LATITUDE Festival lived up to expectations this year with a diverse line-up and even more middle class indulgences than you can imagine. Three days in Henham Park doesn’t feel like you’re slumming it at a regular festival. Shifting a hangover is always tough but when you have good food and coffee it makes life so much easier.
Queues at the Coffee Gondola almost outdo the line at the bar as they serve specialist organic coffee from a ski gondola. When it comes to food, options are endless however the Waitrose stand became a homebase for those who want a sit-down meal with a glass of prosecco.
Presenting itself as a multi-arts festival, Latitude, delivered in all areas with particularly spectacular success in the Comedy Tent. Top television standups Dara Ó Briain, Sean Walsh and Andy Parsons had festival goers stuck to the comedy tent, but it was the much loved Simon Amstell that drew the biggest crowd when debuting his brand new material What is This? for the first time.
Sasha Ilyukevich and the Highly Skilled Migrants. Photograph: Victor Frankowski
Sasha Ilyukevich and the Highly Skilled Migrants brought Russian history alive in their weekend residency at the Dash arts tent. Frontman Sasha delivered theatrical verses of poetry between up tempo songs in the living room themed stage whilst audience members munched on traditional Russian snacks.
Elsewhere, pineapples could be spotted everywhere during Glass Animals on the main stage as they raised energy levels playing a headline-worthy set of songs from their hugely successful album How To Be A Human Being.
Saturday night saw the ‘Gentleman of the Road’ Mumford & Sons play a string of hits before ending their set by calling onstage the artists they chose to perform in the day. Despite ending on a sweet rendition of the With a Little Help from My Friends, the performance at times it felt a bit like watching live aid on the telly as the artists took their turn soloing versus of the song whilst awkwardly stood next to their swaying neighbours.
Katherine Jenkins. Photograph: Matt Eachus
Civilised crowds gathered around the Waterfront Stage on Sunday to see Katherine Jenkins, who arrived in a boat and floral dress making for a picturesque entrance before belting out hits for the Classic FM demographic and the small handful of lost youth. In contrast, Jenkins’ fellow countrymen Cardiff’s most hyped grime crew Astroid Boys brought the noise to the Lake Stage ensuring mayhem in their dynamic punk-grime performance. Loyle Carner on the other hand offered a more mellow performance on the BBC stage with his confessional hip hop, all the while clutching onto his late father’s shirt for whom many of the songs are about.
Sunday headliners Fleet Foxes. Photograph: Victor Frankowski
As the final evening approached, people found themselves in the classic headline clash dilemma. Do you want to enjoy the folky harmonies of Fleet Foxes or jump around with Fatboy Slim? Sadly for Fleet Foxes, most of the festival chose the later as they played to a quarter of the Mumford crowd. However, their set was no disappointment. Fleet Foxes fans were given everything they hoped for as favourites from all three records were played. A short hiatus came when the band invite a man onstage to propose to his girlfriend leaving the audience teary eyed for the rest of the night.
As the festival drew close to the end, the place to be was The Cabaret Theatre which hosted the wildly entertaining party from east London’s gay pub The Glory. It’s only at Latitude that you can start your day with opera and end it dancing with drag queens.
by Katrina Mirpuri
feature image by Ben Gibson