Latitude Festival 2018. A myriad of the middle class flocking to the suffolk countryside for a weekend of freedom and arts spanning from wellbeing to comedy to music.
With the English heat rivalling the strength of Barcelona’s Benicassim or Budapest’s Szigtet, the festival revellers were baking in the english sunshine with vast queues to the ice-cream vans and the ice-cold cider warm by the time it reached your lips. The weather could not have been any further away from your typical English festival weather thats inclusive of ankle-high mud and plastic rain macs.
With areas dedicated to the kids and areas dedicated to staying up all night long, we saw a vast spectrum of ages letting loose around the clock, dancing way into the am. Latitude celebrates all areas of the artists but our main focus this weekend was music! With both breakthrough and established artists across the line-up, we were all certainly in for a treat.
Sam Fender was one to watch on my Latitude preview and he certainly didn’t disappoint. For me, a future star, making waves on the festival circuit across the UK, while also being a favourite across Radio 1. His set was streamlined and classy, with lyrics that will guide anyone through heartbreak as he tells stories of honesty paving back towards his small town routes.
My favourite thing about festivals is often foot falling into certain artist’s sets that you wouldn’t normally have placed on your radar. One of my favourite discoveries were young indie rock four-piece Sorry. Heading back to the press tent, I checked them out online and I was not disappointed. Doused in guitar distortion as well as soft yet killer vocals from lead Asha, they are creative and experimental with their sounds, I look forward to seeing them grow!
Again, checking out new music at festivals you have the joy of being able to consume so much music in a much smaller time span. The next find was Confidence Man. This wacky four-piece won’t hit you with heart-rendering lyrics and devine musicality, but they will be sure to bring you up from last night’s hangover, with all the swirling synths, psychedelic production and mini dance routines you need to get into the festival fever. Think LCD Soundsystem meets Wham?
Across the weekend we saw the line-up wonderfully dosed in female-fronted bands and joining the crusade was Alvvays, with a crowd bursting from the seams of the BBC Music Stage, their dreamy indie-pop transitioned the festival go-ers into the early evening with a whole load of warmth and feel-good fuzziness.
Everyone loves a freebie and after we acknowledge the fact that many of the attendees were middle aged men stripping out of their expensive suits and London office job and swapping it for combat shorts and their best baseball cap, we can’t deny that many of them would have been happy with paying over £200 each (inclusive of fees) and getting an added bonus, with a belter of a secret show from potty mouthed mancunian Liam Gallagher early Saturday evening.
After running around for a few hours in the heat soaking up all the talent, it was time to grab ourselves a cider (from fizz to flat in a matter of seconds) and relax for Jessie Ware. One of my favourite artists to date, as she graced the stage with her down to earth persona, her songs full of romanticism and genuine lyrics, Jessie soundtracked the beginning of the golden hour with utter magic.
Aside from the lengthy shower queues [its clear most of us still can’t handle the baby wipe trick for 3 days] and that pungent smell of the cooking porter loos, that becomes natural on day two, Latitude has a beautifully magic aesthetic as a buzzing haven of positivity by day and a faraway forest feel come nightfall.
Although you can still expect the sixteen year olds who can’t handle their first beer and the adults waving their arms about for a weekend revisiting their youth leaving their kids with Grandma, Latitude really sells positively on its friendly atmosphere. However it is a shame that a huge chunk of demographic seems to be missing.
If we can just inject a few more late night parties and ignite a little more passion from the 22-28 year olds to attend a festival that will open their ears to music discovery, Latitude can bring a whole load of soul warming to your summer. I’ll be back next year for all the picturesque locations, the variety of talent across all the creative industries as well as complete serenity and happiness as Latitude ticks the boxes of countryside escapism at its best.
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Words by Jodie Brunning