Latitude was voted the line-up of the year 2015 (and) this year’s line-up is, as ever, absolutely extraordinary across all the stages. We have the most diverse selection of entertainment in the smallest footprint you can possibly imagine. One of our strengths is you can move from the main stage to the comedy, to the kids’ area so quickly, so easily, probably in the friendliest environment that exists in any festival anywhere in the world,” added Mr Benn.

Latitude Festival takes place July 14-17 at Henham Park.

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