Latitude Festival @ Henham Park, Suffolk, 17-20 Jul

Article by Jason Morton | 08 Jul 2008
  • Sigur Ros

When one stops to think about the UK summer music festival scene – the sheer number of events, the stages and attractions, the amount of talent trekking across the country to entertain the drunk and drugged up crowds – one could easily think ‘This is getting a little out of hand.’

On any given weekend from June to September, there could be two or three lucrative festivals to attend. While all of these events struggle to differentiate themselves from the ever-growing crowd, one that seems bound and determined to be known as the ‘something for everyone’ fest is Latitude, coming to the Suffolk countryside on 17-20 July.

While the main draw will definitely be the four stages of high calibre live music – Glaswegians Franz Ferdinand head up Friday, while Sigur Ros and Interpol follow on Saturday and Sunday, respectively – the festival also features a number of alternative activities for times between a rockin’.

A comedy tent with the inimitable Bill Bailey topping the list may not seem too out of place, but in addition to this, Latitude will also feature a literary arena, with Auld Reekie’s Irvine Welsh, no less, as well as poetry and theatre areas as well. One interesting event will be the ‘Teen Angst’ reading, an open mic event featuring festival-goers reading diary excerpts and poetry from old journals, aiming for humour and probably more than just a dash of embarrassment. But if that’s a little too involved - if you’re still just looking for a dark corner thanks to the over indulgences of the night before - you might find refuge at one of the festival’s film screenings.

Of course, the musical groups also show a promising breadth of style. It could come down to the choice of bluesman Seasick Steve or prog rockers The Mars Volta for some music fans, noisy Liverpudlians Clinic or American indie stalwarts Death Cab for Cutie for others. Long running acts The Breeders and Nick Cave with Grinderman, also appear, as do 70s icons Blondie, joined by relative rookies like Black Kids, Errors and Glasvegas. Unfortunately, M.I.A. – who spent much of her recent North American tour announcing a perpetual ‘last performance’ – will be, well, M.I.A., recently dropping from the bill due to health concerns, but other hip-hop informed acts, such as glitch kids Crystal Castles, should keep bodies moving.

With so many people to accommodate, organisers of Latitude have kept green issues in mind as well, offering eco-friendly showering facilities, and promoting recycling to keep the festival grounds in their state of natural beauty.

Set in the lush greens and woods of Henham Park, Suffolk, Latitude will be a good bet for fans of music, literature, theatre and film, and should deliver a well-rounded experience for those in attendance.