The multi-award-winning Latitude Festival returns to the stunning grounds of Henham Park, Suffolk, on 18th-21st July 2019 with an eclectic bill of music, comedy and arts, plus foodie feasts and family fun – it’s the definitive destination for discovery. In addition to its incredible comedy line-up, and the annual presentation of exceptional musical talent, Latitude Festival offers a huge array of family-friendly activities.
Winning a “Best Family Festival” award in 2018, the family activities are primarily centred around three areas: for the under 13s, there’s the Kids Area and the Enchanted Garden, and for young teenagers (12+), there’s the Inbetweeners’ Teen Area. Sharon Reuben, Kids & Family Programmer said: “With three separate areas for kids, teens and families to have fun together, Latitude aims to be the best and never disappoints! In the spirit of everything that Latitude is famous for, we’ve created a mini-festival of our own with everything from science, theatre and music to illustration, bush-craft and archery – you’ll be entertained all day.”
Entirely separate to the activities for older children, the Kids Area and the Enchanted Garden offer countless forms of entertainment for under 12s. Nestled between the lake and the forest, the Kids Area is a hive of activity all day and into the night with everything from pond dipping and free face-painting to a kid’s disco and pizza making, from traditional woodland crafts to wild science experiments – plus, there’s a theatre with live shows, music and comedy. Based in the Family Campsite, the Enchanted Garden features its own programme of activities, from screen-printing and a petting zoo to a circus rig and family yoga, plus space to hang-out, chill out and relax.
THE KIDS AREA
The Kids Area is an entire festival in itself! Curated with love and imagination, and featuring a vast array of activities, it’s colourful, wild and adventurous, curious and creative. Experienced children’s groups bring their talents and enthusiasm to give families a magical, fabulous fun-packed weekend.
Author Emma Shevah (Dream On, Amber, Dara Palmer’s Major Drama and What Lexie Did from Chicken House) will be appearing for an hour of stories, writing, and fun, leaving children brimming with creativity. Local author Anne Stairmand will return to Latitude with her popular book and activity “Build Your Own Dragon” plus she’ll be launching her new book The Idiot Family on Holiday, which comes with its own madcap activity “Build Your Own Yacht”. Anne also be will be running her annual writing competition! Meanwhile, artist Samantha Barnes will be creating an original artwork, using a variety of methods and materials including charcoal, pencils, ink, feathers and fabric. Laura Trinder, illustrator and joint author of The Midnight Hour will host a fun and interactive workshop where Victorian London is frozen in time, home to magic and monsters, secrets and adventures full of belly laughs and genuine scares.
In a live illustration session, former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq will bring Cookie, the lead character from her up and coming debut children’s book, to life. The hilarious 3-part book series is a laugh-out-loud middle-grade sitcom combining Huq’s own comedic upbringing with madcap science projects in a contemporary London Bangladeshi setting. Konnie said: ‘Really excited to be presenting my new children’s fiction series at Latitude this year! Come down and see me on the Saturday for some live illustration, jokes, games, quizzes and lots of fun.”
Award-winning author and festival performer Gareth P Jones will be asking all the big questions during “Death or Ice Cream”: Ninjas or Pirates? Dinosaurs or Dragons? A talking coconut or a dead parrot? Being stuck in a tiny toilet or lost in a giant maze? Best-selling author Christopher Lloyd will head out on a voyage through the 13 billion-year story of Absolutely Everything, from the beginning of time to the present day. Using a giant timeline as a backdrop, and his signature coat of many pockets, Christopher will stop off at 15 defining moments that have shaped all history – natural, stone age, ancient and modern. Plus there’s Diaries of a Miserable Unicorn, a celebration of difference, uniqueness and being yourself: Dusty has landed on planet Earth, he’s been told that The Royal Wildlife Sanctuary will offer him a place to stay. However, when he arrives, they don’t quite know where to put him – they’ve never had a unicorn before!
