by Andrew Trendell Staff | Photos by Richard Gray

Tags: Portishead, Latitude Festival 

Melvin Benn: 'Latitude bands need to have integrity'

He also reveals how he bagged Portishead

 

Latitude boss Melvin Benn on survival and booking Portishead Photo: Richard Gray

This weekend saw Latitude Festival celebrate its 10th anniversary - a hard feat, considering the struggle for young festivals survive. However, Latitude has only gone from strength to strength, this year boasting an incredible line-up that featured Noel Gallagher, Alt-J, Portishead, Manic Street Preachers and many more. 

Watch our interview with Latitude boss Melvin Benn below

There's an essence to Latitude that runs through the entire event and the line-up, but what is it? To find out, we invited Latitude organiser Melvin Benn into the Gigwise gazebo.

"I think that any band that has genuine integrity would be a Latitude band, and a band that has set themselves apart is also a Latitude band," said Benn from Festival Republic - who also organise Reading & Leeds. "If you look at the BBC 6 Music Stage, for example, you'll see King Kreosote, Public Service Broadcasting, Jon Hopkins - that's a line-up to me that really is Latitude."

He continued: "But if you throw into it the fact that Alt-J, who are more accessible that any of those three but have actually come through the ranks of Latitude, they're headlining the main stage, that says the story." 

- Read our full review of the 12 best moments of Latitude 2015 here

Watch our interview with Latitude boss Melvin Benn below

Speaking of how he magaged to bag Portishead as headliners, Benn continued: "They committed never to playing live again. Fortunately, one of them had been at Latitude with their family two or three times, and with a fair degree of hassling and a fair degree of begging and the fact that some of them had been and loved it - they came back. It's that spirit that Latitude can induce in people that brings them back."

And that spirit is what keeps Latitude alive - and keeps masses of culture junkies flocking on mass every July to the sandy fields of Suffolk. 

"A festival will never survive without the festival-goers wanting to come back year on year," said Benn. "They do, and you can see how relaxed they are, they know their way around, they're regular attendees and they feel like they belong here - it's delightful that they do. They're the ones who have kept the show going more than anybody more than anybody."

Check back at Gigwise for more interviews and live sessions from Latitude 2015. 

Below: The beautiful sights and people of Latitude 2015


Andrew Trendell

Staff

Gigwise.com Editor

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