Although still refreshingly small compared to UK festival giants such as Glastonbury, Latitude Festival, now in its eighth year, has firmly asserted itself as the ‘must attend’ event of the summer for those searching for a music festival that won’t break both the bank and your body. Held in Henman Park near Southwald, Suffolk, this year between Thursday 18th July and Sunday 21st July, Latitude Festival promises top-notch entertainment and atmosphere in a appealingly compact, family-friendly setting. In this PAMM event software blog, we give you the lowdown on all things Latitude, with tips, hints, guides and previews covering everything from how to get there to who to get down to.
Latitude For Families
After winning the coveted accolade of Best Family Festival at last year’s UK Festival Awards, Latitude organisers seem determined to retain their reign. The Children’s Arena on the banks of the Latitude Lake will keep the nippers busy with a range of activities including theatre workshops, face-painting and helter-skelter fun, while the Inbetweeners’ Teen Area will keep young adults out of trouble with tree-canopy adventures, survival skill courses and music and media workshops.
Be sure to pitch down in the Family Campsite, where BeWILDerwoo – The Curious Treehouse Adventure will delight little ones with a range of activities during the day, and Mildred the Crocklebog and her team of bedtime storytellers will have them drifting off to slumberland after sundown.
The Self-Centre Yoga will also be offering classes for both adults and children – the perfect way to wind down after a day of over-excitement. Although the classes are free, donations are welcomed by the centre, which spends the rest of the year providing complimentary therapies, workshops and classes to the disadvantaged.
Families are also invited to travel back in time to the Dark Ages with members of the Ealdfaeder Anglo-Saxon Encampment, who will be hosting craft classes, dancing and combat demonstrations with real swords and axes – don’t try that one at home kids! Also not to be missed is the chilled Ormiston ‘Pop Up Garden’ and summer holiday-style workshops on the Pop Up Beach.
After Latitude became the first UK festival to be granted the title of Arts Award Supporter this year, an appreciative Arts Council England has teamed up with Trinity College London to encourage young people to get involved in every aspect of music, dance, theatre, comedy, cabaret, film, poetry and literature. So why not sign your teenagers up to join the Latitude reviewers and become a muso journalist for the weekend? This brand-new initiative will see them rub shoulders with a team of creative professionals as they learn about the worlds of film, photography, writing and radio.
The 2013 Latitude Festival Line-Up
But despite this festival’s amazing family credentials, Latitude is, first and foremost, a music festival with a fantastic line-up. Here are just a few of the highlights to whet your appetite before the weekend we’ve all been waiting for.
…boasting the festival’s biggest bands and fabulous views across Henman Park
Friday’s Obelisk Arena headliners are none other than British Indie rock band Bloc Party. Often compared to Radiohead and The Cure, full of energy and edge, this bouncy band promises to serve up solid guitars and electronic wizardry in a fun and funky package. They will be joined on this fabulous Friday by Mercury Music Prize-nominated indie London rockers The Macabees, as well as Cat Power, Yo La Tengo and I Am Kloot.
On Saturday the Obelisk Arena will play host to German electro gods Kraftwerk. Perhaps more influential on today’s pop music landscape than the Beatles, Kraftwerk will come all guitars blazing with their not-to-be-missed 3D show. They will be backed by poppy electronic Londoners Hot Chip, who will appeal to fans of improvisation and irresistible riffs, as well as Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Jessie Ware, Efterklang and many more.
Sunday’s line-up kicks off with Foals, a British indie rock, dance, punk band (yes, it is apparently possible to cover all of those genres) from Oxford, banging out powerful and punchy material from their new album Holy Fire. Grizzly Bear, a Brooklyn-born rock band that promises to deliver a mix of folk, psychedelic and experimental tunes dominated by stunning vocal harmonies, will also be in attendance. Whatever you do with your Latitude Sunday however, don’t miss the special afternoon appearance by soul and R&B god Bobby Womack.
The BBC Radio 6 Music Stage
…a more alternative, leftfield flavour with weekend-long radio coverage
Friday’s fun at the BBC Radio 6 Music Stage will be spearheaded by household mainstays Texas. The Scottish alternative rockers will be delivering a mix of White on Blonde nostalgia for lovers of the old-school and more recent Spiteri sounds for a new generation better acquainted with the band’s latest album The Conversation. Plant your feet firmly in the BBC Radio 6 Stage mud on Friday for Calexico, Beth Orton, Villagers and more.
Saturday’s acts will be led by Leeds University-formed indie rock quartet Alt-J – a prize to whoever can work out the meaning of the band’s name without using Google or an Apple Mac keyboard. Others performing on Saturday include Everything Everything, Daughter and Duane Eddy.
