Latitude: A weekend to remember

Sarah Brealey The trees of Henham Park were lit up in reds, greens and blues, and giant illuminated water lilies floated on the lake. Once again the Latitude festival took the beautiful Suffolk landscape and added a touch of the surreal and the unexpected - as well as plenty of entertainment.

Sarah Brealey

The trees of Henham Park were lit up in reds, greens and blues, and giant illuminated water lilies floated on the lake.

Once again the Latitude festival took the beautiful Suffolk landscape and added a touch of the surreal and the unexpected - as well as plenty of entertainment.

For most of the 25,000 visitors it was a weekend to remember.

There was a whole string section, xylophones and glockenspiels on stage as Sigur Ros played their headline set on Saturday night. Some people loved it - although the next morning's Early Edition cruelly dubbed it “lift music”.

Norwich poet John Osborne pleased local listeners with references to Chapelfield Gardens and drinking in Take Five. He read a homage to Simon Armitage, which began: “I work in Anglian Windows, and no-one there has heard of you.”

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Appropriately, he was followed by the Huddersfield poet himself, who summed up the festival experience when he said: “I have been camping for three days and now I really stink.”

He added: “I just came out of the toilet with a toilet roll under one arm and a copy of my own poems under the other. I said to the guy: 'This is not what it looks like.'”

Today, Phill Jupitus was joined on stage by Marcus Brigstocke and Ross Noble - who both hosted their own shows at other times over the weekend - for a sometimes-hilarious hour of improvisation. On Saturday Bill Bailey performed to an audience thousands strong, only a small proportion of which could actually see him.

Although the comedy tent was bigger than last year, with added screens, it was still nowhere near big enough, and the sound from the speakers didn't quite seem to match up with the screens. The other unsatisfactory aspects were mainly toilet-related. They stank at the best of times, the toilet roll ran out regularly and the adverts for the Guillemots single, Don't Look Down, plastered on the toilet walls, were horribly appropriate. There were also reports of burglaries from tents, although festival-goers had been warned not to leave anything valuable inside.

But Cyan Fulbrook, 21, a graphic designer from Bacton, near Yarmouth, said: “The comedy has been absolutely amazing. Bill Bailey and Ross Noble - I would have paid for the whole weekend just to see them.

“It has a lovely atmosphere, so relaxed. It is lovely that you have got so many things, it is not just music. It feels really safe as well. There is a communal spirit, people look out for each other.”

Richard Balls, a PR manager from Norwich, said: “It is very eclectic. It is a proper arts festival, not just a music festival. They have done really well to get the bands that they have. It is a shame the comedy tent isn't bigger.”

The weekend was rounded off with Interpol, with Nick Cave's band Grinderman and Debbie Harry's Blondie going head-to-head on different stages immediately beforehand to help bring the night to a triumphant conclusion.

But it was Elbow who summed up the weekend with a triumphant set as the sun went down and the clouds went pink. They finished with a rousing rendition of a Day Like This, whose chorus ran “Well anyway, It's looking like a beautiful day”. The song was note-perfect, the rain was forgotten and the words seemed absolutely true.