Eight years ago a newcomer entered the summer festival scene. Many saw it as an already crowded market but organisers saw a gap in the market for something different. More Than Just A Music Festival the posters claim and for Latitude that claim is more than justified.
Latitude has now firmly established itself on the festival calendar, being named best Family Festival in 2012, with its eclectic mix of theatre, poetry, literature, and dance all drawing festival goers alongside the more traditional musical line up.
Latitudes Tania Harrison has built a strong reputation for attracting a mix of both emerging companies as well as some of the country’s leading theatre companies to Henham Park.
While Kraftwerk may be headlining the musical line up with their intriguing 3D set (3D glasses will be handed out), for theatre goers there’s plenty of choice.
Being a festival environment its not always your conventional theatre though. National Theatre Wales are asking participants to report for their show Praxis Makes Perfect wearing red and clutching their favourite book while Swing Patrol return to the festival to host their ever popular tea dance.
For those looking for less participatory entertainment there are performances of Edinburgh hit show Dirty Great Love Story from Katie Bonna and Richard Marsh, Mirrorball – a new show from Arcola Theatre and the première of a new play from Chris Thorpe presented by Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre.
Latitude has always championed new and emerging artists across all art forms. For Northern Stage’s associate company North, presenting their show The Man Who Thought the Moon Would Fall Out of the Sky, Latitude is a special opportunity, as company memberAlice Blundell explains “Startingwith the festival tour is incredibly exciting for us; to have the recognition regionally having beensupported by a fantastic organisation like Northern Stage means we’re the first young company tomake that journey to the festivals. It is so special for us.”
Dance lovers will be spoilt for choice on the Waterfront Stage as Sadler’s Wells presents a programme including The Balletboyz and Rocio Molina, while family festival goers are spoilt for choice with their very own festival areas.
With over 700 acts across 15 stages, it’s hard to know where to begin the Latitude experience, but that’s part of the appeal of the festival. Regular Latituders have become used to catching a dance show, moving over to listen to a new up and coming band, slipping into a poetry reading before watching some outdoor theatre. Then when the sun drops below the treeline it’s time to dance the night away to a disco in a garden shed. Add in multi-coloured sheep, a lakeside stroll and the widest age range you’ll find at any festival and the Latitude experience is unlike any other. After two years of mud even the weather looks set fair for the eight edition of this typically British festival.
The Public Reviews will be onsite throughout the festival providing coverage from across the site. Keep an eye out for our twitter updates as well as our regular reviews and updates.