Hidden stages in the forest, surprise guests, and an eclectic bill at Latitude 2018.
Latitude Festival is renowned as being an inclusive event for families and music fans alike. This is immediately apparent when walking across the scorched site, as the number of families with pushchairs nearly outweighs the rest of the attendees. The line up for Latitude 2018 is varied and definitely caters for that audience diversity, weighing heavily on its mid-level acts rather than more notable headliners - The Killers aside.
kicks off the day in an impassioned and angular fashion. Their take on mid-2000s style garage rock is a welcome boost of energy for the revellers still reeling from day one. Frontwoman Lucia Fontaine stares down the audience as she powers through the set.
A walk in the pine woods leads to what is, surely the most beautiful stage at a festival anywhere in the world. The Sunrise Stage hosted the captivating Black Midi
- more on their performance here
Next up, a quick traipse across the site, through a growing dust cloud, to the lake stage and W.H Lung
. The Manchester trio has the audience bouncing with their Joy Division dancey synth-guitar sounds and Jagger posturing.
The main stage has Parquet Courts
telling audience members to stand up despite the heat and reinforces the sheer scale of the stage, and the type of artist required to capture an audience of this size.
The impressive BBC Music tent is home to many of the festival highlights across the weekend. Canadian Indie band Alvvays
are tiny on the huge stage, but their and soaring sound and uniquely vocal tales of melancholy attract a big crowd, for whom the band are refreshingly humble.
A suspect gap in the setlist kicks the rumour mill into overdrive - Latitude having attracted a reputation for its surprise guests, having welcomed Ed Sheehan, Thom Yorke and Sir Tom Jones in recent years. This year is no disappointment as the incomparable Liam Gallagher
arrives on the BBC stage. Scores of running festival-goers from across the entire sight pack into the, now seemingly tiny tent, as the news spreads fast. The voice is present as is the swagger, as the last great British rock star rips his way through Oasis classics such as Rock ’n’ Roll Star and Slide Away mixed with newer solo tracks. The crowd sing along through grinning faces as Gallagher charms and snarls his way through a full set - designed with one intention, to provide the weekend’s highlight. Job done.
Back amidst the trees, Yellow Days
frontman George van den Broek issues a tiredness disclaimer through bleary eyes of his “three countries in three days”, before immediately wrapping the audience in a wave of synth lines, jangly guitars and his unique voice. If exhaustion is present, it only fuels an intoxicating set that is well placed as the early evening vibe falls across Latitude 2018.
deliver their dependable indie rock that’s been giving festival audiences something neat to sing and dance along to for nearly a decade, and it shows as they make the main stage their own, and keep the picnicking families camped there, happy.
The other half of the crowd submerge back into the darkness of the BBC tent for the growling and chugging brilliance of The Breeders
. Deal and co bringing a welcome slice of angst and female fury to what has been, a mostly jangly festival soundtrack.
Topping the bill is a band that has been ably delivering headline performances for years. The ever impressive Killers
deliver a set that is designed perfectly to bring all sides of the crowd together. Soaring radio-friendly singalongs sit alongside raucous covers and heavier tracks. Their visuals and stage presence, and a brief cameo from Liam Gallagher make for a well-crafted performance that echoes the tone of the day and brings to an end a truly eclectic day of music at Latitude 2018 with some brilliant surprises.
Image courtesy of organisers.