Festival pastors rejoice as Latitude 2021 is great success
After last year's festival was cancelled many people were looking forward to Latitude 2021 as a kick-start to more freedom over the summer. When Festival Republic Director Melvin Benn signed up to make Latitude an official government test event we were sure it would go ahead. All hands were turned to the pumps both by Festival Republic to stage the event with a full crowd of 40,000 attendees, and also Festival Pastors to get a team together and organise a presence at what would be our 10th Latitude.
In the end we were able to field a team of 22 pastors, much reduced from pervious years due to standing down of our county-wide teams while the Night-time Economy was closed, but reduced numbers did not mean less enthusiasm. Unable to provide our usual Cafe facility, we concentrated on daytime patrols around the campsites and into the children's and woods area near the lake. As usual the first day, and even into the second, we were busy welcoming attendees, directing them to their chosen camp site and helping with setting up tents. Thereafter our patrols were more about caring, chatting and assisting in the general welfare of the site. A snapshot of our activities can be seen from our statistics - bare numbers of actions we took in a number of categories - though not all were recorded:
- Personal Safety / Wellbeing - 58
- Pastoral care/and Mental health issues - 3
- Drunk & Incapable - 0
- Medical Assistance Welfare - 17
- Providing Water/Refreshment - 1062
- Juveniles - 6
- Homeless (erecting tents etc) - 692
- Domestic Tension or Violence - 0
- Racial Tension reporting or calming - 0
- Preventing & Reducing crime - 0
- Alerting Security - 3
- Dangerous items removed - 0
- Alcohol and food removed - 0
- Drugs related incidents - 1
- Non Categorised Incidents - 24
Total - 1866 recorded interventions
These numbers do not take into account the many general chats, helping with directions to camp and events and just the joy of sharing a weekend away camping with members of the public. Neither do they reflect the activities in our Pastor's Prayer Tent
A brief description of our activities can be heard in a Radio Suffolk interview with Peter Livey, one of our managers, on Radio Suffolk's Sunday Morning show with Sarah Lilly Speaking to Liz Livey from 0:11:17 and Peter Livey from 1:13:30. Or play the Interview segments only.
All in all we found Latitude 2021 to be a great success - for Festival Republic, for all attendees and for ourselves as Festival Pastors. Hopefully we will be back next year for Latitude 2022 now confirmed as being held on 21st - 24th July 2022.