Thousands descend on UK music festival

No masks and no social distancing - just a lot of dancing.

The UK's first major music festival since COVID restrictions were lifted kicked off on Thursday (July 22).

Thousands of people poured into the grounds of Latitude festival in eastern England for the four day party.

The event is part of the government's events research programme.

This meant that attendees had to prove they had been double vaccinated or show a negative COVID test.

Among the acts headlining are Wolf Alice, Rudimental and The Chemical Brothers.

Festival goers said it felt fantastic but surreal to be back amongst crowds.

“Beautiful, excellent, really good. We walked in there and it felt very surreal, like seeing thousands of people all in one go but no, really we are delighted now to be honest.“

"I guess I’d kind of say if not now when are we going to start back up again? Like a lot of us have had at least our first dose of the vaccine so we’re ready to get back to life."

The event falls against the backdrop of rising infections across the UK, with cases reaching nearly 50,000 a day.

Organizers have designed marquees without sides and installed air purifiers in some areas to mitigate the risk of the virus spreading.

Melvin Benn is the festival's founder:

“All the plans were in place, all the bands were in place, people were just, you know desperate to come, desperate to play, desperate to work, and really be out in a field enjoying themselves again, and that’s what we’re doing.“

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