Campers descended on Latitude Festival this afternoon as Henham Park opened to tens of thousands of people.

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Gates at the park, near Southwold, opened before the expected 2pm time as streams of festival-goers competed for the best possible camping site.

All were armed with coats and wellies, with the weather the most popular conversation topic.

Wet weather has been forecast for the weekend, but everyone was hoping that the afternoon sunshine would continue.

The car parks and camping areas remained in good condition, but there was mud between the camping area and the arena, with rain starting to fall at 8pm.

Emma Pigeon, 37, of Great Plumstead, said she was “optimistic” about it.

She was there with a group of eight friends, who all used to play for the Lakenham Hewett Rugby Club.

“It is really relaxed and friendly atmosphere and we come every year with friends from the club,” she said.

Claire Lussignea, 44, of Norwich city centre, said: “It feels lovely as there are lots of people we know here. I like music, theatre and comedy.”

David Bateman, 58, from Forncett End, near Long Stratton, was also there with a group of friends.

Mr Bateman said: “I enjoy the ballet and the theatre. This is our sixth time and we have camped each time.

“It is gentle but the weather can be a killer.”

Sarah Bell, 42, of Old Catton, added: “I always see lots of bands and enjoy chilling out in the nice atmosphere.”

Heather Brown, 53, of Kings Lynn, was there with her husband James, daughter Laura and daughter’s boyfriend Nick.

Mrs Brown, who said it was her first time at the festival, said: “It’s been great so far so if the weather holds that is the main thing.

“We are a little bit nervous about that, but we have lots of stuff so we are prepared.”

The main arena opened shortly after 5.30pm, with this evening’s entertainment including theatre and a DJ set from Dermot O’Leary.

It is the seventh edition of the popular music and arts festival.

For coverage throughout the weekend visit www.edp24.co.uk

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