Set in Oxfordshire’s Cornbury Estate, Wilderness offers an eclectic mix of starry music acts, talks, fine dining, wild swimming and spa-style pampering – all in the idyllic countryside.
First things first, the music: Swedish pop visionary Robyn is getting the party started the first night of the festival, playing hits from her latest album Honey along with much-loved classics from 2010 album Body Talk (because who doesn’t want to indulge in a moment of nostalgia belting out the lyrics to ‘Dancing On My Own’?). Then the following day, Bombay Bicycle Club are bringing their indie-rock beats to the stage following a three-year hiatus. Finally, seeing off the festival for another year in true top-tapping, hip-shaking style is supreme dance duo Groove Armada.
One of the biggest pulls of Wilderness – and perhaps the only one to successfully tug London foodies away from the capital for the weekend – is the banquets and feasting scene. This year, gods of the restaurant world descending on the festival include Israeli chef Yossi ‘Papi’ Elad of Palomar and Barbary fame; Kitchen Table’s head chef James Knappett; Wilderness stalwart Angela Hartnett (of London’s Murano), and the team behind Petersham Nurseries. Each will be serving up fresh takes on their signature cuisine and filling watering mouths with a taste bomb of fine flavours from around the world.
Secret theatre in the forest
For a more wellness-oriented experience, look to the festival’s busy programme of activities and workshops, which include everything from yoga and climbing to axe throwing and midnight running. Or, find more chilled fare in the form of the lakeside spa. There are new things afoot this year too: four brand new stages are to be unveiled this year, including an after-dark dance space and a venue to host more innovative arty offerings.
Once cultured, fed and all-danced-out, head to the lake, where skinny-dipping is an essential rite of passage. And, don’t miss Bearded Kitten’s Sunday Cricket Match which has been running as long as the festival and promises to be the most colourful match you’ll ever see – complete with streaking and drunken commentary on the green.
So, if you’re looking to merge the finer things in life with the music, dance and high spirits of a festival, head out into the Wilderness.
|What||Wilderness Festival 2019, Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire|
|Where||Wilderness at Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, OX7 3EH | MAP|
01 Aug 19 – 04 Aug 19, Times of entertainment vary over the weekend
|Price||£179.50+ (for standard adult tickets)|
|Website||Click here for more information and tickets|