On Sunday the BBC Radio 6 Music Stage will welcome Beach House, where French-born Victoria Legrand’s vocals will serve as a haunting accompaniment to American Alex Scally’s magical guitar work. Other bands not to be missed here on Sunday include Disclosure, Rudimental and Cocorosie.
The i Arena
…a wondrous woodland setting hosting the most exciting stars of tomorrow
Friday is set to see Canadian rock duo Japandroids deliver a mesmerizingly energetic performance at the intimate i Arena. On Saturday, audiences can expect electronic fabulousness from Canadian duo Purity Ring, while the Sunday stage will be dominated by garage rock and psychedelic synths from San Francisco guitarist Ripley Johnson and vocalist Sanae Yamada, otherwise known as Moon Duo. Joining the headliners are not-to-be-missed acts such as The Bots, Young Wonder, Stealing Sheep, King Creosote and Dark Dark Dark.
The Lake Stage
…unsurprisingly, set beside the shimmering Latitude Lake; all acts picked by Radio 1’s Huw Stephens
Friday’s lake-side audience will be treated to a piece of Benjamin Francis Leftwich, an English singer/songwriter who could be described as Chris Martin with hints of Jose Gonzalez and a sprinkling of Damien Rice. Saturday will see a headline set from Veronica Falls, a London-spawned indie pop band set to pump out hits from this year’s well received second album Waiting for Something to Happen. Sunday will be the turn of Manchester alternative rockers The 1975, who will deliver their usual brand of mellow vocals mixed with ethereal synth pop. Other rising stars handpicked by Radio 1’s Huw Stephens include Night Engine, Amateur Best, Joanna Gruesome, Port Isla and Wolf Alice.
The Waterfront Stage
…a floating platform with a magical atmosphere for open-air performances
The highlight on the Waterfront Stage will come on Sunday lunchtime when Alison Balsam and The English Concert, who will be taking a day off from their non-stop stint performing Gabriel at the Globe, will ease out some of the greatest hits of Purcell and Handel to classical music fans.
Also be sure to check out The Alcove, a brand-new stage added this year to celebrate local talent. It will feature sure-to-be-massive acts including Catfish and The Bottlemen, Dems and Duologue.
More than Music at Latitude
This year’s festival isn’t just about the best in music – as the absolute cream of comedy will also be tickling funny bones en masse. Master of the absurd Eddie Izzard tops a stunning line-up of laughs that includes Irish deadpan genius Dylan Moran, Sean Lock, Russell Kane, Tim Key, Daniel Kitson, Seann Walsh, Mark Watson and so many more.
Also keep an ear out for word wizard Mike Skinner of The Streets’ fame, who will be appearing at the Film and Music Arena on Sunday, and Wicker Man: A Disco Inferno, the macabre British cult cinema classic reworked by Noise of Art and Groove Armada to mark the film’s 40th birthday.
This year Latitude will also feature a new food area, of which the centre piece will be a proper posh sit-down restaurant, a festival first according to creator Melvin Benn. Celebrity chef and food writer Gizzi Erskine will be keeping the cookery cabaret under control and introducing burger-weary revellers to foodie fanatics such as Jack Stein, Carl Clarke and Neil Rankin, who will be performing tent-based culinary wizardry throughout the day. When the sun goes down, the restaurant will transform into a kitchen party with DJs and live bands joining in the mix.
Travelling to Latitude Festival
The festival organisers are keen to encourage visitors to leave their cars at home and jump on public transport for a greener, stress-free and altogether more sociable way of reaching the party. However, for those who can’t bear to leave the gas guzzler in the driveway, Latitude is again promoting goCarShare, an initiative that connects drivers and would-be hitch hikers heading to Latitude. As well as dramatically reducing their carbon footprints, participants in the scheme will get free priority parking on arrival as well as automatic entry into a draw to win a pair of tickets for next year’s festival!
Festival goers who are feeling particularly energetic might like to join the Tour de Latitude, an ingenious enterprise that reduces carbon emissions, works the calves and raises funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. The big bike crocodile will get on its way on Thursday July 18th from one of three starting points – London, Colchester and Ipswich. To avoid any accusations of doping, all participants will be returned by bus, with their bikes and bags, to their starting point on the Sunday.
Those who might feel a bit daunted by the idea of arriving onsite after such exertion already stinking before three days of partying, fear not. This year, in an effort to keep things fresh, Latitude will be offering all revellers access to saunas and hot tubs – now that’s what we call fancy camping!