Teaching to the converted? Heartfelt lessons learned at Latitude 2017

- July 28th, 2017

Latitude 2017
Officially stamped…

You’ve probably heard about the festival’s reputation for being somewhere near the middle of the social class spectrum by now, but if any of you were still wondering, this position has now been firmly cemented with the installation of a Waitrose pop up kitchen making its debut appearance this summer near the entrance to the main Obelisk stage.

Cue the puns about ordering a ‘Latte-tude’, to go…

If in doubt, why not chill out?

There’s so much to see and do here, but if you can’t decide what to do or just want to relax there’s always the Solas area. This little pocket of the festival provides a place of sanctuary away from the crowds with healing, well-being, giant communal hammocks and an abundance of art installations to stimulate the body, mind and spirit. They also have a small stage that hosts some of the more laid back acts from the bill, and the toilets have really short queues.

Placebo

Experience talks

Alt Rock giants, Placebo made their Latitude debut on Friday night when they tore through the headline slot in the BBC big top. Blasting out a set emblazoned with a string of classics in the way only a band of their pedigree can, they showed the crowd exactly why they’ve been filling out stadiums and securing top billing at festivals for the last twenty years. A huge act that confidently swaggered its way to an assured high spot memory and an emblematic highlight of the weekend.

Hold on to your beakers

You know how your £2 deposit is refunded when you’ve finished with one of those plastic, reusable beer cups? This has fast become a fact not lost on some of the younger festival attendees.  Many smaller varmints were seen pinching them from unsuspecting punters in a manner to make even the Artful Dodger blush. There’s gold in them thar spills? While this is uncharacteristic of the typical Latitude crowd, it will probably pay to be extra vigilant next year, especially if you’re in for a big round of drinks.

Mumford & Sons at Latitude 2017

Mumford & Sons can draw a crowd

Saturday was by far the busiest day of the weekend. It didn’t take long to establish the nature of this big pull, when the whoops and madness descended as the Mumford & Sons took to the main stage that night and struck out that first chord. The Indie Folk band brought their Gentlemen Of The Road takeover to the fields along with the largest audiences seen at the festival since Kraftwerk’s 3D spectacle, and not a donkey or haycart in sight.

Afro-Beat a hangover

On Sunday afternoon Ibibio Sound Machine were tasked with getting the big top bouncing with their fusion of Disco, Electronica and West African Funk. Their infectious rhythms soon had the crowd on their feet and drew in passers-by through the sides of tent, breathing life into the flagging masses and setting them up for the day ahead. Still to this day one of the acid tests of any act is whether they can inject the pace during the last spot of hungover dead time and this sonic voodoo raised many a corpse straight off the ground.

Fatboy Slim

It’s good to go out with a bang

Headliner clashes are inevitable and on Sunday night the closing choice was between floating down a stream of the Fleet Foxes’ swirling, Psychedelic 60’s nostalgia or being blown into oblivion by a cacophony of Fatboy Slim’s Dance music mash-ups, brain melting visuals and explosive light shows.

With a good day’s worth of Pimm’s, piss week lager and cheap red wine under their belts, many opted for the latter option Right Here, Right Now in the big top. The giant tent filled out with everyone from the tot on his dad’s shoulders to the grandparents having it by the speakers until there was barely enough room to wave a glow-stick.

As the lasers burst from the stage, Brighton’s premier Big Beat boy dropped edits of everything from Queen’s iconic Radio Ga Ga, through to guttural neo-tribal tom-tom classic Pigbag and the searing strings of Lola’s Theme, coupled up of course with a few smash hits of his own that wouldn’t have been too lost on the Boutique crowds of the Concorde back in the day, ensuring this festival family saw their weekend out on a high.

Photos: Latitude’s

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