Get into the festival spirit this summer
EMMA LEE Latitude, at Henham Park, Southwold, is the newest addition to the UK’s growing festival circuit. EMMA LEE has the lowdown on the coolest places to be seen at and the hottest outfits to be seen in this summer.
Glastonbury might be off the festival calendar this summer while farmer Michael Eavis takes a well-earned break - but there are plenty of other alternatives on offer.
And the good news for East Anglia's music fans is that the latest addition is on their doorstep.
The grounds of Henham Park, Southwold, are the setting for Latitude. From Mean Fiddler, the company which organises the Glastonbury and Reading and Leeds festivals, it's billed as a new sort of festival.
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The three-day event, from July 14-16, is being headlined by Snow Patrol, Mercury Music Prize winners Antony and the Johnsons and Mogwai. They will be joined by The Zutons, Mercury Rev, Patti Smith, Swedish troubadour Jose Gonzalez, the Lemonheads and Mystery Jets, with more acts to be announced.
But it's not just about the music.
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DJs, comedy, burlesque, sculpture, theatre, dance, politics, poetry, book readings, art and film are also lined up.
The Henham Park estate is recorded in the Domesday book and has been in the Rous family line since 1544. Hecktor Rous, the son of the sixth Earl of Stradbroke, currently runs the estate.
Weekend tickets, including car parking and camping, cost £95 and day tickets, including car parking only, are £40 (plus booking fee). To book phone 0870 060 3775 or visit meanfiddler.com or seetickets.com. For latest details about the line-up visit www.latitudefestival.com
But if you're planning on venturing further afield here's our guide to the best of the festivals.
Nokia Isle of Wight Festival (June 9-11)
t What's the vibe? A mixture of big names - and vintage prog rock.
t Who's playing? Coldplay, Foo Fighters and the Prodigy are the headliners. Up and coming names include the Kooks, Editors and Kubb. And there's Procol Harum too.
t How much? Visit www.iselofwightfestival.com for latest availability.
The Eden Sessions (various dates throughout August)
t What's the vibe? The stunning Biomes of the Eden Project in Cornwall are the setting for three nights of music.
t Who's playing? The Magic Numbers and Jose Gonzalez (August 12), Goldfrapp (August 25) and Snow Patrol (August 27).
t How much? Each night costs £30, and the ticket includes free entry to the Eden Project on the day of the concert or the day after. For latest availability phone 01726 811972 or visit www.edenbookings.com
Cambridge Folk Festival (July 27-30)
t What's the vibe? One of the longest-running and most famous folk festivals in the world, held in the grounds of Cherry Hinton Hall.
t Who's playing? Emmylou Harris, Mercury Music Prize-nominated Seth Lakeman, Nizlopi and acclaimed Malian duo Amadou and Mariam.
t How much? Visit www.cambridgefolkfestival.co.uk for latest availability.
Summer Sundae (August 11-13)
t What's the vibe? Radio 6Music DJ Steve Lamacq describes it as the 'grandson of Glastonbury'. Held at DeMontfort Hall, Leicester.
t Who's playing? Belle and Sebastian, Elbow and Jose Gonzalez are among the better known names. There's also the chance to catch the hotly tipped acts the NME is talking about, such as Guillemots and Howling Bells.
t How much? Weekend tickets are £75. Visit www.summersundae.com or phone 0116 2333 111.
V Festival (August 19 and 20)
t What's the vibe? It's corporate sponsorship a go-go at what's called the UK's 'poshest' festival, held over two sites in Chelmsford and Staffordshire. But it's also Radiohead's only UK appearance this summer.
t Who's playing? Morrissey, Paul Weller, Hard-Fi, The Charlatans, Fatboy Slim and Girls Aloud. Yes, you did read the last one correctly.
t How much does it cost? Too late - it's sold out.
Carling Weekend Reading/ Leeds (August 25-27)
t What's the vibe? There tends to be a bit more of a rock leaning to the Reading/Leeds line-up. But there's also plenty of names to keep indie kids happy.
t Whos' playing? Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys, Kaiser Chiefs, Raconteurs, Pearl Jam, Maximo Park and Primal Scream.
t How much does it cost? Weekend tickets are sold out, but a limited number of day tickets are still available at £60 each. Visit www.readingfestival.com or phone 0870 060 3775.
Bestival (September 8-10)
t What's the vibe? A boutique festival from Radio One DJ Rob Da Bank. It's held at Robin Hill country park on the Isle of Wight - and you can camp in a tipi or yurt.
t Who's playing? It's an eclectic mix. The Pet Shop Boys and Scissor Sisters are two of the headliners. Others slated to play include Mystery Jets, Hot Chip, John Martyn and amazing one-man-band Son of Dave.
t How much does it cost? Weekend tickets cost £105 including camping. Day tickets are now sold out. For the latest additions to the line-up availability go to www.bestival.net or call 08700 667 753.
Heading to a festival? Here's our guide to looking as stylish as Kate Moss and co.
Festival wear needs to be chic, but cheap. With its potential to become a mudbath, the festival is not the place for Prada and Jimmy Choos. You're best off sticking to Primark.
As the British weather is so changeable layering is the key - like wearing a sundress over jeans.
Polka dots and florals are two of the summer's biggest fashion statements. If it's sizzling, make sure you're protected against the sun.
A kaftan is a good solution to the problem - it covers you up, but the lightweight fabric makes them cool too. Add some long beads or an oversized sun hat to add a bit of hippy chic.
At the risk of sounding like your mum, make sure you take at least one jumper or cardigan. Summer evenings can get pretty chilly.
You're going to be on your feet for much of the day - and zipping between stages can be a bit of a trek, so make sure your shoes are comfy. Flip-flops are great if the weather is hot - but mind your toes don't get trampled on in the moshpit. This season's flat ballet pumps are a practical yet stylish alternative.
When it comes to wellies there's two options for puddle dodging. You could go for traditional Hunters, as sported by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow or jazz up an outfit and brighten up a rainy day with floral or polka dot prints.
A waterproof is an absolute must. But functional doesn't have to mean frumpy. The outdoor shop Millets sells a range of colourful kagoules.
FESTIVAL SURVIVAL KIT
t Toilet rolls. The standard of festival toilets has, thankfully, improved in recent years, but better safe than sorry.
t Bin liners. If it rains you can sit on them or use them to keep your belongings dry. And then you can use them to clear all your rubbish away at the end of the festival.
t Sunscreen and a hat. This is common sense. If the sun puts in an appearance make sure you slather on the sunscreen and wear a hat. But please think 'Sienna' rather than 'jester'.
t Water. Make sure you drink plenty. If you're passing water less than three times a day it means you are dehydrated.
t A torch. Under cover of darkness it's really easy to lose your bearings - and trip over guy ropes.
t First aid kit. Pack some painkillers, plasters and antiseptic.
t Wet wipes and dry shampoo. Most festivals do have showers on site nowadays, but the queues can be horrendous.
t Money. Festivals do usually have cashpoints on site, but you don't want to miss one of your favourite bands because you're stuck in a queue. Take money with you, but never ever leave it, or any other valuables, in your tent.
t Wellies. Even if the weather forecast promises four days of unbroken sunshine, as revellers at last year's Glastonbury will testify it can take a very short time for a lush green field to be transformed into a swamp.