Festival preview: Five reasons to get to Latitude this year

One of the UK’s most popular all-round festivals is back. Returning for its 11th year on 14 – 17 July, Latitude Festival has coordinated another outstanding cross-genre music line-up that’s complemented by eclectic comedy, theatre, dance, literary and wellness offerings.

Set in Suffolk’s breathtaking Henham Park (near the banks of a lake you can actually swim in!), this year’s line-up is shaping up to be especially special. Here’s a peek at what you can expect.

Three high-Latitude headliners

The Obelisk Arena is the main stage at Latitude. Perched on top of a hill overlooking the entire grounds, we can’t think of a more beautiful place to watch this year’s featured artists.

On Friday night, The Maccabees take on their first-ever festival headline spot following a year touring for their latest album Marks To Prove It. Meanwhile, on Saturday night, The National perform their only UK show for 2016 – currently on a world tour, we’re hoping the band preview some new songs from their next album. The headliners are rounded out on Sunday night with legendary rockers New Order closing out the festival. Last year they released Music Complete, their first album of new material in a decade – so Latitude offers the perfect chance to hear New Order’s latest and greatest tunes.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg: over the course of the festival The Obelisk Arena will also host Beirut, Chvrches, M83, The Lumineers, John Grant, Chet Faker, Laura Mvula and many others.

Photo credit: Victor Frankowski

Photo credit: Victor Frankowski

Music everywhere!

With well over 100 music acts coming to Latitude for 2016, there’s truly something for everyone. Drop by the BBC Radio 6 Music Stage for alternative artists highlighted by Grimes on Friday, Soulwax on Saturday and Of Monsters and Men on Sunday. Head over to the Sunrise Arena, nestled under a canopy of trees, to see emerging artists such as Pantha Du Prince Presents, Sophie and Black Mountain. Go to the Lake Stage curated by BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens, champion of new music, to check out Loyle Carner, Billie Marten and Clean Cut Kid. Support artists who are just establishing themselves like Rationale, Tired Lion and Three Trapped Tigers at the Alcove Stage. Plus, new to Latitude this year, the BBC Introducing Stage will showcase a mix of classic, world, jazz, country and folk music from concert accordionist Iosif Purits, pianist Belle Chan, atmospheric soloist George Boomsma and many others.

Belly-busting antics

In need of a laugh? Latitude’s got you covered. Enjoy a roster of comedy heavy-hitters with knockout punchlines including Russell Howard, Al Murray, Sara Pascoe, Josh Widdicombe and David O’Doherty. And no one cracks us up more than Bill Bailey. Pun-loving funny man Milton Jones will also be delivering his hilarious one-liners, while Katherine Ryan is sure to sharpen her comedy claws by critiquing today’s celebrity culture – and we can’t wait to hear her!

Arts aplenty

Latitude is always full of drama. Don’t miss unique performances like an improvised puppet show from Improbable and Blind Summit. It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Berlin-based arts collective Gob Squad will be making a movie with audience members (yes, you!) as the co-stars.

The weekend will also be packed with dance productions, cabaret, films, political talks and literary discussions. T.S. Eliot Prize winner Don Paterson will read from his collection 40 Sonnets. You can attend workshops and lectures presented by the Wellcome Trust designed to help you live better; and who couldn’t use a little help with that? Look for us at neuroscientist Dean Burnett and Infinite Monkey Cage host Robin Ince’s talk called The Idiot Brain because we want to learn how alcohol improves our memory.

Stuff for kids

Latitude 2015

Photo credit: Victor Frankowski

Latitude is the summer festival with loads for families to choose from. There’s a Kids Area, where children can get down with age-appropriate entertainment as well as build rockets, spin fleece into yarn, conduct interesting science experiments and do weird and wonderful crafts (who doesn’t want to make vegetable kazoos and sock puppets?). Older children can get lost in the Inbetweeners Area, where digital workshops and survival skills courses, along with music and other activities, are waiting just for them.

Whether this is your first time or your fourth, Latitude is guaranteed to be an absolute blast of weekend. So make sure you have tickets, then get ready for four days of music, fun and (hopefully) sun!