By NICOLE EVANS
Thursday night at Latitude almost feels like it doesn’t count as part of the festival. Camping fields are still relatively bare, the big stages are still finishing off the set-up and the main arena looks like an apocalypse has hit in comparison to the Friday crowds that will descend. This year, however, Latitude has stepped up its Thursday game and there is plenty to keep those of us that like to arrive nice and early entertained.
Sadler’s Wells kicks off the evening in true hip-hop style presenting The Get Down, and get down we do. As the dancers arrive on stage, the live DJ gets to work and the compere begins to work up his 360° crowd, inviting a large group to join him on stage for the duration.
It ends up as more of a 90s throwback disco, the music plays out until curfew and everybody is on their feet busting the moves as the sun goes down over The Waterfront stage. Sadly, the dancers themselves are by now almost hidden and near un-reviewable, although what could be glimpsed between the partying revellers is staggeringly on-point.
Although it is time for the oldies to call it a night, the party certainly doesn’t stop here. It’s clear while wandering through the woods past the various disco sheds that the tunes will be ringing out until the small hours with the festival already looking to be in full swing.
With darkness utterly set in, a stunning projection display greets us as we wander back over the bridge. An impressive light show within a fountain of water displays everything from autism awareness messages to gliding swans and is an amazing sight to see. A mesmerising 20 minutes or so with a backdrop of pink sheep and illuminated trees is the perfect end to the first evening as we head back for a bedtime beer and a good night’s sleep in preparation for the sheer awesome the weekend has to bring.
Feels very much like coming home.
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Latitude Festival runs from 13 – 16 July 2017 at Henham Park, Suffolk