So many highlights at this year’s Latitude festival

Bloc Party perform on the Obelisk stage during the Latitude Festival at Henham Park near Southwold

Bloc Party perform on the Obelisk stage during the Latitude Festival at Henham Park near Southwold - Credit: PA

As Henham Park recovers from another year's Latitude, reporters DAVID FREEZER and SAM RUSSELL look back on another successful festival.

Sparkling headline performances, performance tents packed to capacity, good weather and quirky culture – the eighth edition of Suffolk's Latitude Festival had it all.

As tens of thousands of festival-goers today recover from the weekend's festivities, they have plenty of weekend highlights to tell their friends about.

Headline music acts Bloc Party, Kraftwerk and Foals all lived up to their billing on the festival's main stage Obilesk Arena.

The scorching temperatures and bright sunshine of Thursday and Friday gave way to cloudy skies on Saturday and Sunday but, crucially, the rain stayed away.


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And festival founder and organiser, Melvin Benn, was delighted with how the entire weekend had gone.

Mr Benn was among more than 25,000 people who crowded in front of the Obilesk Arena for the intriguing 3D performance from German electro legends Kraftwerk.

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With up to 6,000 crammed into the imposing big top style tent of the BBC Six Music stage for Verve front-man Richard Ashcroft and headliners Alt-J, Mr Benn said the Saturday night of the festival will live long in his memory.

'We had the biggest crowd at the Obilesk yet and the biggest crowd in Six Music, the rest of the site must have been entirely empty, it was just unbelievable,' said Mr Benn.

'A chap stopped me as I was leaving the arena (after watching Kraftwerk) and he said, 'I now know there is a God, he's German and he's called Ralf' (Hütter).

'I spoke to the band after and Ralf was overwhelmed at how good it was.

'Alt-J as well, I spoke to their agent and he couldn't drink enough champagne, it was so good.

'The band were saying that for them it was like coming home because here was their first festival gig, here at the Lake Stage, as an unknown act.

'Then within a year they've won the Mercury Music Prize and come back home to play to their audience.'

One area of the festival which continues to grow is the Comedy Arena, which this year featured top acts such as Eddie Izzard, Dylan Moran and Sean Lock.

With a sigh of exasperation Mr Benn said he hadn't even been able to get into any of the comedy performances because of the arena's popularity.

The Comedy Arena has already been expanded in size to accommodate the demand but still the crowds have been huge on all three days.

'It's been so busy that it's been difficult to get in, you have to get there the day before to get a seat,' continued Mr Benn.

'It's phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal, and for the artists it's a good opportunity to get together with other performers, the musicians and the comedians, to just come and hang out.

'Bill Bailey was on stage just watching a reggae act in the Mark Lemar set and it's brilliant that he's here just to enjoy the festival.'

But there is little respite for Mr Benn and the Latitude organisers, as planning for next year's festival is already under way.

Although Mr Benn was keeping his cards close to his chest about next year's potential headliners, adding: 'A month ago I had a headliner ring up to say, we're putting on these shows which are on sale but we might not put any more shows on if we can headline Latitude.

'I said I'd be delighted to have them and this far we have not had a repeat act as a headliner.'

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