So, the festival season is well underway and with Glastonbury gone, done and dusted, the summer revelers are searching for a new event to cut loose from the day-to-day slog of normal life and sleep under the stars, nodding off to the echoes of their favourite band’s live set drifting past their ears. Well, look no further, as the weekend beginning the 16th of July sees the Latitude festival celebrate its fifth birthday…and what a celebration it’s going to be.

Forget about the line-up that puts other festivals to shame. Forget about Bret Easton Ellis serenading us with tales of L.A. debauchery at the Literary Arena. If you can, forget about special guest Tom Jones performing ‘Praise & Blame’ at midnight In The Woods. This year, it’s all about the spray-painted sheep. No, that’s not a poor taste Welsh joke (sorry Tom), one of the main pulling powers of Latitude festival that has kept festival lovers returning time and time again, and what R13 is really excited about seeing is the plethora of muti-coloured sheep ambling around the fields, intermingling with the weekend’s guests.

If R13 can tear itself away from the rainbow-tinted animals, there are also a few bands that it may want to check out. What’s fantastic about Latitude is that careful thought has been put into every performing artist, from The Sunrise Arena’s alternative indie bands such as The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart all the way up to The Obelisk Arena’s gargantuan headliners Florence and the Machine and Belle and Sebastian, there is not an act in the line-up that will not fit into the festival’s eclectic, fun-loving philosophy.

If all this rock and roll is all a little too much for you and you need a place to rest for a while, there is no better place than the Comedy Arena, where up and coming young stars-in-the making will rub shoulders and trade jokes with seasoned veterans of the comedy circuit such as Ardal O’Hanlon. Then you can always laugh yourself over to the Cabaret Arena to catch some high kicks and wisecracks from the performers that will be playing all festival, before kicking back in the Film and Music Arena, viewing some of the most exciting alternative cinema that is around today.

If this sounds like a weekend of non-stop fun, that’s because it will be; if you are lucky enough to already have a ticket, R13 will see you there…if not, you can either wait for next year or try and sneak in disguised as one of the painted herd; just remember not to “baa” too enthusiastically at the bands on stage or you will be the first sheep to be kicked out of the festival…and it’s a long trot home.