Despite the odd shower in the night for the happy campers of Latitude Festival, the sun sat highly in the sky for majority of the weekend. The picturesque landscapes that fill the perimeter of the site are well groomed for the festival goers eyes, and people of all ages saunter in amongst the decor that fills the site. Friday’s spirits did however take a serious hit at the well respected family festival, as news came through that a lady had been raped on the previous day.
Local lads These Ghosts were a breath of fresh air to the Suffolk music scene as they lured in a decent crowd with their ever growing fan base. Shortly after, Villagers rolled onto the stage playing a short but perfected slot in The Word Arena. Opening with ‘The Meaning of the Ritual’ the set surged on featuring knee slides and was a pleasure to watch Connor O’Brien on fine form vocally. With Sunrise Arena on the verge of falling down, causing an hour delay, it allowed me to see more of Wild Beasts wailing set before I set off to join an equally sized crowd at Tokyo Police Club who thrashed out songs from their new album Champ.
18 year old Rachel Furner followed by The Cads were pleasant openings to The Lake Stage on Saturday morning. Both outfits playing Latitude for the first time and their showcase of excitement was a pleasure to watch. Shortly after, Frightened Rabbit raised the bar in the Word Arena playing a tight set including a selection of songs from all three of their albums. There were few acts that got swallowed up and unable to conquer the vast space at the Obelisk Arena. The Maccabees‘ mature display on this stage proved they were worthy of their main stage slot at Reading and Leeds. The xx then took to The Word Arena for their headline slot, opening with ‘Intro’ quickly followed by single, ‘Crystalised’. The tent was filled to the edges with hungry xx fans, resulting in a dark mystic atmosphere to finish the day.
The Antlers played with a more rock feel to as they sieved through their sentiment from Hospice, at The Word Arena. Undoubtedly, Mumford and Sons‘ performance shortly after on The Obelisk Stage was the main focus for many, with fans only fault in the performance being that it was too short. Marcus Mumford and co’s set was executed beautifully, playing hits from debut album Sigh No More and bringing in one of the biggest crowds of the entire festival. Later on, greed overcome me as I squeezed in most of Vampire Weekend‘s final festival set of the year which even saw Simon Amstell’s head nodding, followed by half of Grizzly Bear‘s set, who exceeded expectations.
All in all for a five year old diverse festival, Latitude has a lot to offer. The commercial circuit that is the British festival scene can be slated for its repetition across the country, but you can’t arrive to the sunny/windy Suffolk and argue that it’s the same as the rest. Yes, you do see Florence And The Machine play their umpteenth set over the last year or two, and yes, the sheep are a lot smaller than on the photos, but if you want to see some of your favourite smaller bands play higher up on the bill, with the energy and charisma that you should see in most bands, Latitude is the place for you; and it’s not just a music festival you know…