Latitude Festival goers praise ‘amazing’ feeling as music event begins

Revellers at the Latitude Festival have spoken about the ‘amazing feeling’ of being at the first major music event since before the pandemic began.

The four-day festival, which is part of the Government’s Events Research Programme, is expected to be attended by 40,000 people.

Festivalgoers must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test or be double vaccinated to access the site at Henham Park in Suffolk which also boasts its own pop-up vaccination clinic.

Headliners Wolf Alice, The Chemical Brothers, Bastille and Bombay Bicycle Club will perform at the event.

Revellers at the Latitude Festival have spoken about the 'amazing feeling' of being at the first major music event since before the pandemic began

Revellers at the Latitude Festival have spoken about the 'amazing feeling' of being at the first major music event since before the pandemic began

Revellers at the Latitude Festival have spoken about the ‘amazing feeling’ of being at the first major music event since before the pandemic began

The four-day festival, which is part of the Government's Events Research Programme, is expected to be attended by 40,000 people

The four-day festival, which is part of the Government's Events Research Programme, is expected to be attended by 40,000 people

The four-day festival, which is part of the Government’s Events Research Programme, is expected to be attended by 40,000 people

Festivalgoer Rebecca Watson, 32, a creative director from London, who had her nine-month-old daughter Minnie in a baby carrier on her front, said: ‘It’s just amazing, isn’t it? It’s great.

‘And also for Minnie, as she’s never seen any of this before. It’s so good to see people, and happiness.

‘I think it’s the tonic everyone needed at the end of last year.’

Kris Spandler, 31, of Brighton, who is working on a stand at the festival, said: ‘It feels amazing.

‘Last night was an amazing feeling, everyone back together again.

‘The feeling of the energy of everybody just enjoying each other’s company, watching a live act and listening, reacting as a crowd rather than just watching something at home for one-and-a-half years.’

He said the festival feels ‘safe so far’, adding: ‘Everyone’s approaching it like that. Everyone seems happy so far.’

Festivalgoers must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test or be double vaccinated to access the site at Henham Park in Suffolk which also boasts its own pop-up vaccination clinic

Festivalgoers must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test or be double vaccinated to access the site at Henham Park in Suffolk which also boasts its own pop-up vaccination clinic

Festivalgoers must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test or be double vaccinated to access the site at Henham Park in Suffolk which also boasts its own pop-up vaccination clinic

Latitude festival is 'close to being the safest place in England today', its organiser said as the event begins in Suffolk

Latitude festival is 'close to being the safest place in England today', its organiser said as the event begins in Suffolk

Latitude festival is ‘close to being the safest place in England today’, its organiser said as the event begins in Suffolk

Headliners Wolf Alice, The Chemical Brothers, Bastille and Bombay Bicycle Club will perform at the event

Headliners Wolf Alice, The Chemical Brothers, Bastille and Bombay Bicycle Club will perform at the event

Headliners Wolf Alice, The Chemical Brothers, Bastille and Bombay Bicycle Club will perform at the event

Jason Appel, a 45-year-old accountant from north London, said: ‘It feels great, it was really nice, really happy when we walked in.

‘Just generally nice to feel like you’re in a bit of a sanctuary, I think.

‘I think if you’ve come to a festival in the first place you’re going to want to be in a place like this so for me it’s felt absolutely fine.’

University worker Stephen Matthews, 50, from Wivenhoe, near Colchester in Essex, said it felt a ‘little bit odd’ to be back at a festival.

‘It’s a little bit odd,’ he said.

‘Very happy in general, but standing in a crowd for the first time last night was a little bit strange, and feeling people come quite close to you was quite strange.

‘But good to hear live music. I think it is safe but I think there’s a natural anxiety there just because we’re not used to it.’ 

