Latitude workers feel ‘unadulterated joy' at festival's return, says founder

The music event is coming to a close on Sunday.

Workers at Latitude Festival have felt “absolute unadulterated joy” after being able to return to their jobs, the founder of the event has said.

Melvin Benn said he has never “seen so many grown men crying” as he has at the festival.

Latitude Festival, which has been attended by around 40,000 people, is coming to an end on Sunday.

Latitude Festival 2021 – Southwold
Around 40,000 people attended Latitude Festival (Jacob King/PA)

Benn told the PA news agency the reaction of workers at the festival “has been joy, absolute unadulterated joy, mixed with a massive emotional release”.

“I don’t think I have ever seen so many grown men crying and just literally people standing on stage and not being able to communicate because they are in tears.

“Front of house managers, builders, scaffolders etcetera just suddenly realising that this is the life that they were living and that they had lost.

“Some of them really thought they would never get it back and I think we have managed to get it back.”

Electric Picnic 2017
Melvin Benn (Brian Lawless/PA)

He said the event, which is taking place at Henham Park estate near the Suffolk coast, has “gone to plan”.

“It’s very much as anticipated so I’m feeling relaxed,” he said.

“It was a huge pressure trying to put it together with what was very little time.”

Benn said he expected more acts to pull out than the few that did, including Arlo Parks after she tested positive for coronavirus.

“In the main acts are younger people and the proliferation of the Delta variant at the moment, there’s a lot of it around younger people, so just on the law of averages, we would have said that there would have been more,” he said.

“But actually what a lot of the acts have been doing is self-isolating and bubbling before the performances, because they were so keen to get out here and perform.”

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