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​MKB @ Latitude Festival



I can put my hand on my heart and say with some conviction that no one in the world has ever uttered the words "OH! I do hope it rains at [insert festival name here]

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NO THANKS!

No one, that is, apart from one dedicated publicist, prepared to put aside her own dreams of skipping barefoot on dusty fields to the dreamy melodies of First Aid Kit, all in the name of The Rain by Virginia Bergin. Each year Macmillan Children's Books go to Latitude Festival and set up camp in the Kids Field (which is insanely awesome for ALL ages) and spread children's book joy. It's a hard job, but someone's got to do it!

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This year, to tie in with our competition to win the ultimate festival survival kit, we packed hundreds of competition flyers and bespoke The Rain ponchos alongside our usual colouring and activity sheets and Gruffalo goodies for the littlies. Fast forward a day or so, The Book Nook is set up and I have armed myself with flyers and ponchos ready to target teens, and of course NOT A CLOUD IN THE SKY. I found myself saying, "I mean, I don't want it to rain ALL weekend, but a slight drizzle might be good. Or at the very least some ominous-looking clouds that I can work with". BUT NO not even a Cirrus Uncinus came my way.

But thank goodness for the reliable British Summertime, who never fails to show her face at an event that calls for lovely weather, and in the early hours of Saturday morning Latitude was hit by a vicious storm that threatened to rip our tent pegs out of their already rather suspect fixtures and the sky was lit up the sky with lightening. And it rained. And rained and rained and rained and rained, and this tired and weary publicist smiled with glee as her tent practically collapsed on top of her.

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So you can imagine my dismay when I unzipped my tent to bright sunshine on Saturday morning. Luckily doubt had set in, and the storm and the gloomy clouds on the horizon were enough to strike fear in to the hearts of our book-loving festival-going teens and our ponchos became THE must have item of the festival. Seriously, shouting #TheRainIsComing to a festival full of people whose most waterproof item was their bikini works wonders for a marketing campaign.

The headliner for Saturday night was Damon Albarn, of Blur and Gorrilaz fame, and this is when our The Rain ponchos really came in to their own. A sea of red ponchos patiently nodded and smiled along as Damon played his solo stuff, hoping that their loyalty as they braved the steadily increasing rain would pay off and they'd hear the immortal Blur lyric "WOOHOO!" Thank goodness the Latitude rain wasn't killer rain, because let me tell you, we got really rather wet (despite our ponchos!), but still better than getting really rather dead.

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And boy were we rewarded! In an encore like no other, Damon stepped on to the stage with Graham Coxon and Kano, the heavens opened and the stage was framed by spectacular lightening as the storm came out to party with Blur and the Gorillaz. It was an utterly glorious moment when Damon came to the front of the stage, and raised his arms to the skies like the God he is, as the storm raged around him and a crowd of red ponchos danced their dripping wet hearts out.

With festival season still very much in full swing, don't get caught out in The Rain and enter our brilliant competition. Remember, just one drop could kill you.

Oh yeah, and there was also this weird moment with a clown...

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