Latitude Festival celebrated its 10th anniversary this year in fine style. With 35,000 people in attendance, beautiful sunshine and a jam-packed line-up, it was another weekend to remember in Henham Park.
Latitude is known for its eclectic line-up of music, comedy, cabaret, music, literature and of course theatre - there are so many options on offer. I went with no particular agenda, opting instead to wander around and see what took my interest, hoping to stumble across something special.
Highlights of the myriad events on offer included Sabrina Mahfouz's With a Little bit of Luck (a Paines Plough and Latitude Festival production); the show was underscored by a mix of UK garage as Mahfouz, alongside singer Martyna Baker, transported us back to 2001. With a start time of 11.15pm the audience were rowdy but it only made for a better atmosphere with the crowd dancing, singing and cheering the whole show.
I had a mind-clearing swim in the lake the following morning (allowed for the first time this year) listening to Chilly Gonzalez and Kaiser Quartett rehearse on the Waterfront Stage, pondering the acts I should watch that evening. It was a moment that underscored the feeling that Latitude really is a festival like no other, a feeling further confirmed after watching Spillikin, a Pipeline Theatre production, which featured a humanoid robot singing "My Funny Valentine".
Over in the comedy tent, The Last Leg Live featured a race with Adam Hills and Alex Brooker to see whose prosthetic leg could make it to the back of the crowd and round again in the quickest time, and Katherine Ryan brought her children on stage to tell some jokes.
Rounding off my festival experience was a special Latitude edition of Bryony Kimmings' new show, 'Fake It Til' You Make It, written and performed with her fiancé Tim Grayburn (who has given up a job in marketing to take part). A compact show tackling the issue of clinical depression and what it means to be a man, the laughter and tears flowed freely on both sides of the Theatre Tent footlights.
Yes, I missed surprise guests Ed Sheeran and Thom Yorke, but it didn't dampen a great festival weekend. Roll on the next ten years.
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