EDitorial ± 16-Jul-2010

Latitude 2010

That there local Latitude festival used to be so much simpler when it was just me (2008), or even me and Wifey (2009). Wee bit trickier this year. Eldest and friend v. keen to come along, what with that Florence and her accompanying machine. No way they can pass as 12 and under, hence ordered three adult tickets. Middler, still 12 at the start of that week, expressed an interest when I mentioned the free child ticket per grown-up one. Plus she'd like to bring a buddy too. Alrighty.

Complications arose when Middler invited pal number two. X seats in car, X+1 people. Hello Houston? Options evaluated and fully costed, agreed a workaround (less said the better) with friend's mum.

All six of us arrive midday-ish and eventually get our secure wristbands. No takers for the face painting area. Walk them the length of the site -- look, kids, that's the Obelisk stage -- and agree to meet for 2pm at the Dead Tree. Not a trendy stall but, er, a dead tree. Gotta dash, guys, I'm already behind on my personal itinerary.

Catch end of lively Jane Bussman talk, couple of decent tracks by These Ghosts, and successful meet-up takes place. Everyone fed and accounted for. Let's do this again. 6pm-ish? No can do, Dad, that'll clash with The Feeling. Seems we all have our timetables.

Not far to see Villagers, impressively powerful, on to folksy clog dancing Unthanks on big stage, and uneven Sara Pascoe in comedy tent. Can't get near poetry place for Wendy Cope. Back to Word Arena for Angus & Julia Stone -- cameo appearance for Damien Rice on great Grease track -- and a soupcon of new wave Spoon. Wander through the woods for enjoyable Luna Belle and second rendezvous is as smooth as the first.

Bit of Laura Marling -- doesn't work for me -- and grab donuts before settling down in corner of Word Arena for eccentric Wild Beasts. Watching the Chris Morris Q&A queue grow and grow when text arrives from one of Middler's mates:

I lost everyone and phone won't connect. Where are you?

Bottoms. Not the best time to discover that although mobile signal is good, calls aren't getting through reliably and texts are taking minutes, if not hours, to arrive. I can't contact her and I've no idea where she is on the site.

Let's gloss over bouncing from one warden to another, incoming messages from lost mate's Mum and the white noise of walkie-talkies. Half an hour or so later, we had a happy ending, and off they disappeared again. Time for the last five minutes of Chris Morris, the man himself, and straight back to the Word for The National, a towering performance.

Yes, we met up successfully afterwards, despite the darkness, and easily found our way back to the black car with its single balloon left tied to the aerial. Job done, and they're all asleep on the journey back.

... and still missed Billy Bragg, Eddie Argos and that bloke from CSI.