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By BEN WOODS
Saturday, July 14, 2012
It takes no great insight to realise festival camping has its fair share of challenges.
Finding your tent can be hard enough - let alone navigating the booby-trap web of guide ropes while stumbling back in the early hours.
But it’s your sense of ‘personal space’ which really takes the strain. From the tip of your nose touching someone’s neck in a queue, to discovering a tent set up 30 cm away from your own.
Still; seeing your privacy become as churned as the festival pathways does have its benefits.
The close proximity forces you to hear dozens of conversations, which, unsurprisingly, revolve around the acts and the weather.
Apparently, there is nothing like a British festival to bring out people’s inner weather forecaster.
It is not unusual to hear mixed predictions of sunshine, showers, and storms despite little change in the outlook.
This morning at Latitude Festival (Saturday July 14) much of the chit chat was focused on last night’s torrential down pour.
It came just after midnight.
I was sitting in the Literary Arena listening to Nat Luurtsema talking about her new book, Cuckoo in the Nest, when the rain reached tipping point.
Twice she stopped as the sound came close to drowning out her voice, and people continued to file in for shelter. The weather could change an acts popularity in seconds – and Nat was not complaining.
Assessing the damage on the way back to the tent, it was clear this morning was going to be a headache for organisers.
Workers targeted the worst spots with scatterings of wood chip, and created a diversion away from the woodland pathway where the mud was ankle deep in places.
But the mood throughout the site was still care free and buoyant. As one woman said in typical Latitude Festival form: “A little bit of mud never hurt anybody.”