Latitude 2009

I arrived back yesterday from the Latitude Festival. Many commentators sneer at Latitude for being 'middle-class' without saying why that is a bad thing. I had a great time, seeing lots of acts I'd not normally seek out and watching a lot of poets.

The weather was appalling, with an unpleasant thunderstorm on Thursday night and more rain throughout. Despite that the festival ground didn't turn into a swamp, unlike some other festivals I've been to. However, having my Mum & Dad's caravan to retreat to probably made things easier than they might have been. Among the highlights for me were:

  • A fantastic line-up in the comedy tent, including Stephen K. Amos, Shappi Khorsandi and Matt Kirshen. I was sad to see the talented Janeane Garofalo's set, which ended after 6 awkward minutes. (UPDATE: what happened next)
  • I didn't see many bands, but was delighted to discover The Vaselines were playing. They were charming and I remembered most of the songs they played. There was also a stunning set from Tricky, who I'd not seen play for about 10 years.
  • The film tent featured some fascinating events. Sadly Jeffrey Lewis missed the slot for his lecture on Watchmen, but Richard Dedomenici's lecture on plagiarism was fantastic. It included his response to people saying "I could have done that" when confronted with modern art: but why would you be doing it?
  • I spent most of my time in the poetry tent, which featured some fantastic acts including Mik Artistik, Jessica Delfino, Ross Sutherland, Byron Vincent, Nathan Filer, and Jay Bernard. The poetry tent had a rapid turnover of acts and ran for about 14 hours a day, so was always a good place to return to between other events.

All in all, a fantastic weekend, and possibly the best festival I've been to.

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