Hi guys, I’m back in my home office today after a thrilling weekend at Latitude Festival here in Suffolk and, now that I’ve finally got back into the swing of everyday life, I figured that now would be a good time to share my photos of the event with you. It was a jam-packed weekend of fun and I needed that Monday off to recover, I can tell you! The weekend kicked off with a very chilled out arrival on Thursday. We breezed onto the site with no traffic trouble at all and, in fact, we were able to come and go throughout the weekend without one single hold-up. The transport arrangements have improved immeasurably since those early years of tailbacks and parking problems, and we even hitched a ride on the very convenient shuttle bus to the festival on the Sunday. The festival arena was almost empty when I arrived (I’m the kinda girl who always turns up early at parties) so I grabbed some shots of the festival field before everything got too hectic. It must be lovely to be one of the early arrivals and spend a stress-free afternoon setting up camp and getting your bearings. As we weren’t camping, I had even more spare time to wander around the site, taking in the artwork and installations as I worked my way around the arena. When I arrived on the Thursday I didn’t really realise that there’s a whole schedule of entertainment for Thursday campers before the festival even begins so when the music started up it drew us over to the lake see what was going on. Well, it was only one of the best dance performances I’ve ever seen! The UK’s leading dance house Sadler’s Wells presented ‘The Get Down’ with Boy Blue Entertainment, an impressive hip-hop dance party on the waterfront stage, where we danced along to the tracks of my teens until the sun went down. Later that evening we hung out in the newly christened ‘SpeakEasy’ arena (combining two of my favourite stages from previous years: literature and poetry) to laugh along with poet and actor Tim Key, and lip-synced the night away with Marcus Brigstocke’s Princefest party. If you can get to Latitude Festival on the Thursday next year, I’d recommend it; it’s such a lovely way to wind-down and ease into the weekend. After such a chilled out start, Friday, Saturday and Sunday whizzed by in a flurry of comedy, cabaret, DJs, art and surreal shows. Even though there’s more to do than can be ever be done, I didn’t feel like I missed anything this year and that’s thanks to the new Latitude app. I know it’s a bit OTT to plan out every single moment of a festival so I generally went with the flow, but I really enjoyed popping a little star next to the shows that I knew I absolutely did not want to miss. Scrolling through the acts organised by time rather than stage was the easiest way to see at a glance what was going on at any one time. And the super-organised blogger in me was delighted to discover little reminders pinging through on my phone to notify me 15 minutes before a favourite performer that I’d ‘starred’ was about to start. In previous years I’ve felt like I’d missed something, but not this time. I saw it all. Or at least, that’s how it felt: very satisfying.One of my festival highlights included watching the debut performance of While The World Sleeps on the Alcove stage. This intimate arena lets you get up close to new bands, many of whom I’m certain will be on the main stage next year. The band performed with brass and strings along with a traditional guitar, drums, bass and vocals set-up. It was absolutely mesmerising and it came as no surprise when the talented members of the band were spotted performing on the main stage with headliners Mumford and Sons on Saturday night. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Cassiefairy Latitude review without a whole heap of comedy recommendations so, seeing as I spent more than 12 hours sat in the comedy tent over the weekend, here are some of my favourites. Even though I’m not great with political satire, former festival compare Nish Kumar performed a hilarious set on very current affairs (and when we bumped into him in the festival field afterwards was the nicest guy you could hope to meet). Headliner Saturday Reginald D Hunter had the whole crowd in stitches from start to finish. Eek, on second thoughts, maybe that’s the wrong word to use considering that he was suffering from a broken leg. The guy powered on in a wheelchair and stole the show. What a legend. After watching his performance at Cambridge Junction earlier this year, I’d ‘starred’ Ivo Graham in the app schedule. His brand new set had me roaring with laughter and, again, he was the loveliest guy ‘in real life’ too. So many of the comedians told me that they were performing at Edinburgh Fringe so I should make the effort to head up north to the 70th anniversary festival this summer.Seann Walsh’s angry delivery is always a winner for me so his grumpy set (and wild hair to match) didn’t disappoint. And Chris Ramsey’s cute discussion about different types of oranges made me laugh so much that I almost couldn’t breathe. I think that’s a sign of a good comedian. Another former Latitude compare Tom Allen’s set over-ran by about 50% but it was so funny that I don’t think anyone really cared – or wanted him to stop for that matter. Oh, and this years’ compare Lloyd Griffith’s tape impressions were, quite possibly, the best thing I saw all weekend. A couple of acts caught my eye this year that I hadn’t seen before, including the deadpan Daniel Simonsen and the physical comedy of Suzi Ruffell. The Chortle Student Comedy Awards on the Friday morning offered up some more soon-to-hit-the-big-time comedians, including Tony Wright, Riordan DJ and Jack Gleadow. Considering that Chris Ramsey and Joe Lycett are previous Chortle finalists, I’m certain that these acts will go far. Good luck at the Edinburgh Fringe final next month guys! Okay, I’m going to stop there in terms of comedy, and switch over to the cabaret tent where I saw plenty more shows that made me laugh out loud from start to finish such as Edinburgh festival veteran Eshaan Akbar and anthropologist Tessa Coates. And the musical cabaret by Charlie Baker and The Hit Polishers was the funniest show containing a trumpet and tap shoes that I’ve ever seen. You may have guessed by now that I don’t really go to Latitude festival for the music, it’s all about the theatre, cabaret, dance, poetry and (did I mention?) comedy for me. That said, who can resist jumping around to Fatboy Slim in a tent full of 90s kids on a Sunday night? Not me. I was in there “eat, sleep, rave, repeat”-ing with the best of them. By the way, tickets for Latitude 2018 go on sale this week on Thursday 20th July, so if my photos have inspired you and you’re considering going next year, I’d definitely recommend taking advantage of the payment plan. This allows you to pay for your ticket in instalments over the course of the year and means you can get excited about all the acts being announced in the run up to the festival without worrying that it’ll sell out before you get hold of a ticket!I’ve got plenty more festival photos to share with you (including a whole collection of caravan pics for those of you who love vintage campers) over the coming weeks so please do pop back for more soon. I figured that 40+ photos would be enough to start with and I hope you enjoyed looking through my snaps today. See ya!