Music festival weathers tent trouble

They say necessity is the mother of invention, which is never more true than when the wind rips a hole in your 315ft tent just days before a festival starts.

They say necessity is the mother of invention, which is never more true than when the wind rips a hole in your 315ft tent just days before a festival starts.

So music-lovers at East Anglia's biggest festival will find the main stage an open-air arena rather than the enormous marquee which had been hired for the occasion. After the mishap, Latitude organisers Mean Fiddler decided they did not need a tent, after all. So they searched high and low for banners, and brought in 150 colourful flags at the last minute from Ireland to mark out the arena space.

The wind, rain and even Monday's hail has not dampened spirits at Henham park, between Beccles and Southwold, and the finishing touches are being put on preparations for the 20,000-strong Latitude festival, which will feature music, comedy, poetry, literature, theatre and cabaret. The green toilets painted with flowers have been put up, the bars are being built - made from wood reclaimed from skips with reclaimed tarpaulin roofs - and the multi-coloured sheep which proved a hit last year are being dyed.

The other marquees and arenas at the festival are already up, and the Sunrise stage has moved to an “absolutely beautiful” location deep in the park's woods.

Although this year's capacity is up on last year, when it was held for the first time, there are just 200 tickets left for the festival, and it is expected to sell out completely by 6pm today. Saturday and Sunday tickets have already sold out.

Mean Fiddler managing director Melvin Benn, who has created the festival, said yesterday: “The weather has been awful, but the grass is in great condition. Everyone has made a real effort.

Most Read

“It is looking really good. We have got 48 hours left and we probably need 47 of them, but I am pleased with how things are going. It is clear that it is a special festival. Most of my team work on Glastonbury and Reading and Leeds but they bring a different mindset to this, because it is so special.”

Parts of the festival will be broadcast on Radio 1, Sky Arts and Radio 4. Festivalgoers start arriving tomorrow, with some entertainment laid on tomorrow night, while the festival gets under way properly on Friday and finishes on Sunday night.

The Latitude timetable has not yet been confirmed, but approx-imate timings are expected to be:

Friday: The Magic Numbers at 7pm, Wilco at 8pm and Damien Rice at 9pm or 9.30pm until 11pm.

Saturday: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at 7pm, CSS at 8pm and The Good, The Bad and The Queen at 9pm or 9.30pm until 11pm.

Sunday: Jarvis Cocker at 8pm and Arcade Fire at 9pm or 9.30pm until 11pm.

Some of the biggest names on the comedy circuit will also be performing, including Bill Bailey, Russell Howard, Dylan Moran and Adam Hills.

Other acts include the Royal Court Theatre and stand-up poetry from Simon Armitage.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter