by / July 24th, 2016 /

Sunday, Longitude – Marlay Park, Dublin

Today, the sun is out in force, and the sky is dotted with puffy clouds that seem perfectly content to just hang there and lazily watch the spectacle. The final day of Longitude starts relatively different to the first. The previously seen fresh, bold faces that were ready to tackle this epic excursion now look slightly worn down and perfectly content to calmly walk from stage to stage, whilst sipping from cups of overpriced beer. Despite the inescapable presence of festival fatigue that also hangs in the air, it in no way signifies the resolve of the attendees of Longitude. An adventure is still very much on the horizon, and all one has to do is pay close attention, and they’ll see just that.

Longitude is not only a festival you attend to see big names but also to discover potentially smaller ones, and Courtney Barnett proves herself to be quite the discovery. Her sombre vocals perfectly blend with the docile tones provided by her live band. However, her set also varies in its pacing. It’s a performance akin to real old school rock’n’roll with even an impromptu on the knees guitar solo carried out by Ms. Barnett herself.  Opting to wander the far less manic waters of the festival, we wind up once again in the secluded forest area. Colin Perkins has the unfortunate task of having to cater to the few occupants of the Redbull forest stage for such an early and annoyingly bright set. Nevertheless, he doesn’t falter. The rhythmic electro tunes never miss a beat (even if a large portion of the audience do). Only able to enjoy a portion of Father John Misty’s performance, we grasp three things. The man loves to be on camera and handles the attention with all the grace of Tony Stark, there’s something oddly touching about his music and he does indeed like to incorporate high amounts of Springsteen when he’s up doing his thing.

Vic Mensa, on the other hand, is an excellent performer with a poor setlist. At first teasing the possibility of ‘U MAD’ but then instead opting to launch into an almost too sincere song by song walkthrough of his latest EP entitled There’s A Lot Going On. Clearly, for Vic this is true, as for the crowd they seem less interested in hearing Vic tackle social issues facing America and more interested creating ill-advised mosh pits to very un-moshable songs. Jamie XX, however, succeeds in bringing the energy levels back up, to just as quickly drag them down again. It isn’t that he puts on a bad performance, quite the contrary actually. In this instance, he just lacks consistency during the duration of his set, hence why sticking around for the duration of his set isn’t on the cards.

With the curtain on Longitude coming to a close, The National are determined to end on a high note, with songs of love and longing and even a marriage proposal thrown in there for good measure. It’s a fun experience, despite their set being more ‘sing along to the words’ as opposed to anything else. It’s an almost wholly cumulative venture and a great way to end on what feels like a very long day and an even longer weekend.

The one thing that Longitude always lacked comparatively to other festivals was this grand idea of ‘culture’. It has never seemingly had this grand sense of purpose or a vastly unique consumer pool and was always hit with accusations of catering to ‘children’ and the broadest tastes in music. However, those objecting voices have found themselves in the minority this weekend. Perhaps the ‘culture’ of Longitude is the critiques it is constantly met with, it provides this inclusive event for those who are not seasoned festival goes and offers them a place of solitude. To partake in something like this for the first time and to practice in the great ‘art’ that is the music festival and dip their collective toes into the sweeping immersive sea…or maybe its purpose is to just be a giant piss up with great acts? Either explanation is perfectly fine with us.