Latitude review: Family focused festival delivers a whole load of fun
atitude festival sits on the east Anglian coastline, only 2.5 hours from London. But for a festival so close to home, it feels as though you’ve driven through a time portal somewhere along the way. Festival fashions still include space buns and glittered partings, there’s tamagotchis attached to belt loops and barely a phone in sight (not to mention certain acts on the line-up).
But that’s the charm of it really. No one at Latitude has any care what year it is, nor do they care what’s fashionable. It’s the family focused, easy-going festival that’s a kid’s paradise and an adult’s safe haven.
On Friday, following performances from Maggie Rogers and Rina Sawayama, Lewis Capaldi closed out the day with an emotional ending. Whether you’re a fan of his or not, Someone You Loved is an undeniable tear-jerker and was in full effect against a backdrop of fireworks.
Meanwhile at the BBC Sounds Stage, Phoebe Bridgers had entered rockstar-mode, stage-dives included. Electric guitar lit up the tent as she was passed above the heads of the audience. It was heartwarming to see that Bridgers’ crowd was made up largely of young girls, many still in primary school, and all rockstars in the making.
In true modern festival form, there was something for everyone. While boomers and millennials laughed at humorous song renditions in the comedy tent, Gen Z took the opportunity to sleep soundly at their feet. Their alarm call? Aisling Bea cracking jokes about star signs and admitting her own Pisces tendencies.
Coincidentally, on the eve of International Self Care Day, Hackney-based singer songwriter Mahalia spread messages of body confidence and even took a moment to highlight the importance of male mental health. “Confidence is suppose to fluctuate”, she urged.
While Foals had the crowd dancing over at the Obelisk stage, Groove Armada closed out Saturday night with a rave. Even the parents with small children on their shoulders were jumping to the likes of Get Down, I See You Baby, and of course, the song that bonds all generations, Superstylin’.
As hangovers peaked on Sunday morning so too did the temperature. The wisest festival-goers brought swimming gear along and beat both the heat and the hangover with wild swimming in the lake.
“Hello, tent full of predominantly white people!”, Texan comedian Kemah Bob greeted the crowd with a very accurate observation. Latitude’s main clientele resembles its three main headliners – Lewis Capaldi, Foals and Snow Patrol. Last year was a similar story and following the news from May this year that only 13 per cent of women make up festival headliners, the performances of the big three – while individually brilliant – felt somewhat tainted.
That said, the standout act of the weekend was without a doubt Little Simz, who breezed onto the stage and captivated the entire crowd though most of them were far from her usual fan base. She applauded the vibrant mood: “our energy is a transaction, you feed me and I’ll feed you”.
Other highlights included the subversive sounds of Deep Tan, the all-queer BBC Introducing trio hailing from east London, as well as Kae Tempest, who lulled the crowd into pin-drop silence, hanging on their every word.
Latitude is like the fun aunt of Glastonbury. She loves a Pimm’s in the sun, dances barefoot to whatever music is playing, but is back in her tent snoring by 12pm. Like all aunties, you feel at peace in her presence. She’s the one you that you confide in, depend on and trust, even when sometimes her views take a while to catch up with yours.