Shakespeare’s Men will fly through Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night in a whirlwind hour of mischievous storytelling. With tons of audience interaction, more than a dash of mayhem and a star turn from one lucky adult, Shakespearience! is the perfect treat for all the family! Life’s A Beach is a multi-sensory children’s show inspired by the famous Suffolk myth, The Wild Man of Orford. Drew is out enjoying another sunny day at the beach, a perfect time to go fishing. But when the fishing nets finally get pulled in, Drew is in for a huge surprise. A story about understanding, friendship, and finding a home using live Foley, music, movement and lots of inflatables! The interactive storytelling session Once Upon A City follows the story of one brilliant princess in her journey from the North to the South of the City to meet another, equally brilliant princess. Expect puppetry, shadow play and hilarious jokes in a storytelling adventure. Slow Theatre Company’s Youth Group present an interactive and fun family panto, with an array of familiar characters, all in the wrong place! In Oh We Will, Will We? Cinders is fed up with the ball, The Beast and Bella are trapped in the Co-op and Snow White just wants it to stop snowing!
Meanwhile, in Ice Island, Samantha has found herself alone on an island. She’s incredibly lonely, that is until she discovers she’s landed on an island full of strange creatures. This storytelling adventure explores feelings and emotions for young audiences – expect puppetry, shadow play and surprises. The Italian Job will be running their fab puppetry and pizza workshops. The chefs will be working throughout the weekend to produce delicious, freshly made pizza in their beautiful stone wood-fired oven to keep families well fed all day and late into the evening. Evenings at Latitude are full of fun for the little ones with Angel Gardens. In fact, every evening starts with a with a Flash Mob dance class at 7pm followed by a family disco with Mr Denn at 8pm, and a fire show at 9pm to round things off!
Also appearing at Latitude are Shine on Stage, running their ever-popular musical theatre workshops with performers from top West End shows. There will be different fun-filled workshops every day, with the singing, staging and choreography of many of the most popular songs from the West End’s newest musicals. Festival-favourite Lee Gibling will be back with You can Beatbox. He’s a pro-beat boxer who can teach you how to make beats, rhythms and some wild musical sounds with your voice.
On the subject of music, Mrs H and the Sing-Along Band are the perfect soundtrack to Latitude! Their family-friendly, joyfully melodious performances are always a highlight, whether gently rousing us for another festival day or bouncing off a buzzing crowd. On Friday and Sunday, MAZAIKA will be playing live. Accordion, Violin, Ukulele and Vocals will lead a rumbustious rollicking shanty singalong, plus some sailor’s songs and dances from distant shores! MAZAIKA will transport you from the Russian Steppe to the Gypsy Campfire, from the Opera House to the Tango Salon.
The “Wild Science” tent will feature loads of exciting activities for curious minds. Scientist Dr Lindsay Hall and her team from the Quadram Institute will present “Guardians of the Gut”, a show that involves a tour through a giant interactive gut, exploring the amazing variety of bacteria who live there, and the roles they play in our growth, development and wellbeing. Splat Anatomy‘s life-sized game of ‘Operation’ will test wits and hand-eye coordination as players remove the organs and bones from a life sized anatomical model. Researchers from the University of East Anglia will present Nature’s Dazzling Diversity where children will discover copycat fish, birds with spoons for beaks, and creepy-crawlies of all shapes and sizes! The Chelsea Physic Garden‘s hands-on workshops will show how food can be used as medicine as children become botanical herbalists, creating their own medicines to take away.
Suffolk Wildlife Trust will inspire children to get closer to nature, with pond-dipping sessions, bug hunts, along with whittling elder and natural sculptures. The Woodcraft Folk will offer all manner of nature and bush-craft sessions, including traditional fire making, ‘blind’ trust trails, making rope bridges and cooking over the campfire. Coppice Craft’s Woodland Workshops will feature a range of activities using sustainable, locally sourced wood, including weaving, carving, sculpting and mosaics.
Angel Gardens will be returning for a splendid range of crafts and activities. The Woodcraft Folk will run a huge arts and crafts hub, including making woven mobile phone cases and stick puppets. The lovely Heartstitch ladies will offer their flower baskets brim full of fun-sized craft projects. On Friday and Saturday, The Fairyland Trust will show how to make Fairy Wildflowers to wear, while on Sunday it’s time to make Bouncing Bumble Bees. The incredibly talented Faceinations will provide face painting, so children can become a butterfly, a superhero, or even a bird of paradise!
