Latitude 2011 Review

2011 Latitude Festival Weather: Heavy persistent rain, a few sunny spells then mostly more rain resulting in lots of muddy areas!

Latitude-2011-Sam-Sugden
Sam and her family at Latitude 2011

Review by: Sam (with 2 kids: aged 3 and 12)

Getting to the festival and setting up camp:

We arrived Thursday evening around 7. We had set off at 4 o’clock, met friends not far from the site at 5.15 but then took some time to get onto the site & to be directed to a plot. We were booked into the family campervan area & were a bit worried when we arrived as it already seemed to be very busy. Although in 2010 we had not arrived until the Friday morning, we were much further back this year in the family campervan area & were glad we had made the effort to get there Thurs.

Entertainment – Line up and Kids Activities:

We very much enjoyed the line up and were never at a loss as to what we wanted to see & do. My 12 year old had a truly wonderful time at the Inbetweeners area, doing and creating all sorts of things (making her own comic book, and MC & Music Production, both of which she brought home on disc). My 3 yr old also loved the kids area,… so much going on – couldn’t fault it.

What would you change / improve (if anything)?

If anything…..It’s a shame that the queues for the comedy, literature, & poetry tents are always so long, don’t know how this could be improved but a tad frustating. Toilet block nearer to the family campervan area, but all in all a great job done by the organisers.

Any other comments and your Top Tip:

As already mentioned taking a potty, boginabag, or even a bucket for those middle of the night dashes. Due to the weather mud, mud, & more mud, we were very glad we have swapped our buggy for a pull-along wagon, pushing a buggy would have been a nightmare!  Taking snacks & soft drinks in for the kids is always a must as although the food on offer is good for adults (pricey) kids do not seem to be catered for! [See our blog on Festival Food]

Site and Facilities:

Taking a travel potty was a godsend as from where we were camped the toilets were a fair old trek, we would not have fancied making the long walk to the toilets in the middle of the night! Whilst on site the toilets seemed to be kept very clean and were marshalled by staff so that the queues were fast moving. At one point I decided that I would give the women’s urinals a go as the queue for them was much shorter….. HUGE mistake, not an experience I will be repeating!!!

Phone coverage seemed to be very good which is always helpful when your eldest likes to keep in touch whilst off doing her own thing.

Did you feel safe?

We felt safe & took all the usual rules of safety with us & do not presume that just because we are at a festival you let slip any safety measures that you apply to everyday life.

Would you go again?

YES

9/10

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Review by: Karon (with a 9 year old)

Getting to the festival and setting up camp:

Very well signposted and easy to get to on A12… We were lucky enough to get some guest passes for VIP camping and have to say,this was such a godsend given the weather! The parking was fab and the camping only moments away, but there were a few problems with others heading for family camping which was quite far away… fortunately there were golf trolleys’s available to hitch a lift on for the cost of a recycled cup lol!! Weather made it very muddy but the spirits of all campers was fantastic given the conditions!

Entertainment – Line up and Kids Activities:

There was so much music and theatre and comedy on offer, suited mostly to 20+years.  Buzzcocks were on too early for us and we only watched Fab headline acts The Nationals and Paulo Nutini and the beautiful Phildel undercover Saturday afternoon as the weather was so awful! Instead I concentrated mainly on keeping my lil’ ones dry and happy and this was simple in the children’s area… perfect infact! There were self contained kidsloos, Greenpeace providing cheap teas, sandwiches and watermelon etc for £2, plenty of seated areas and all day plays and shows and undercover workshops, Mission:explore were there doing facepainting, balloon modelling and keeping kids entertained with weekend long missions!! In the woods, Bushcraft skills by www.canoeman.com was amazing, 2 hour workshops cooking bread in a pit and toasting marshmallows… mmm! Our fav bit was the lantern parade at 9pm Saturday eve where all the tiddly peeps had their own Lanterns made earlier in the festival and wandered round in the dark singing and playing music!! It was a lovely sight and a fab end to a great day.

What would you change / improve (if anything)?

I would make sure access/exit was improved as mud on the way out on the roads proved very difficult and took hours to get out of the carpark, made worse by the music being so loud until 3am!! Be under no illusion, this is a very noisy festival and ear plugs for a good sleep are a must… I have no idea how I got through the 3 days without them (at 3am Saturday morning I could clearly hear the DJ’s in the woods and feel vibrations through the tent!) but the daytime vibe was fantastic and fortunately very chilled!

