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Can you imagine my excitement as we were lucky enough to be given some last minute tickets for the 10th Latitude Festival?
I'm Aye, Web Manager here at The Bonnie mob HQ. Having been a few times before, we all knew what fun would be in store for us. Latitude has won a variety of awards, Best Family Festival of 2012 and winner of Prima Baby’s ‘Best Family Day Out’ Award this year. A super eclectic arts festival for every age group, and as we drove our Hendrix (the coolest Hymer in the south) out of Brighton and wound our way up to the Suffolk countryside, much time was spent checking out the Latitude app to plan our weekend.
One of the many things that makes Latitude so special include it's beautiful site, nestled inside Henham Park near Southwold, it's got it all. Woods, a lake, rolling hills, more woods! Iconic images of the famous Latitude sign (which this year was a spectacular metallic silver) surrounded by the sheep that are it's usual residents, but given a little make over courtesy of some spray cans. They looked very happy indeed. The site is small enough to bump into friends unplanned but big enough to lose the family should you want some "me" time.
After parking up, obviously, with 2 small children in tow, the first stop was the Kids Area. Wow. With enough for them to do for an entire weekend just by themselves, this area was a parents dream. 99% of the activities are free, with the enormous Helter Skelter and the Carousel the only paid rides, the rest was tent after tent of making, colouring, dressing up, taping, gluing, playing, singing, watching, eating, dancing, reading...plus any other "doing" thing you can think of. There literally was not enough time to do it all. Our highlights include building a Fairy House in the woods (competition was high with one dad having built a Knebworth Park model entirely out of twigs), the superb pizzas a la The Italian Job, which friends among us without kids sought to buy as they were the best on site, Helter Skelter (obviously!) and a free book stall by the fantastic Suffolk Library. The kids really were spoilt. And also once they were worn out by the beating heat of Saturday, they could have had a dip in the lake then cooled off in the woods, where it was quite literally a creative explosion. Every nook and cranny was crammed with some installation, stage or artwork to gaze at in wonder. A beautiful feast for the eyes of any curious child.
It doesn't stop there either as the grown-ups were also treated to monster variety whether you were 18 or 80 (and ALL age groups were represented as far as we could see). Being impossible to list all the amazing talent that Latitude had on it's line up, we can say you would have been treated to the likes of Portishead to Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds, a surprise performance from Ed Sheeran and Thom Yorke (not together!) in the woods, Jon Richardson to Katherine Ryan in the Comedy Tent, Sadlers Well's performances on the lake by the National Youth Dance Company and also the BBC's 2015 Young Dancer Finalists, Chilly Gonzales to John Cooper Clarke. And you might have been lucky enough to have bumped into the one and only Johnny Depp, there as a punter, just to prove the festivals draw.
It was clean, safe, the kids had many late nights falling asleep to the most incredible bands, we ate chocolate pancakes, ice creams, pizzas, my 2 year old napped to Jose Gonzales and Badly Drawn Boy's little stage meltdown...all in all, a festival filled with Love and is exactly what The Bonniemob is all about, creativity and arts and getting stuck in among nature. Who knows, maybe next year we might try and get involved somehow and spread a little of The Mob into Latitude. Special thanks to Laura at Ignition Records.