The artists, designers and illustrators behind the CBeebies animation series Messy goes to OKIDO (and kids arts and science magazine OKIDO) will be appearing at the OKIDO Artists Studio sharing printing, collage, painting and drawing techniques. The OKIDO festival tent will also feature the Recycled Paint Lab In Space, which allows children to create wonderful space-themed creations using recycled objects from around the home. On the same theme, Suffolk Libraries will be making alien antennae and masks, recycled rocket packs and pompom planets to celebrate this year’s Summer Reading Challenge “Space Chase” – plus there’ll be the chance to make (and fire) a rocket, help make a giant flying saucer, add a ping pong planet to the universe, and tell space jokes. Plus there’s free books to read in or take away, story and song sessions, and much more besides.
Creative recycling is very much the order of the festival. Festival Sticker Art have been creating festival fun for 10 years, finding a good home for zillions of unwanted sticky labels. They’ll need assistance making the freakiest garden with pink trees, butterflies as big as ostriches, beautiful snakes, stripy wombats, a pond with lilies and a perhaps a shark. Jem and the Brilliant Builds team will recycle waste cardboard from this year’s festival to build a pirate world. What be one pirate’s trash, be another pirate’s treasure! Suffolk Recycling Group will return with their wild ideas, helpful volunteers and masses of fabulous recycled items, guaranteed to keep kids busy.
THE ENCHANTED GARDEN
And while all that’s going on, just moments from the Kids Area is the more relaxed Enchanted Garden, with loads of space to spread out, chill-out and have fun, featuring vintage fairground rides and a fantastic café by Oatly. It’s open to anyone with children under 13 and provides its own family-friendly programme from 9am-4pm.
The Canopy Stage has a full programme of theatre performances, dance workshops including Bollywood and Breakdancing, live music and more, between 9am-4pm daily, including fabulous family socials, Crack of Dawn on Saturday and Bo Nanafana on Sunday mornings.
Described by Pulp frontman and radio presenter Jarvis Cocker as “one of those ideas you just know is right: Bringing back a sense of wonder and accessibility to music making”, School of Noise is where science and music meet. Children will construct mini synthesisers and create experimental electronic music, conduct an orchestra of fruit and veg, learn about Foley sound design & more! Join them for drop-in activities and interactive talks.
Kids full of energy? Let them bounce it out with Ktroo and their fantastic bouncing boots! Their child-friendly music and routines are lots of fun! Kelfx and Heron will offer a fun and interactive Breakdancing Workshop for all ages and abilities, showing the basics of this exciting artform as well as demonstrating their skills. Plus every day, Angel Gardens will teach Circus Skills, including juggling, diablo, unicycling and more. Meanwhile, expert tutors from Circomedia – the UK’s first full-time circus school – will be holding workshops and creating performances with their trapeze rig.
In the Printing Press on Friday, visiting authors Emma Shevah, Gareth Jones, Alexander Gordon Smith and Anne Stairmand will run interactive workshops based on fantastic children’s books. Then on Saturday and Sunday Print To The People take over the tent, ready to share their super skills and creative designs at their T-Shirt Screen-Printing Workshops.
The Craft Tent is a calm space for budding artists. Weaving Wonders use soft natural materials to teach the ancient art of basket weaving; make a little basket, a pen pot or anything you fancy, while Suffolk Family Carers will be creating delicately layered sand art. Patches sewing project aims to show what people can create when working towards a common goal. Festival-goers can choose from hundreds of pre-cut patches to hand sew onto the ever-growing patchwork blanket. Families can also create their own collaborative pieces over the weekend to take home. Meanwhile, at the Spinning Wagon, children can learn how to prepare, blend and spin fleece into their own yarn! They can then weave or decorate their own dream catcher with lots of beautiful rings and decorations to choose from.
Brian Paterson and his Mini-Zoo and Wildlife Display will feature interesting talks and the chance to see some fascinating and beautiful creatures from meerkats to lizards, snakes to giant snails, plus hands-on experiences with more familiar furry friends. Suffolk Wildlife Trust will be making nature journals every morning with their Wild Writing Workshop.
And if that’s all very exhausting, Carole Baker, local yogi and wellness advisor, will be hosting family Yoga to help stretch out stiff bodies and detox from possible over indulgence the night before! All levels welcome.
Weekend and day tickets for Latitude Festival 2019 are on sale now.