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Latitude Diary

Our youngest reporter shares his strange adventures at this year's festival...


"Right, have we got every thing?” said my mum after we had packed the car. I went through a list of things in my head – tent, blow-up bed, sun cream, sleeping bags, guitar, boiler suit, jeans, shirts, sunglasses, wet-wipes, wellies and a frying pan. “Pretty sure we have,” I replied. So we got in the car and set off for Latitude. The journey wasn’t too long, but it would’ve been a lot shorter if our sat-nav didn’t keep trying to take us back to London. We only stopped once, at a place called the Essex Trade Centre, which I kept on laughing at because from where we were parked it looked like it said ‘Sex Trade Centre’. When we arrived it was very easy to  get our wristbands and get on with putting our tents up, but when we came to cooking our dinner, well, that’s when the thunder storm started, so we hid under our gazebo eating burgers and went to sleep to the sound of disco in the woods.


I woke up early and went to meet my friend Oscar by the lake. To our right were multi-coloured sheep, to our left were woods full of different pieces of art and blank canvases that anybody could make their mark on. We went and got our faces painted blue, and then we had some really nice Caribbean food. I then went to see the Duckworth Lewis Method, a band who only play songs about cricket. I also saw Regina Spektor, who was great, Squeeze (nobody could stop dancing!) and Pet Shop Boys who had really amazing graphics, such as the decks turning into Rubik’s cubes. I then went to a place called the disco shed, which is literally a shed on a hill that has a DJ inside it and loads of flashing lights. There was a guy there who I think had had more than just cider – he kept nearly falling over while doing a strange dance that involved bending over and shaking his head while rubbing his neck. It was a pretty weird experience, which left my friends and I in hysterics.


There were so many great bands on Saturday, and one band I really liked were The Irrepressibles, they are a ten-piece orchestra with a brilliant frontman, guitarist and composer called Jamie McDermott. They have amazing costumes that make them look like they have come straight from a 17th century Transylvanian brothel. Their music is sort of baroque mixed with a strange hint of punk and a dose of Jeff Buckley. They performed on a weird box in the middle of the lake that is at the centre of the festival. Then I saw Grace Jones who made a costume change for every song. During one song she wore a bowler hat that was like a disco ball and when the lighting guys shone lasers on it they reflected off the hat into the sky. She also hula-hooped the whole way through 'Slave To The Rhythm'.


On Sunday afternoon I saw Thom Yorke. He made the whole audience feel so chilled-out with his acoustic songs. I then saw The Vaselines and they were awesome, everybody there was so into it! I also saw Tricky who crowed-surfed for a while and then just disappeared. Then, walking by the literary tent I saw two guys (who I later found out were called Pappy’s Fun Club) and they said to me, 'Okay, we’re going to take you back to a time when we didn’t know a lot of things, and we’re going to focus on the fact that we didn’t know that we used our ears for hearing.' They then got completely stark bollock naked and started talking to each other’s cocks. The whole audience was in hysterics and by the end they were too. On Sunday night, after watching Nick Cave, I went to a disco called Swaparama. The purpose of this disco was that you went along with clothes you didn’t like (they also threw clothes out from the stage) and every time a klaxon sounded you had to swap an item of clothing with the person next to you. It was really fun and I spent 20 minutes dancing in a pink ball gown!!! Overall, Latitude 2009 was great, as a teenager you feel really safe  there and you can go off without your parents and not feel at all afraid, and there’s loads of stuff to do in the day when there are no bands playing. I saw a talk on placebos in medicine, a debate on climate change, and a comedian telling a story about a dog that accidentally gave itself a blow-job! I got very wet, very muddy and very tired. It was brilliant.
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