Latitude starts with a bang

THOUGHT Southwold was all about senior citizens and sandals? Think again.This weekend has seen the sedate resort become the new coolest place to be, thanks to the inaugural Latitude Festival, which is today preparing for another day of music and more.

THOUGHT Southwold was all about senior citizens and sandals? Think again.

This weekend has seen the sedate resort become the new coolest place to be, thanks to the inaugural Latitude Festival, which is today preparing for another day of music and more.

Billed as the new Glastonbury, Latitude didn't so much thrust open it's doors to punters for the first time yesterday, but more accurately, just casually pinned them back.

More accustomed to being the grounds for a stately home, Henham Park has been transformed into a festival venue ready to welcome thousands of revellers.


You may also want to watch:


But this is no festival of half measures, it had all the excitement of the Reading Festival, without the metal heads, the countryside vibe of the V Festival, except nobody bothered with oversized sunglasses and in some ways it was even similar to Glastonbury… but weeks of sunshine have ensured there wasn't any mud.

Music may be the main draw on the bill for some, but with comedy, theatre, literature, poetry and cabaret all thrown into the mix, there is plenty to keep the bohemian crowd happy.

Most Read

This morning saw children frolicking around the site while the choosier among the crowd were able to sleep late in brightly coloured 'podpads' - a wooden, ready prepared tent offering all the fun of sleeping outdoors without the hassle.

Festival organisers Mean Fiddler had been hoping for a utopian atmosphere and early signs show the result must have been pretty close. Flourescent painted sheep grazed in nearby fields, a multitude of entertainment got underway in a series of arenas and everyone seemed to be soaking up the sun and relaxed feeling.

During yesterday, the Theatre Tent got off to a high brow start, thanks to a performance by the Royal Court Theatre, who were performing Angry Now - a series of five minute plays submitted by various writers about what infuriates them.

Ian Archer impressed in the Sunrise Tent with his melodic but gentle acoustic guitar, ending up sounding somewhere between The Kooks and Fleetwood Mac, while Jude Simpson stole the show in the Poetry Tent with her insightful anecdotes and rhythmic sprints.

But this was all just a mere prelude to the evening, which was when the music became the main attraction.

Performances by The Lemonheads and The Zutons proved to be big draws in the main arena, although it was clear people were playing a waiting game for headliners Snow Patrol.

Riding high on the success of new album Eyes Open, the band were received with rapturous applause, perhaps not least because this was their first appearance since a series of US gigs had to be postponed after frontman Gary Lightbody lost his voice last month.

Songs from both their last and current albums flowed, the crowd sang along and a good time was had by all, with Lightbody showing his voice was back in fine form.

If for no other reason, Latitude could be remembered as a triumph for this fantastic performance alone.

Tonight will be the turn of Mercury Award winners Anthony and the Johnsons, while tomorrow will see performances by Jose Gonzalez and Mogwai, alongside another full line up of theatre, art and comedy performances.

Tell us your experience of Latitude. Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Don't miss our photographic memories of the weekend, visit www.eveningstar.co.uk/latitude

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter