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Latitude 2009

The pioneering, genre-defying, award-winning Latitude Festival returns to England’s Sunrise Coast for another spectacular year. Taking place on 16th – 19th July, near Suffolk’s stunning sea-side town of Southwold, organisers Festival Republic are promising Latitude will be the perfect British summer destination.

Now in its fourth year Latitude continues to inspire and innovate; bringing the very best from the worlds of music, film, comedy, theatre, cabaret, dance, poetry, literature and art together for a fun-filled, cultural adventure by the sea. Last year’s sold out, sun-drenched event bore witness to such weird and wonderful sights as a spontaneous conga line, courtesy of comic genius Ross Noble; a slice of European hip-hop dance from Sadler’s Wells performed at sunset on a beautiful stage upon the lake; and huge luminous, golden orbs which decorated Sigur Rós’ stunning headline set on the Obelisk Arena. And that’s not to mention the flesh-eating zombies that emerged from deep in the woods to assemble at the Theatre Arena in a climactic ending to a Royal Shakespeare Company thriller!

Latitude never fails to offer the cream of the music world and caters for all tastes whatever your interests and mood. With four stages dedicated to showcasing an eclectic line-up you can guarantee established bands and budding new acts aplenty, all weekend long. Last year at the Obelisk Arena you could bask in the sunshine and enjoy the sonic delights of festival headliners Franz Ferdinand, Sigur Rós and Interpol, as well as witness a frenetic show from Nick Cave’s Grinderman, and a jaw-dropping sunset performance from Mercury Prize winners Elbow. Whilst on a leisurely amble over to the tented Uncut Arena you could sample music from all genres including reggae, jazz and blues from African duo Amadou And Mariam, progressive and experimental rock from Mars Volta, and orchestral rock from cult band Tindersticks, plus a nostalgic bop to the legendary disco/punk of Blondie.

Nestled in a clearing in the woods, the exquisite and intimate Sunrise Arena provides the perfect platform for emerging bands, like last year’s headliners Crystal Castles, Metronomy and Black Kids to reach large audiences. Likewise, a short stroll down to the shimmering lake, you can chance upon The Lake Stage – an open air hub of rising stars curated by Radio 1 DJ and new music aficionado, Huw Stephens, handpicking the very best from the BBC Introducing stage.

Anything and everything is possible at Latitude Festival with new and exciting experiences just waiting to be discovered round every corner. Whether it ’s unexpectedly stumbling across a piano in the woods inviting you to have a play; drunkenly entering in a sack race on the sunny banks of the lake or just meandering between arenas sampling the full spectrum of art on offer, Latitude has something for everyone, making it an ideally located weekend away. There’s even a dedicated Children’s Arena as diverse as the rest of the festival, where kids can enjoy books, art, music, theatre, heaps of participation and fun with the added opportunity to take something away, from circus skills to handmade crafts to an appreciation of the woodland setting and the nature within it.

It’s this vast and eclectic programming which has set Latitude apart from its contemporaries and has won the event many awards over the past three years. In October last year Latitude Festival was delighted to win a coveted TMA (Theatre and Management Awards) for Special Achievement in Regional Theatre. Main sponsor of the awards, The Stage Newspaper, praised Latitude’s efforts to take theatre to new audiences and as the awards honour individual creative excellence and collaborative artistic effort in performance and production, this is a massive achievement that places the theatre programme at Latitude up there with the great and the good of the performing arts world.

Festival Republic’s plans are already underway for the fourth edition of Latitude and will be bringing back BAFTA, The Royal Court Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company and Sadler’s Wells to name but a few. Add to this the diverse, unparalleled line-up of music to come, plus much, much more still to be confirmed and announced across all arenas over the next five months; this year’s event will no doubt shape up to be yet another glorious slice of cultural heaven. So why not book the time off now and rest assured that you’ll have the time of your life, holidaying on the Sunrise Coast at Latitude Festival 2009.

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