Bon Iver end the first day of Latitude on a fine note

Latitude 2012 review

published: Wed 18th Jul 2012

Bon Iver

Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th July 2012
Henham Park Estate, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 8AN, England MAP
£175 weekend adult ticket
daily capacity: 35000
last updated: Tue 10th Jul 2012

We arrived at Latitude festival, early afternoon on the Friday. The weather was dry but overcast and the land was doing well to take in all the rain from the previous six weeks of this balmy British summer. Even though there was severe mud in places the organisers had responded quickly and used wood chip to limit the effect on people travelling around the site.

around the festival site (2)
The first thing we did when we arrived was to make use of one of the many bars around site. The price was a bit steep at £4.20 a lager and £4.40 a cider but I suppose I am from the North where you can still get change for a tenner when buying 3 drinks. At this festival they employ a system whereby you pay a deposit for each cup that you use and have to queue again at a refund point to get your deposit back. This seemed strange at first and a lot of people wondered why you couldn't just hand your cup back in at the bar rather than queueing twice to get a drink. I overheard one complaint that the deposit had risen from £2 a cup last year to £3 this year and they wondered what affect this 50% rise would have on next month's RPI figures. Who said this festival attracted the middle classes!

Mark Watson
Drinks in hand we headed off toward the Comedy tent. To get there we passed many food outlets which catered for a wide variety of tastes. They ranged from the usual burger and pizza stalls to others selling ostrich and venison. When we arrived at the Comedy tent it was packed, and even had two large outdoor screens which had hundreds of people gathered around. We were there to see Josh Widdicombe, then Mark Watson and luckily we arrived early enough to be able to squeeze through the crowds to get a decent spot. The only downside to this was that we had to sit through Katherine Ryan. Ryan is a Canadian comedian who seemed to think that to be funny all you needed to do was make cock jokes and giggle in an irritating fashion. To be fair it did seem to work for sections of the crowd so what do I know. Widdecombe then came out and put on a great performance which was lapped up by the crowd. Latitude regular Watson followed him on and won over the crowd with his usual self deprecating performance. The highlight was when he was heckled by a 13 year old shouting "You used that joke on Radio 4", which Watson got plenty of mileage out of the fact that it was the most middle class heckle he'd ever received... and what 13 year old listens to radio 4!

Janelle Monae
After an hour or so of comedy we walked up the hill towards the Obelisk Arena which is the main stage at Latitude. We reached it and found a decent crowd waiting for Janelle Monae to come out. When she did she put on a lively energetic performance and had the crowd under her spell. Monae even had the audacity to get the crowd to sit down in the mud during 'Come Alive' and finished off by crowd surfing. Following Monae was London based electronic pop outfit Metronomy. This wasn't to our taste, but we tried to give them a chance to grow on us and only managed to watch three of their songs before the allure of the food stalls and bar became too strong.

Fully sated we settled back into the now quite large crowd to watch American Folk rockers Bon Iver. There were plenty of discussions taking place around us about how to pronounce their name so it came as a huge relief that they announced themselves when they came out on stage (its bon eever if you're interested). They then went on to fill the Suffolk air with a beautiful wistful sound that ended the day on a fine note. We all walked away happy hoping that the next couple of days would be as good as this one.

Bon Iver
review by: Andrew Hogg

photos by: Caitlin Hogg

Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th July 2012
Henham Park Estate, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 8AN, England MAP
£175 weekend adult ticket
daily capacity: 35000
last updated: Tue 10th Jul 2012


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