Set in a picturesque estate of ancient woodland, spring-fed lakes and rolling meadows in the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside, Wilderness is a music festival that aims to make the most of its surroundings
Electro-indie band London Grammar will headline Wilderness festival this weekend, bringing their soulful sound to an event that aims to celebrate nature, culture, creativity and craftsmanship.
Other acts topping the line-up include legendary songwriter Burt Bacharach and the dreamy 80’s-inspired vocals of Jessie Ware accompanied by the Wilderness Orchestra.
Alongside the programme of chilled out indie and upbeat folk acts, festival-goers will have the chance to experience wild swimming in the on-site lake, explore the site’s woodlands, cool off under waterfalls and warm up in wood-fired hot tubs.
“One unforgettable aspect of Wilderness is its focus on the great outdoors,” claim the organisers.
Now in its fourth consecutive year, the festival offers a chance to get active and learn new skills with hunter-gatherer cookery sessions, long-bow archery, forest running and boating. For those who want a more relaxing time there will also be a lakeside spa, yoga classes at sunset and woodland banquets on offer.
One of the banquets will be created by chef Simon Rogan, owner of the dual Michelin-starred L’Enclume restaurant in Cumbria. He will cook a feast using ingredients and materials sourced directly from the festival site including plaice baked in birch bark and a Douglas fir and sweet cherry dessert.
“I love the idea of a huge sharing banquet,” said Rogan. “It’s a first for me and I’m busy creating a menu bursting with wild and foraged ingredients and ancient cooking techniques.”
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Elsewhere there will be live music across eight stages. The Travelling Folk Barn will feature an eclectic mix of folk acts, ranging from the dark and atmospheric Sophie Jamieson, to the frantic Coco and the Butterfields, to the more traditional sounds of the Cedars. The Bandstand will feature live music from brass bands to fiddle players and the Styx stage will continue the music late into the night with DJ sets playing samba, swing and Balkan beats.
There will also be talks and debates from leading thinkers in social and environmental change including investigative journalist George Monbiot, the School of Life, and Project Wild Thing; an area for children including a Roald Dahl Museum; storytelling and marshmallows by the fire; theatre processions and performances including As You Like It from Shakespeare’s Globe, and the chance to run wild in an animal costume stampede.
After winning UK Festival Awards best new festival in 2011, best small festival in 2012 and the 2013 best extra activities award, 2014 looks set to be another success for Wilderness.
Wilderness festival runs from 7-10 August at Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire. Weekend tickets, including camping, are £151.50 for adults, £78.50 for 11-17 year-olds and £5 for 0-10 year-olds.