Joy and relief as Latitude passes off successfully
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
Festivalgoers crowned the Latitude festival a soaraway success and said it was "one in the eye for Covid" as the event drew to a close.
The four-day festival at Henham Park, near Southwold, attracted more than 40,000 people who had to pass a strict virus protocol before they could get on site.
Once on site the crowds were allowed to ditch their masks and did not have to adhere to social distancing.
Festival boss Melvin Benn said the measures put in place made the site "close to being the safest place in England".
And punters who were not double jabbed could even visit the festival's own walk-in vaccine centre.
The event was part of the government's Covid research programme and close attention will now be paid to see if there are any cases arising from the gathering.
But for the revellers there was little talk of coronavirus as they lapped up performances from the likes of Chemical Brothers, Wolf Alice and Blur frontman Damon Albarn.
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And there were some old favourites as well with 80s pop star Rick Astley on Sunday afternoon and Brit Pop legends Supergrass on Saturday.
The festival was closed on the main Obelisk stage by Bastille.
Tony Roberts travelled with his two children and wife Amanda from the Midlands and said they would come again - and next year wanted to make it in to a longer stay in East Anglia.
"We've never been before but it has been superb," he said. "Years ago I went to Glastonbury and Latitude definitely has a similar vibe.
"The kids aren't quite old enough to go and do their own thing yet but they are not babies - but there has been plenty of stuff for us all to do together.
"I feel safe. I think this is one in the eye for Covid. We have proved we won't be beaten - not even a global pandemic can stop people having a good time.
"Next year we are going to book into a hotel for a week afterwards and explore Norfolk and Suffolk. The coastline looks spectacular."
Laura Mitchell travelled from Hull with a group of friends after buying tickets to lift the mod during lockdown.
"We were all a bit miserable and needed something to look forward," the 23 year old said. "I was desperate to see some live music.
"To be honest I was 50/50 about whether it would go ahead. But thank god it has because we have had such a great time.
"The band I really wanted to see was Working Men's Club and they were brilliant. It won't be long before they are headlining festivals."
The festival has been held each year since 2006 but was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.