By RICHARD WOOD and BEN WOODS, Reporters
Sunday, July 15, 2012
An eclectic three days of music, theatre, literature and comedy was brought to a close as Paul Weller took to the stage this evening to give the final performance of Latitude 2012.
The prestigious rocker walked on at 9.30pm starting with Wake Up The Nation as he began to deliver the final set to thousands of people as the night drew in over Henham Park, near Southwold.
The performance followed Ben Howard, Bat For Lashes, Simple Minds, Alabama Shakes and Rufus Wainwright, who were among those to perform on the Obelisk Arena today.
However, it was the performance of pianist Lang Lang on the Waterfront Stage which will be one of the most memorable moments.
Other performances throughout the day included Rich Hall, Reginald D Hunter and a headline set from Jack Dee in the comedy arena, Levellers at the Outdoor Theatre and Dave Gorman in the Literary arena.
Around 34,000 people attended the festival today as the sun shone brightly, following a weekend blighted by heavy rain and mud.
The planned day visitor car park and entrance had to be moved yesterday and today, and tractors were occasionally needed to help stranded vehicles out of the muddy fields, but generally the village and arena area were able to cope with the conditions as woodchip was put on the mud.
Speaking earlier today festival founder Melvin Benn said: “I think it has gone phenomenally well.”
He added: “I can’t begin to describe it all. Bon Iver on Friday was magical, the fact that it was their first headline set was extraordinary.
“Elbow were unbelievable with fireworks, pyro and a real connection with the audience.
“Lang Lang and Rufus Wainwright have been great and I haven’t begun to get to Paul Weller yet.”
Mr Benn said that he was happy with the way the site had coped with the rain.
“There has been absolutely no disruption with everything happening on time,” he said.
“The weather has been a challenge, not just for Latitude but all sorts of events, but we have got through it.”
Meanwhile, festival-goers also hailed the weekend as a success.
Russell Newton, a post-graduate student at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, said the temperamental weather did not spoil his experience.
The 45-year-old said: “The weather hasn’t affected it at all really.
“It came at the right time when people were in bed.”
Speaking about his festival experience, he added: “I don’t know another festival where you can get so close, or find room to put up a chair, moments before a big act comes on stage.
“Next year, I think they should have a classical tent. I think classical music has been more popular at Latitude then they realise.”
Emily Bell, a journalism professor, who grew up in Terrington St Clement, near King’s Lynn, said Latitude was the one festival where her children were safe.
The 46-year-old, who camped two nights at the festival from Friday morning to Sunday evening, said: “We have always gone to festivals. We have three kids. The oldest one is 14-years-old and comes with a group of his friends. We want to give him an amount of independence, which we wouldn’t do at any other festival.
“Our other children absolutely love it here as well.
“We have enjoyed a mix of activities and the music here as well. Janelle Monae was fantastic and Lana Del Rey was better than I thought she was going to be.”
For more from Latitude Festival click on the links at the top right of the screen.