Latitude going ahead 'at full capacity' with on-site Covid testing

Latitude at Henham Park in Suffolk.People arriving in the sunshine to set up camp on the first day

Flashback: With all restrictions on social distancing due to end by June 21 hopes are high that Suffolk's Latitude Festival can go ahead as normal. - Credit: James Bass

The Latitude Festival will go ahead this summer "at full capacity" with on-site Covid testing among safety protocols.

It means some 40,000 people will head to Henham Park, in Suffolk,  from Thursday, July 22 to Sunday, July 25 after last year's event was cancelled in April due to the pandemic.

Latitude founder Melvin Benn is looking forward to some great music. Photo: Marc Sethi

Latitude founder Melvin Benn has released a statement on the festival's website detailing his hopes for the 2021 event. - Credit: Archant

A statement from founder Melvin Benn posted on the website on March 19 said: "Summer‌ ‌is‌ ‌on‌ ‌its‌ ‌way,‌ ‌and‌ ‌we‌ ‌can’t‌ ‌wait‌ ‌to‌ ‌welcome‌ ‌everyone‌ ‌back‌ ‌to‌ ‌Henham‌ ‌Park‌ ‌for‌ ‌Latitude‌ ‌Festival‌ ‌in‌ ‌July.‌ ‌

"We‌ ‌are‌ ‌aware‌ ‌that‌ ‌many‌ ‌of‌ ‌you‌ ‌may‌ ‌have‌ ‌some‌ ‌concerns‌ ‌regarding‌ ‌safety‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌festival.‌

"‌We’d‌ ‌like‌ ‌to‌ ‌reassure‌ ‌you‌ ‌all‌ ‌that‌ ‌we‌ ‌are‌ ‌working‌ ‌hard‌ ‌behind‌ ‌the‌ ‌scenes,‌ ‌and‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌following‌ ‌all‌ ‌government‌ ‌guidelines‌ ‌and‌ ‌legislation‌ ‌to‌ ‌ensure‌ ‌Latitude‌ ‌is‌ ‌safe‌ ‌for‌ ‌all.‌"

He added the vaccination programme and large scale testing meant "we really can go ahead" as long as the prevailing situation was deemed safe by the Government and all necessary safety protocols were in place.

Under the prime minister's lockdown exit plan there will be no limit on social distancing from June 21.

Latitude festival. Pic: Victor Frankowski.

Flashback: Scenes like these are set to be repeated at the Latitude Festival which is planning to go ahead 'at full capacity' in 2021. - Credit: Victor Frankowski/Archant Archives

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In the FAQs section it said the festival would go ahead "at full capacity as normal."

It also said people who had not been vaccinated would be Covid-tested before entry to the park.

Brit award winner Lewis Capaldi has been announced as the Obelisk headliner on the Friday night.

Bastille, who were named British breakthrough act at the 2014 Brit Awards, will headline on Saturday night and play their back catalogue of hits including Pompeii and Of the Night. 

And it will be "third time lucky" for Snow Patrol who had to pull out in 2019 due to illness, and were due to play last year.

The band, who lead the line-up at the first ever festival in 2006, will take the Sunday lunchtime slot.

The festival started with a modest crowd of 15,000 and now hosts some 40,000 who are entertained across a variety of stages.

This  year the festival is a week later than usual so it falls in the summer holidays.