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Latitude Festival

Published by Madeline Gowers — 11 days ago

Every summer, for the past few years, one of my highlights has been attending the three-day music festival, Latitude. Held in the lovely Henham Park, this annual event attracts around forty thousand guests of all different ages and walks of life. As well as boasting a fantastic line-up each year – Lana del Rey and George Ezra are two of 2019’s headliners – this festival also offers poetry, comedy, dance, and theatre acts, plus interactive art installations and lake swimming. Below, I’m going to be telling you all about my experience of Latitude, and hopefully convincing you to bag your tickets for this year!

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Getting there

All information concerning transport and directions to the festival can be found on the Latitude website (linked in the section above). If you’re a member of staff – as I have been – you will be able to catch the shuttle bus from Diss railway station for free, or, at the very least, at a reduced price. There is parking available onsite, but expect long queues to get in!

Entry to the festival (plus information on working there)

General entry

Standard tickets for adults tend to cost around £200, while teenagers and children can get in for considerably less. These will grant you access to a general campsite with showers, toilets, and drinking water, and to the main arena, where all the performances take place. Families (i.e. parents with children under 16) can choose to pitch their tent in the ‘Family Camping’ area. This is the most secure campsite – anyone without the family wristband will be denied entry – and also has a number of exclusive fairground rides to enjoy. I was working in this zone a few years ago, so had a go on the ferris wheel after my shift. Look at the amazing view from the top!

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Staff entry

Entry prices may seem a little hefty – especially when you think of all the food and drinks you’ll be buying while you’re there – so if you want to enjoy the festival for less, why not work there and get a free ticket?! I’ve stewarded there twice with Oxfam, and I would definitely recommend you do the same, especially if you’re a poor student like me. Both years, I had three eight-hour shifts to get through (one during the night), and the rest of the time, I got to enjoy the festival like everyone else! Thanks to my position, I also got access to a staff campsite, and enjoyed luxuries like free phone charging, meal tokens, and hot water.

There are so many different options when it comes to working, so if you don’t fancy stewarding, other jobs include: campaigning, helping customers to pitch tents, doing bar work, litter picking, and working in one of the shops on site.

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The festival

Music

Each year I scroll through the line-ups of the UK’s major festivals, and Latitude always has one of the best! There are four different stages – the main Obelisk arena (pictured below), the BBC Music Arena, the Lake Stage, and the i Arena – which offer a whole range of music, from pop to classical to indie rock. I’ve discovered so many fantastic up-and-coming artists thanks to this festival, and have also enjoyed singing along with some of my favourite bands of all time.

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Other entertainment

As I mentioned above, there is a whole lot to do and see aside from the musical acts, and this is one of the things that makes Latitude such a fantastic and unique festival. In recent years, I’ve danced with drag queens, experienced deafness in virtual reality, made huge bubbles, tried my hand at ouija boarding (and failed miserably!), slid down helter-skelters, and watched some impressive light shows.

I’ve also enjoyed roaming the forests of the park – which are lit up at night with coloured lanterns – sunbathing on the grassy slopes, and swimming in the lake (free of charge!). The festival couldn’t be located in a better place!

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Food and drinks

Rucksack overflowing? Buy all your meals at the festival, and free up masses of space! There are loads of different food stands in the main arena, all offering delicious refreshments at reasonable prices. The majority of dishes cost under £10, and they can all be enjoyed at the picnic benches in the middle of the park.

If you’re in the mood to party, there are also loads of bars on site, some specialising in specific drinks: prosecco, Pimms, gin, etc. Alcohol is a little on the pricy side here – as is the case at pretty much all festivals – but guests aren’t allowed to bring beverages into the arena from the campsite, so unless you’re prepared to down it all before heading in, you’re best off spending that little bit extra. It’s also worth noting that Latitude prohibits glass bottles, so make sure to decant any drinks you are bringing before you leave home.

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Why you should book a ticket today!

Latitude truly is the UK’s best music festival. I’ve been to many over the last few years, but this is the only one I’ve attended more than once. Everything – from the music, to the setting, to the general vibe – is just what I’d want from an event of this kind, and everyone I know who’s been has said the same. The organisation of the festival is also great, and I’ve always felt very safe while there (something I can’t say about every festival I’ve been to). Whether you’re fifteen or fifty, I strongly urge you to get your hands on a ticket for Latitude 2019. Have a wonderful time if you do manage to go, and don’t forget to pack your swimming things!


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