Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Latitude Ireland "will not happen this year"

Latitude - not coming to a country near you soon

The proposed Irish staging of UK festival 'Latitude' at Belvedere House Gardens and Park in Mullingar, Co. Westmeth over the weekend of July 18 -20 has been postponed.

Although the venue, which has played host to the Hi:Fi and Midlands Music Festival in recent years, was booked for Latitude and plans were submitted to its owners, Westmeath County Council, by Festival Republic (which Irish giants MCD have a share in) the festival was called off earlier this month.

A Council spokesperson told Hot Lunch that Latitude "will not happen this year" or possibly any other year for that matter. The local authority and the management of Belvedere are said to be devestated that the high-profile maiden voyage for the festival has been nixed. Earlier this year there was THREE music festivals booked for Belvedere, which is undoubtedly the finest festival site in Ireland. Now, it looks like there will be none. As On the Record said last week, the Irish festival market is in a state of flux, with some high profile casualties including both the Midlands Music Festival and Garden Party for POD Concerts, who are rumoured to have lost money on both. MCD, their main rivals, even struggled to shift tickets for the teenage rite-of-passage that is the Oxegen festival. It's line up was pitched at the oldies and, it has to be said, is the one of the weakest Oxegen line-up in years with plenty of old timers on stage to confuse the kids who have made this festival a no-go area for most self respecting music fans in recent years.

But POD have an ace in their sleeve, and that is the peerless Electric Picnic, the line-up of which is being announced tomorrow (Wednesday). Latitude itself was modelled on the Picnic (or Leccy Piccy as Hot Press inanely call it) and with Latitude falling by the wayside, and MCD not able to tie in acts for a twin festival (as they do with T In The Park/Oxegen) that now isn't happening it's technically been 'open season' for a number of acts on the UK Latitude bill, which no doubt means we'll be seeing Sigur Ros, Franz Ferdinand and the brilliant Elbow play the Electric Picnic this year.

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