Festivalgoers arrived at the event on Thursday amid the heatwave but the Met Office has warned the high temperatures are not set to last through the weekend

Festivalgoers arrived at the event on Thursday amid the heatwave but the Met Office has warned the high temperatures are not set to last through the weekend

Festivalgoers arrived at the event on Thursday amid the heatwave but the Met Office has warned the high temperatures are not set to last through the weekend

Latitude festival is 'close to being the safest place in England today', its organiser said as the event begins in Suffolk

Latitude festival is 'close to being the safest place in England today', its organiser said as the event begins in Suffolk

Latitude festival is ‘close to being the safest place in England today’, its organiser said as the event begins in Suffolk

Latitude festival is ‘close to being the safest place in England today’, its organiser said as the event begins in Suffolk. 

Melvin Benn, managing director of the Festival Republic group, told Sky News he feels ‘very relaxed, not anxious at all’ as the four-day music event gets under way.

He said: ‘I am really very happy and very relaxed. I hope I look relaxed, I feel very relaxed.

‘We had a great night last night. It was a huge party. None of the main stage acts were playing but there is a lot going on in the woods, on the lake and in the theatre area.

‘I’m very relaxed, not anxious at all. It is probably as close to being the safest place in England today really.’

Two acts – Irish band Fontaines DC and singer-songwriter Alfie Templeman – have been forced to pull out of appearing at the festival after positive Covid-19 tests.

Mr Benn said it is a ‘shame’ they cannot perform but he suggested the programme has not been badly affected.

Upcoming summer music fesivals 

ALL POINTS EAST

When: August 27-29 Where: Victoria Park, London

BIG FEASTIVAL

When: August 27-29 Where: Kingham, Oxfordshire

BLOODSTOCK

When: August 11-15 Where: Catton Park, Derbyshire

CAMP BESTIVAL

When: July 29 – August 1 Where: Lulworth Castle, Dorset

CREAMFIELDS

When: August 26-29 Where: Daresbury, Cheshire

ISLE OF WIGHT

When: September 16-19 (rescheduled) Where: Seaclose Park, Newport

KENDALL CALLING

When: July 29 – August 1 Where: Lowther Deer Park, Cumbria 

READING AND LEEDS

When: August 27-29 Where: Little John’s Farm, Reading; Bramham Park, Leeds

WIRELESS

When: September 10-12 (rescheduled) Where: Crystal Palace Park, London

 

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He said: ‘I think most of them (the acts) are existing in a little bubble until they have managed to come and play.

‘We did lose a couple but there were people standing by waiting to come and play, so we have managed to replace them.

‘It was a real shame for Alfie and for Fontaines and some people would have been coming just for them – not just for them but were really looking forward to them.

‘But I think we have got good replacements and the festival overall is just worth coming to full stop.’

Festival Republic, which also runs heavy rock event Download, mainly booked British and Irish acts for Latitude due to travel complications amid the pandemic.

Camilla Staveley-Taylor from indie folk trio The Staves, who are due to perform at the festival, told Sky News: ‘There is nothing like feeling the energy from a group of people and sharing in an experience together.

‘Festivals are that times 10 because there are so many people gathered together and there is such a sense of unity and that has been so missing in the last year.’

Festivalgoers arrived at the event on Thursday amid the heatwave but the Met Office has warned the high temperatures are not set to last through the weekend. 

Earlier this month, the organisers said a number of ministers and MPs will be among the crowds at the event.

Social distancing measures were lifted in England on Monday meaning music festivals can go ahead, however some events including Glastonbury and Womad have been cancelled for 2021.

Elsewhere, Rory Bett, organiser of the Wilderness festival, yesterday told Jo Wiley on Radio 2 that the event had been struggling to find enough portable toilets and scaffolding after being snapped at by Covid testing centres.

Speaking about the difficulties festivals had faced this year, he said: ‘The most important problems we have had to overcome is just the uncertainty of whether we were going to be bale to actually operate – a lot of festivals have had to cancelled due to either a lack of insurance or just the fact the Government were being slightly vague about whether we could actually open etc etc.

‘But really all we needed was the green light. We’ve all been straining at the leash to do this…

‘I think some of the other problems have been more circumstantial due to the last 18 months. The government have a lot of our infrastructure tied up in the testing centres – be that scaffolding or toilets or staff or security.’  

Link hienalouca.com

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