When: 12–15th July
Who: Bon Iver, Elbow, Paul Weller, Laura Marling, Metronomy, Lana Del Rey, Rufus Wainwright, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, SBTRKT
Pros: You can’t be bored with the amazing mix of music, comedy, film, and theatre.
Cons: The typically sporadic weather.
2012 will be my fourth Latitude; obviously I’m a fan. It’s run by Festival Republic, the same lot that brings you Reading and Leeds and helps out Michael Eavis, so needless to say, it’s well organised. Latitude has gained a family-friendly reputation, but other than seeing the occasional child in a Rolling Stones T-Shirt, you barely notice it. More apparent is its reputation for being fairly middle class, but what do you expect from a festival that has Marks and Spencer as one of its primary sponsors?
The line-up has been known to suffer in past years, with Paolo Nutini taking the Saturday headline slot last year, much to the dismay of many a Latituder. But all of that feels far away when glancing over the line-up this year, with a great mix of genres and decades: from Paul Weller and Elbow to M83 and Metronomy, to Battles and Buena Vista Social Club. Not to mention the appearance of one of the most successful artists of the year, the enigmatic Lana Del Rey.
Latitude’s tagline, “More than just a music festival”, summarises it pretty perfectly, because if, like in 2011 for me, something’s on that you don’t particularly fancy, there’s plenty else to do. Head to the Comedy Tent and see Jack Dee, Tim Minchin or Reginald D. Hunter? Not in the mood for stand-up? Go see a short play from the National Theatre or the Lyric. Drama not for you, then there’s a hoedown, a woodland art exhibition, a late-night DJ set in the woods, fashion shows across the lake, and a pen full of neon sheep.