'The vibe is good' - Return to normality on first day of Latitude Festival
- Credit: Archant
Music fans from across the country were in high spirits on the first day of Latitude Festival as they were allowed to party in a crowd of strangers once more.
The event in Suffolk's Henham Park runs until Sunday, with headliners Wolf Alice, The Chemical Brothers, Bombay Bicycle Club and Bastille ReOrchestrated.
It is the first major UK festival to take place following 'Freedom Day' and the lifting of the majority of Covid restrictions on July 19 and it is part of the government's Event Research Programme (ERP).
After two years without a Latitude Festival, people were very glad to be back and to put the worries of the last year-and-a-half behind them for the weekend.
Mikey Jones, 28, from Norwich, said: "We had tickets for the year before and held onto them and it is awesome to get out and about.
"It is a bit weird because there is Covid, but like the rest of the country I think at what point do you not just try and do normal and nice things."
While the event, which will welcome 40,000 people over the weekend, offers welcome escapism from the pandemic, there are reminders across the site, including enough hand sanitiser to probably fill the lake in Henham Park.
Attendees also had to show proof of either a negative lateral flow test or that they were double vaccinated to enter and a vaccine bus is offering Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs.
Sammy Najimaldin, 38, from Newport, said: "I'm here on a stag do and we are all double jabbed, as we are that old, and it is my first ever festival as I hate camping.
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"There is not enough people dressed up but the vibe is good."
Acts performing on Friday afternoon on the Obelisk Arena main stage included JC Stewart, Maisie Peters, signed to Ed Sheeran's record label, and Beabadoobee.
Access Creative College, which has campuses in seven cities including Norwich, celebrated its 11th year curating the Inbetweeners Stage, with singer Lucy Grubb the opening act on Friday.
The festival is also great for families, with a dedicated Kids Area offering a whole host of activities, and for food, with a huge selection of vendors in its Street Feast.
Kate Hill, 34, from Leicestershire, said: "We love being here and that it is a family-friendly festival and it is just an exciting and fun place to be."