Flatitude.

It’s like going on holiday. Sandwiches are packed, jumbo coke bought, car hired and it’sa gorgeous morning.  Everything’s packed. Including me and the Journalist. Into the car. We’re off to The Latitude Festival. Our  convey of a total of two cars is halved. After two hours waiting for the other car for two freaking hours we call our friends and tell them we’ll see them there.

Love arriving at a festival. There’s a buzz about it. Damn I miss playing with a band.   With a band, laughing is contagious and  music is collective nirvana. Latitude has got a good profile this year and its sold out. Cars parked, mission is on. I’m now in work mode. There’s a job to do. We trample through woods and across a lake – there’s thousands of people at this festival. Finally we arrive at the poetry tent.   I can see the compere onstage working the audience.  In half an hour I’m on stage in a tent in a field in a festival in Suffolk. The audience are warm and true to form, As I said to the organiser one hour is too long for a set. But he’s young and will learn.  

After the event I meet and chat to Don Letts he who is the inspiration for Marley’s  song “Punky Reggae Party”. The artist DJ and documentary maker’s just done Loose Ends on BBC Radio four broadcast from the festival and has another reading at Midnight and so has to hang around for another four hours. Ugh   A little later I meet Simon (Armitage) and his daughter in search of a decent toilet. Festivals are a swill of good people  good vibes and at this one in particular, good food!  And that’s got to be a good thing.

Because there is so much going on this weekend  I have to leave.  If I had a drink I couldn’thave got in the car and I no longer drink alcohol so  The Journalist stays at the festival with our friends Aida and Omar. Omar is wrecked. He’s a festival virgin and loving everyminute of it. He spent half the night looking for his car keys which he eventually found in the door of the  car.  Now that has to be a sign of a good festival.  We are finally all together. The Keys are found, the performance is done and good food has been eaten.  The sun’s going down throwing  long stilted shadows across the festival. Music is blaring from somewhere, crowds are cheering from Somewhere and I say my goodbyes. I’m in my car to drive home happy and alone.

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