Any other comments and your Top Tip:

As mentioned already, dont forget the ear plugs!! Weather was my worst for a festival ever, but so long as you are prepared, there is plenty of fun still to be had! My big boy and I literally jumped into a puddle right up to our middle cleverly disguised by woodchips, but we laughed all the way to the fab showers and toilets and were soon out again. We also found hats and cheap socks were available in the village along with regular supplies!!! Go take a look, its not all expensive and everyone loves a festy bargain!!  Always take red recycle sacks/bin bags with you… for rubbish, to use as a waterproof poncho, to cover your stuff, to put muddy clothes in when returning to tent. We got through loads and really helped keep the tent nice and warm and mudfree

Site and Facilities:

The toilets were all fab, lots of them and cleaned regularly. I hear there was a water shortage over the weekend and drinking water was not adequately signposted but when I went to a bar to ask where the nearest water supply was… they immediately gave us a free bottle… 🙂   Mobile coverage was very good and the site is very well spaced out… lots of stages and the wooded area all pathed with woodchip and kids area had its own loos!  Camping looked very packed but with The Village having a few shops/stalls/Alpro breakfastbar/Vodaphone charging point etc near camping and lots more to offer near the main arena/stages seemed a great idea.

Did you feel safe?

Latitude is not my top festival of choice as there is just too much going on for me and I hate to miss out!!!  But if you want to go along for a huge assortment of entertainment and take your children with you, you will not be disappointed! The security staff were lovely and informative volunteers dressed as elves were there to point you in the right direction, which was great as book type programmes with timetable etc were £9.00!… I didn’t see any trouble all weekend so I am very pleased, I thought it would be more of a rowdy festival but at 11.30pm I was still happily dancing in the woods with my big boy doing body popping to a happy crowd!!  No worries atall.

Would you go again?

100%!

8/10

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Review by: Kate (with 2 kids: aged 8 and 4)

Getting to the festival and setting up camp:

We didn’t have a problem getting in this year and only queued a little to get into the actual car park.  We discovered Festaxi this year and would HIGHLY recommend them.  We paid £15 to take us and all of our stuff from the car to wherever we wanted to camp, which ended up being the family camping area, really close to the facilities – happy days.  The tents were not overcrowded and the other campers around us were friendly and considerate too.

Entertainment – Line up and Kids Activities:

The kids did more activities than us!!  It is always a lovely atmosphere in the children’s arena, a bit like a village fete.  They did pond dipping and loads of arts and crafts.  Also they enjoyed the Rowse Honey tent where they saw real bees in a hive, had their faces painted and were given aprons, honey sandwiches, bee deely boppers, a bag and a story/activity book.

What would you change / improve (if anything)?

To be honest, they are doing a fantastic job and only the weather needed improving this year.  Last year there were not enough toilets and water facilities, also there was only one bridge so that caused alot of congestion problems – the organisers took note and fixed it all this year!

Any other comments and your Top Tip:

The weather was awful, either persistent heavy rain and wind or just as you were drying off a sudden downpour long enough to soak you.  Made conditions difficult with a pushchair, even though ours is a 3 wheel go anywhere variety.

Site and Facilities:

The toilets this year were a joy for us as we camped too far away from the family camping facilities last year and had to use the long drop type loos which was a nightmare with a then 7 and 3 year old!!  The loos this year were great, and well kept despite the awful weather, as were the showers and washing facilities.  They did lose their water on a few occasions but it was all managed well by the staff.  Getting around was tricky once it became really muddy, but I think it is a protected site so I guess there isn’t much that can be done.  Mobile coverage was fine, I had service with Orange all over the site.  The food vendors are really expensive and my kids don’t eat much so it proved pricey having to buy their meals – I took snacks with us, but you need a hot meal when its freezing cold and wet.  Would be great to have a vendor specialising in good kids meals at smaller sizes and smaller prices – as it is a family friendly festival, I think they would sell out!

Would you go again?

We would definitely go again, but would check the weather forecast first or at least pray for some sunshine!

9/10

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