For the final part of our series on Latitude Fest, check out this ‘day in the life’ diary from Poppy Hanton, our engagement expert and festival fan over at ACC Norwich!
Each morning at Latitude Festival started with wandering down to The Inbetweeners Stage, which is run by ACC students and staff and hosts some fantastic acts from across our campuses. Our Event Production students were busy setting up the stage and getting the drum kit and amps mic’d up before our first performers arrived for their sound check. Our stage is located next to the iconic fluorescent pink sheep that Latitude is known for, and alongside the lake that flows through the arena.
After the setup was complete, I took a walk past the pink sheep and the Trailer Park area, a new addition for Latitude this year. The area is constructed entirely of caravans and trailers, which have been converted into things such as a stage, a cocktail bar and interactive workshops in things like printmaking.
I headed over to The Alcove Stage to catch Gabby Rivers’ set; a Music Performance student at our Norwich campus. This is one of my favourite stages at Latitude, slightly hidden in the woods and in previous years has been hosted by Lily Allen’s dad, Keith Allen. As usual, Gabby puts on a terrific performance, and having played on the main stage at Wild Fields Festival before, she knows how to work a festival crowd.
As Latitude offers more than just music, I thought I’d explore some different areas of the festival. As a big fan of Ottolenghi, I went to the Theatre Of Food to see a talk and demonstration by a chef from his test kitchen, Noor Murad. She demonstrated a recipe from the new Ottolenghi cookbook, which was the first time I’d seen something like that at a festival! Unsurprisingly, I wasn’t the only fan of Ottolenghi at the festival, so the tent was brimming with other food enthusiasts hoping to get tips from some of his top chefs.
I’ve found out about some of my favourite artists by stumbling upon them at festivals, so I like to have a wander to check out new music. I headed to the BBC Sounds tent to see Los Bitchos, an all female 5 piece, who have been praised by one of my favourite magazines – She Shreds, which was enough for me to go and check them out. Their psychedelic and heavily instrumental set did not disappoint, as they managed to get the crowd dancing on the sunny Saturday afternoon. I can’t wait to listen to more of their music after the festival!
One of the things I love most about festivals is the food! With so much on offer, it’s hard to choose, so I see that as a good excuse to indulge. I always try to source out the independent stalls at the festival. And, of course, I took a few visits to the Greenpeace tent to have some vegan curry and other treats (which in my opinion, is the best secret spot for hearty food at Latitude).
After walking around the arena all day, sometimes you just need to sit and take a break. The Comedy Arena is a great place to do this and luckily one of my favourite comedians, Jo Brand, was headlining the stage. She brought her dry, storytelling style humour to the festival, entertaining the huge crowd who had come to see her.
As the afternoon drew to a close, I headed over to the other side of the lake to Lavish Lounge in the woods. Latitude Festival is situated in the beautiful Suffolk countryside in Henham Park, and the lake that runs through it dedicates an area to wild swimming and gondola rides. Although I didn’t have time for a swim that day, I went for a Sunday morning dip – a cold water swim is just what you need to wake you up after a few nights camping!
The Lavish Lounge stage is hosted by BBC Introducing, and I headed over to catch Norwich act Freya Roy. Freya was accompanied by ACC Norwich artist Maya Law on a few songs as they played to a packed out audience. It was great to watch and support some local acts!
I revisited The Alcove Stage to see Liz Lawrence, who I’ve wanted to see live for a while. As the stage is a bit more hidden than some of the other areas of the festival, I was able to get a bit closer to the stage; it was nice to not have to watch the performance through a screen (which is what often happens at festivals). She turned out to be my favourite act I saw all weekend!
I ended the night watching The Chemical Brothers, one of the most impressive festival headliners out there, known for their 3D light show. The Obelisk Arena was the busiest I’d ever seen it and by the time I’d arrived, I had to hover near the back. The set was accompanied by a thunderstorm so I didn’t stay until the end as I decided to take cover (and I’d seen The Chemical Brothers a few years ago at Glastonbury!) The rain never properly arrived, so I decided to finish the night watching Adam Buxton DJ at The Disco Shed!
Overall, it was amazing to be able to escape for a weekend filled with live music and the arts, in what felt like the first steps towards the return of festivals. I already have more festivals lined up for this summer and I can’t wait!