Wellies, coats and umbrellas will be among the first items packed as tens of thousands prepare to head to Latitude Festival today.

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The seventh edition of the popular music and arts festival at Henham Park, near Southwold, starts this afternoon, with the majority of the entertainment packed into Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Weekend campers will start setting up their tents this afternoon and be hoping for dry weather as they prepare to enjoy some of the biggest acts in music, theatre and comedy.

Yesterday, festival founder Melvin Benn said that he was filled with excitement ahead of the weekend, although concerns of festival-goers concerns about the weather rose during the day as early morning sunshine gave way to heavy rain and thunder in the afternoon.

But despite this, the organiser said he was hoping to avoid the muddy scenes seen at the British Grand Prix last weekend and at the Isle of Wight Festival last month.

Mr Benn said: “Ground conditions still good and really hopeful we are going to be spared some of the weather horrors we have seen recently.

“I can’t wait for everyone to be here.”

A spokesman for the festival added: “The car parks are looking great at the moment and feel good underfoot, and the actual festival site is sandy and drains really well, so we’re confident that a few showers will not cause disruption.”

However, they said that there was the chance of slight delays in peak times for those arriving by car.

Weather expert Chris Bell has warned that rain is expected this weekend, with the wettest conditions expected in the next two days.

Mr Bell from Weatherquest, said: “We are looking at rain spreading across with an increased chance after 6pm.

“The rain showers will then linger around for much of the day on Friday, with on and off rain showers.

“For Saturday there is a suspicion of it being a little better with more sunshine, but there is the potential for sharp showers on Saturday, with things to improve on Sunday and Monday, with maybe the small chance of showers but nothing too significant.”

The festival’s main music stage will be headlined by Bon Iver, Elbow and Paul Weller, with Rufus Wainwright also likely to prove popular with the early Sunday afternoon session.

White Lies, The Horrors, Wild Beasts and BRIT Award winners Lana Del Rey will be at the Word Arena, while there will be a unique moment when classical superstar Lang Lang brings his piano to the Waterfront Stage at midday on Sunday.

The comedy arena is always a popular tent at the festival and this year those attending will be able to enjoy Russell Kane, Tim Minchin, David O’Doherty, Greg Davies and a rare festival appearance from Jack Dee.

Theatre, poetry and cabaret arenas will also be filled with familiar names, while there will be a wide range of local artists involved, including Bungay-based poet Luke Wright and Lowestoft-born Karl Theobald, who will be performing in a question and answer session about the BBC comedy Twenty Twelve.

The Norwich and Norfolk Medieval Association, Museum of East Anglian Life and Kitwitchers of Norwich will also be on site to explore the rich history of the surrounding area, while the usual children’s arena and renowned colourful sheep will also be there.

Advanced Saturday tickets have sold out but a limited number will be available from the onsite box office. Friday, Sunday and weekend tickets are all still available.

For more details on tickets visit www.latitudefestival.co.uk

To follow our live coverage throughout the weekend visit www.edp24.co.uk

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