Of course, we’re all devastated that we’re not at Latitude right now. But, we’re feeling excited to be back again next year! Here, the Latitude team share their favourite memories of Henham Park.
ed lilo – talent buyer
I’m absolutely devastated not to be on site right now. Hardly sleeping, spreadsheets gushing out of the laptop, Marimba on repeat on my phone (don’t worry, that’s not actually my ringtone), sun lotion barely rubbed in to my nose. And don’t get me started on the guestlist requests. But really, Latitude is my favourite weekend of the year! I’ve never really liked Christmas.
But a favourite Latitude memory? Really, it should be meeting with Melvin and him offering me this job: this once in a lifetime opportunity to curate a music line up for an event I’d been attending for years. But that’s a bit dry, so I’m going to list a few close seconds and then get to The One.
The Kraftwerk 3D show was so special! I ran a club night with 3D glasses once and it was awful. So, seeing a full production with Kraftwerk’s seminal, hugely influential music was such an important festival moment for me. Even if the underlying technology was the same blue and red plastic cardboard specs.
Also special have been the endless boat trips. Whether carting artists or agents across the river to the Sunrise Arena (still one of my favourite festival stages ever), or relaxing for a split second on the punts in by the Waterfront stage. Also, trying to rescue my nephew from the Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs moshpit in 2019. Then realising nobody needed rescuing. Despite being a nipper, he was enjoying the show as much or more than the 1,000 or so taller fans around him.
But the memory that sticks out most is watching Portishead headline the Obelisk Arena in 2015. I was mid-crowd towards the front and just couldn’t keep my eyes off the stage. Every song was more impressive and immersive than the last. I was truly moved. There was politics, there was humour, there was a special appearance from Thom Yorke, there was David Cameron with laser eyes. There was a sunrise of the CND logo! Seminal.
kirsty taylor – arts booker
In 2019, we created a podcast stage for the first time. When I arrived on site on Monday it was just a couple of stage platforms at the back of a tent. Not quite the shabby living room I had imagined, for our inaugural Listening Post. The brilliant festival crew stayed up late to decorate it on the Wednesday night. It’s probably the only wallpaper ever to be hung with a laser spirit-level on a festival site!
This photo was taken on the Friday morning, as Kemah Bob, one of my favourite comics, opened the stage in her inimitable MC style. Frank Turner waited in the wings, about to go on stage and deliver an incredible version of his Tales From No Man’s Land podcast. That’s what Latitude is for me – the magic of festival friends who have become family coming together to make a whole new world spring out of the ground, and new experiences possible for our audience.
Sharon reuben – KIds, family & schools day booker
I’ve had the pleasure – and pain! – of booking the family areas & activities at Latitude since our very first event, 15 years ago.
It’s brought me more joy, anguish, sleepless nights and overwhelming pride than most other projects in my 30+ years of festivals. Schools Day is the pinnacle. Making world class music, art and culture truly accessible to local kids from all backgrounds, kids who would have been at school while wealthier friends attended with their families. We’ve welcomed over 5,000 kids and teachers in just 5 years – the happiest kids I’ve ever seen. Life will feel very quiet without them this year!!
My heart is heavy with our shared loss this year. This time of year I’d usually be running all over site from early morning to last light. Not sleeping, eating while walking, emailing while talking, missing my sisters birthday, wondering as every year how we can possibly get everything done and yet we do. It’s always been beautiful, and it gets better every year.
So while we all take a forced hiatus during which I’ll miss you more than you can ever imagine, I’ll just thank just a few pals who’ve supported this labour of love along the way, past & present; Alison Charles, Eleanor Newton, Lucy Kinsella, Tom Lyon, Mischa Lester, Sioni Reuben, Luke Cowdell, Anne O’Connor, Chloe Hourston, Ross Murray, & Ola.
emily scoggins – head of marketing
I’ve been going to Latitude since 2008, off and on. My surname can actually be traced back to 13th century Southwold so there’s some sort of mystic connection I feel! Being part of the team that puts the festival together now is a dream come true, as you can imagine.
Latitude has always been full of serendipity for me. Happy chance encounters and magic moments, and none more so than in 2013. My two best friends and I were camped in a particularly beautiful spot, with broad oak trees surrounding us. It was gloriously sunny – one of those years where you don’t need to wear a dozen layers after the sun goes down! And Saturday night was set to be a party: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, followed by Hot Chip, followed by Kraftwerk on the main stage.
I vividly remember dancing about with my friends whilst YYY’s were playing – our grins as big as the wonderful Karen O’s. As I twirled about, sequins flashing (I ALWAYS wear sequins at Latitude!) I noticed that there was another group of friends, just feet away from us. Then another, standing right behind us! And another group, to the right of us. I was literally surrounded by friends.
It was a perfect moment. The night got silly of course. We danced our socks off in the woods until the three of us were headed back to our tents, arm in arm, as the sun rose. It just felt like the perfect day, at the perfect festival. I’m looking forward to Latitude 2021 with all my heart. The freedom of walking around that beautiful site, the energy blasting from every stage and the joy of being surrounded by friends.
Latitude 2021 will return to Henham Park on 22nd-25th July. Tickets are on sale now.