Revellers at the Latitude Festival have spoken about the “amazing feeling” of being at the first major music event since before the pandemic began.
The four-day festival, which is part of the Government’s Events Research Programme, is expected to be attended by 40,000 people.
Festivalgoers must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test or be double vaccinated to access the site at Henham Park in Suffolk.
Headliners Wolf Alice, The Chemical Brothers, Bastille and Bombay Bicycle Club will perform at the event.
Festivalgoer Rebecca Watson, 32, a creative director from London, who had her nine-month-old daughter Minnie in a baby carrier on her front, said: “It’s just amazing, isn’t it? It’s great.
“And also for Minnie, as she’s never seen any of this before. It’s so good to see people, and happiness.
“I think it’s the tonic everyone needed at the end of last year.”
Kris Spandler, 31, of Brighton, who is working on a stand at the festival, said: “It feels amazing.
“Last night was an amazing feeling, everyone back together again.
“The feeling of the energy of everybody just enjoying each other’s company, watching a live act and listening, reacting as a crowd rather than just watching something at home for one-and-a-half years.”
He said the festival feels “safe so far”, adding: “Everyone’s approaching it like that.
“Everyone seems happy so far.”
Jason Appel, a 45-year-old accountant from north London, said: “It feels great, it was really nice, really happy when we walked in.
“Just generally nice to feel like you’re in a bit of a sanctuary, I think.
“I think if you’ve come to a festival in the first place you’re going to want to be in a place like this so for me it’s felt absolutely fine.”
University worker Stephen Matthews, 50, from Wivenhoe, near Colchester in Essex, said it felt a “little bit odd” to be back at a festival.
“It’s a little bit odd,” he said.
“Very happy in general, but standing in a crowd for the first time last night was a little bit strange, and feeling people come quite close to you was quite strange.
“But good to hear live music.
“I think it is safe but I think there’s a natural anxiety there just because we’re not used to it.”