Photo Credit Carpe Diem Emmie
40,000 people ascended onto Suffolk's Henham Park for the 12th edition of Latitude Festival. One of the UK's most varied and immersive festival experiences once again played host to my first festival experience between 13-16 July. There is a real feel for the buzzing atmosphere once you arrive at the festival gates, quickly immersing yourself into the sea of tents to find your pitch for the weekend. 

The festival really transforms the park space and captures more than just live music; there's the opportunity to see and watch some of the best live Dance and Theatre performances, Comedy performances, live DJ sets and spoken word to mention a few. Being a family friendly festival there's also a kid's arena where activities are put on specifically for the younger audience to enjoy.  There is really something for everyone in this festival, the festival also include disabled access making the festival as accessible as possible for it's audiences to enjoy. 
Photo Credit Carpe Diem Emmie
Photo Credit Carpe Diem Emmie
I arrived on the Friday evening and quickly headed towards the main arena, the Obelisk Arena to watch one of the best bands in the UK in the last decade. I have loved The 1975 for a very long time so to watch them make their headline debut on a festival platform was incredible. They played some of their newest releases like Somebody Else to some of their definite favourites with the crowd like Chocolate and Girls. The atmosphere with this performance alone was captivating in the buzz and excitement awaiting us for the rest of the weekend. 

We also managed to catch a glimpse of cult show Happy TV star Dom Joly as he presented his stage show Hello. It was an insight to some of his various ventures and thoughts through different parts of his career, it was quite good fun to watch. As we were pretty exhausted we decided to have a quick dance in the forest closest to us were there was a Smirnoff House party styled event taking place, dropping some of the latest and much loved beats to really get the people dancing the night away. Not going to lie having our tent pitched not far away from this event was frustrating and difficult to sleep through, I'd definitely suggest taking some ear plugs with you if you plan on getting a decent sleep. 

On the Saturday there was a lot of action to condense and enjoy at the festival so it was an early start to embrace everything that Latitude really had to offer, because there's a lot of it! We wandered through SOLAS, a area within the backdrop of the woods that really focuses on Body&Soul. In this area you witness some of the best emerging UK and Irish talent from across the musical spectrum as well as a selection of healing treatments and holistic arts to boot. 

Photo Credit Carpe Diem Emmie
Photo Credit Carpe Diem Emmie
Photo Credit Carpe Diem Emmie
Photo Credit Carpe Diem Emmie
Photo Credit Carpe Diem Emmie
Photo Credit Carpe Diem Emmie
Photo Credit Carpe Diem Emmie
Photo Credit Carpe Diem Emmie
Photo Credit Carpe Diem Emmie
Photo Credit Carpe Diem Emmie
Photo Credit Carpe Diem Emmie
Photo Credit Carpe Diem Emmie
The Faraway Forest is has a real element of surprise, there's something different for you to discover around every corner that really engages in your imagination. There was a fabulous programme of theatre performances, interactive art installations as well as a walk through a wood that you won't forget. I was particularly drawn to watching the performance from SBC Theatre & Leeds Beckett of Stand and Be Counted, a combination of both spoken word and movement with a strong political thread. In a time where young people are becoming more passionate and intertwined into the state of UK politics, this piece echoed the significance and essential part we all have to play with some key areas of our country. Having the backdrop of the forest made the piece very authentic and it was clear that the reception from the audience reflected their great performance. 

Dance On The Waterfront was a gorgeous element of the festival, allowing audiences to witness some of the best Dance out there in the UK with so much variation in style on offer. It was clearly one of the most popular stages around the festival as everytime a performance would take place thousands of people would surround the small stage to capture some of the best talent in both dance productions and companies. Some of the dance programme included Sadler's Wells presenting a performance from company New Adventures entitled Country, Sisters Grimm Voices of the Amazon and Barely Methodical Troupe who presented their combination of acrobatics with dance, parking and tricking in their piece Kin

The BBC Music Stage presented the best alternative and leftfield music from across a multitude of different genres, including Jack Garratt who I absolutely loved watching perform a few years ago when he supported Mumford and Sons on their last UK tour.

Photo Credit Ben Gibson
Photo Credit Sarah Koury / Entirety Labs
Photo Credit Sarah Koury / Entirety Labs

To complete the Saturday line up for ourselves we headed back towards the Obelisk Arena where there was a Gentleman of the Road Takeover, hosted by non other than Mumford and Sons. They helped programme a lot of the musical acts for the Saturday and it went down a complete storm with it's audiences. The evening kicked off with a set from global breakthrough artists of 2016, Glass Animals who really surprised me with their particular style of music. Next up on the Obelisk Arena line up was one of my favourite bands, Two Door Cinema Club who really got the audience moving and singing along with some of their best tracks. With the weather changing it's mind regularly from sunshine to drizzle the band kept the smiles on the faces of the people who had gathered to watch them. Before the main act arrived on stage we saw Leon Bridges take to the stage, an individual who has a river of soul music running through him. To end the line up on the Obelisk Arena was Saturday's line up organisers, Mumford and Sons. There is really no other atmosphere like the one created by them, thousands of people gathered to watch and dance along to their folk vibes! Mumford are one of my favourite bands so I thoroughly enjoyed getting my own dance shoes on in the field, particularly when Dust Bowl Dance amplified through the entire festival. 

We completed our own Latitude Festival experience by heading over to the Comedy tent where taking place was the Hot Dub Time Machine, the World's first time travelling dance party! It's vibe is generated by dancing, singing-along but most importantly, by having a great time. You move with the on-screen time machine as we experience some of the music favourites from the past 60 years, if you love a good time dancing to some great throwback tunes then this would have been perfect for you. It's a very fun and innovative format that definitely deserved it's incredible 16,000 ticket sales at last year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival, it was officially the biggest show at the Fringe and was the perfect way to close my festival experience. 

Photo Credit Carpe Diem Emmie
Latitude Festival was definitely an experience that will make 2017 memorable for me and you can also start purchasing your tickets for next year's festival from the 20 July, I would definitely snap up your tickets! After my initial first experience I will definitely be looking at returning again next summer!



thanks for reading,

*Press Accreditation for Latitude Festival. Views are my own and photos are credited to their owners.