Sun and high temperatures yesterday at the Latitude Festival

The wet start to this year's Latitude Festival was soon forgotten yesterday as crowds were greeted with sun and high temperatures – and the fun started.

The good weather continued throughout the day and saw 35,000 festival revellers immersing themselves in everything the festival has to offer.

From painting green handprints on exposed skin to covering themselves in hay laid on the ground, it was a fantastic start to the weekend-long event at Henham Park, between Beccles and Southwold.

Daisy-strewn Anna-Marie Simpson, 19, from Essex, said she could not believe how 'fantastic' the weather had been. 'We were slipping all over the place putting our tents up but it was such a relief to see the sun,' she said. 'KT Tunstall has so far been the most amazing act at the festival and I can't wait to start it all again.'

Six students from City College Norwich will also be enjoying the action today, but from backstage. Taking part in a day's work experience backstage at Latitude, they will be learning what goes into putting on a major live music festival.

The students are all training for careers in the music and events business and are studying on the college's Extended National Diploma in Production Arts and the National Diploma in Music.

Yvonne Frosdick, 18, from Rockland St Mary, said: 'I'm hoping to go on to do festival management and this trip will definitely help me with that.'

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Jo Pretty, head of the school of creative and business industries at City College Norwich, said: 'This is a great opportunity for students to experience first hand what is involved in organising and setting up what is increasingly becoming of one of the UK's biggest music festivals.

'Thanks to our partnership with the National Skills Academy Creative and Cultural, we are pleased to be able to give our students a real insight into this area of work.'

Melvin Benn, head of organisers Festival Republic, added: 'We welcome the opportunity for students on music-based courses to witness the running of the main stage.'

Back in the arena, the 18 stages and areas were packed with acts catering for all tastes but for anyone not able to get tickets Zoe Ball presented coverage on Sky Arts 1 last night.

Tourism bosses announced this week that they hope the long-term commitment of the Latitude Festival to Suffolk will reap a �100m bonus for the county's economy over the next 20 years and Festival Republic said it expects to make a profit from the festival for the first time this year.

Other highlights yesterday included Bombay Bicycle Club, the headline act in the Word Arena, and Radio 1 DJ Annie Nightingale in the Sunrise Arena. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon were in the Film and Music Arena and writers Rory McGrath and Julie Myerson were in the Literary Arena.

Today Paolo Nutini will headline in the Obelisk Arena, and Foals are the headline act in the Word Arena. Comic Omid Djalili is in the Comedy Arena and there will be a question and answer session with Suffolk-born film star Ralph Fiennes in the Film and Music Arena.

donna-louise.bishop@archant.co.uk

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