Belfast Telegraph

35,000 have the right Latitude at festival's 10th anniversary sell-out

A total of 35,000 people attended this year's Latitude festival as the event sold out for its 10th anniversary celebration, organisers have said.

Mercury Prize winners Alt-J, cult trip-hop band Portishead and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds headlined the event at Henham Park in Suffolk over the weekend.

There were also surprises for the audience as Suffolk-raised singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran and Radiohead's Thom Yorke made surprise guest appearances on smaller stages to celebrate the arts and music festival's 10th anniversary.

Organiser Melvin Benn said the success of the event had helped cement its place in the festival calender, with crowds growing steadily from the 6,000 who attended its 2006 debut.

Mr Benn added: "We are very proud to have celebrated the best Latitude festival yet, with some of the greatest names in music, arts, theatre, comedy and literature.

"This year's 10th edition certifies that Latitude festival really is the spiritual home for arts - the biggest names in comedy, literature, film and music joined us this weekend. I couldn't be more excited for the next 10 years."

Other highlights included the introduction of outdoor swimming in the country park's lake, which Mr Benn said had been "amazingly popular".

Festival-goers were also invited to take a dip in a hot tub or enjoy a massage in a new holistic spa area.

Despite night-time storms, the festival remained largely dry and music lovers basked in pleasant summer temperatures.

On Sunday more than than 100 festival-goers took to the main stage as part of a performance put together by celebrity choirmaster Gareth Malone.

The group of audience members, who ranged in age from children to pensioners, were selected ahead of this year's festival and spent just three days rehearsing together.

Choir members were drawn from all over the country - and one even travelled from Abu Dhabi to join the show.

On stage, Malone said: "While you've all been sunning yourself and enjoying Latitude, these 115 people from the Latitude audience have been rehearsing and learning their parts.

"They're here to entertain you for this 10th anniversary festival and it's really a quite special thing - the audience has taken over the stage.

"I feel incredibly blessed to work with such a great group of people."


From Belfast Telegraph