Latitude Festival 2011 arena to be made bigger

Melvin Benn has outlined changes for this year's Latitude Festival.

Responding to questions put to him on the festival website’s messageboard, the festival organiser revealed that the festival’s layout is set to change this year, with a second bridge across the lake and an extended main arena.

Addressing complaints that queues to enter the site were too long, he promised both the arena entrance and arena itself would be “made bigger for certain”, and that there would be extra toilets and water points.

This year’s event will also see “greater numbers of security” following two reported rapes last year, and there will be “an onsite awareness campaign aimed at younger women in particular.”

He also revealed that the festival layout would be changed by “moving the 2nd Stage and Lake Stage further up the hill to allow for better movement between the woods and the Main Arena with an extra bridge.”

While there are “no plans” to increase the festival’s 35,000 capacity this year, he did not rule out an increase in the future.

He declined to give any hints to this year’s line-up, cautioning board members that they would “have to wait until March” for the initial announcements.

As for the stages themselves, he promised that literature and poetry tents would be “a little bigger” in 2011, and that the Obelisk Arena would gain an extra screen, on the back of the mixing tower.

Benn also showed just how hands-on he is regarding the festival, confirming to one poster that he had indeed seen him directing a stallholder up a ladder to fix a sign on a merchandise stand. “He was waiting for someone else to do what he could do perfectly well himself, so I stood and made him do it,” Benn wrote.

Latitude 2011 will take place at Henham Park, Suffolk, from 14-17 July.

Latitude Festival early bird tickets are now sold out. General sale tickets will go on sale in the Spring.