August 02, 2021
We’ve just got back from our annual jaunt to Latitude festival. Obviously we were unsure if we’d even get there, right up to the day before, which made it all the sweeter once we entered those gates. My daughter works at Latitude festival every year so we were blessed with the guest camping area and *slightly upgraded toilet/shower facilities.
However, this year we didn’t camp out in a tent, oh no, we went one up and hired our own fancy pants camper van. This little beauty was found via Quirky Campers and was just perfect, a little home from home. Complete with fully equipped kitchen (including a Belfast sink, cooker, hob and whistling kettle!) king sized bed (essential for our afternoon recharge naps) and a toilet & shower if we needed it.
(Edit - we actually ended up a bit feral for the entire weekend :))
This is a very chilled, family friendly festival - think more relaxed weekend away than a mad one. Founder Melvin Benn pitched it just right as 'The UK’s first multi arts boutique festival for culture lovers’.
Highlights of the weekend for us were Indie rock band Wolf Alice and drum & bass giants Rudimental, plus special guests Supergrass played a blinding Saturday lunchtime set in the sunshine and 80’s crooner Rick Astley gave us a poppy trip down memory lane on Sunday afternoon. (After we'd had a tip off from said daughter the night before about his 'secret set'....which we hot tailed over to see only to realise we were an hour late 🙈)
However, there are so many things to do away from the main stages, from lake swimming and paddle boarding to the Theatre of Food and our personal favourite, The Wellness Area. Run by The Zen Project, a social enterprise on a mission to make all things zen accessible to as many people as possible. It featured a spa area, yoga tent and the Temple of Connection - a central ceremonial space draped in beautiful coloured cloths. We walked in and immediately felt a sense of relaxation away from the crowds outside, to be honest we could have stayed in there all weekend getting our chill on.
The best thing is when you go exploring, you find little performance stages and sheds dotted throughout the site. In the forest, the BBC Introducing area is brilliant for discovering new, up and coming talent - we caught a set from the fabulous Rachel Chinouriri, with her sumptuous vocal tones of soul, Rachel is a 22-year-old singer-song writer from Croydon (she’s one to watch if you like Celeste). Plus the woods are truly magical and very pretty at night time.
The comedy tent is yet another little gem, there were big names like Jo Brand, Katherine Ryan and Reginald D Hunter doing shows - we spent a wonderful hour watching Simon Amstell doing a brilliant laugh out loud warm up set for his upcoming tour.
Another highlight for us was finally getting to see the Legend and ‘Bard of Salford’ that is Dr John Cooper Clarke. Poet Laureate of Punk, rock star, fashion icon, TV and radio presenter, social and cultural commentator, he shared his unique poetry & musings, off the wall chat, riffs, gags and wicked humour. Never has there been a thinner guy but he blamed his weight gain on giving up drugs and binge eating 😂
We finished the weekend in our favourite spot - in a tent dancing to Gimme Gimme Gimme: Abba After Midnight! Its back to back Abba for hours, joyous and happy times, everyone was in there to have a great time, belting out the classics, including us.
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