WILDERNESS

Dates: 2nd - 5th August 2018
Location: Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire

A favourite for those looking for a more highbrow festival experience, Wilderness is an award winning event which combines live music, contemporary arts and an array of theatre, craftsmanship and dining experiences. A haven for both families and young professionals, think Prosecco and sushi over lager and chips. Wilderness is undoubtedly the most upmarket festival on the UK calendar.

Surrounded by 1,700 acres of private forest and spring-fed lakes; a “pastoral paradise”, Wilderness festival is a “celebration shaped by nature, a landscape transformed by the arts.” They ask guests to “come to the wilderness to meet the world” – through unshackling the bounds of our hectic, everyday lives, we can re-connect with our planet. When you allow people to live together for one weekend in an environment of beauty, nature, culture and self-expression, they can anticipate transformative, stimulating experiences.

Music plays an equal role with all its other entertainment delights – and has attracted such impressive names as Tom Odell, Bjork, London Grammar, Rodriguez, Noah and the Whale, Parov Stellar, Ottolenghi and Robert Plant – countless audiences have been impressed and amazed by the talent pulsating out of every stage and venue. From the Main Stage to the The Valley, the Folk Barn, The Carousel and The Atrium, the organisers create a plethora of musical options that will keep you endlessly tantalized.

If talks and debates are what draw you here, you’ll be amply furnished; from The Forum (the festival’s flagship ideas tent) to the School of Life (“developing emotional intelligence through the help of culture”), and the Odditorium (exploring the fringes of culture) to the Waterfront (for all sorts of lectures and classes on topics as far reaching as reading the sea like a Viking, or how to smoke eel), you couldn’t possibly ask for more.

Theatre and Performance are another area abundant with choice – whether it’s The Playhouse for some dramatic works or a Wilderness fire walking ceremony, there’ll be any number of acts and performances throughout the weekend. The Divine Company will be on hand for some spectacular dance shows, whilst The Twilight Zone will blow your mind with contortions of reality at every step. With that in mind – don’t forget your fancy dress! It’s entirely necessary…

If this could be called a feast for your mind then it’s a delectable buffet for your body too – the Lakeside Spa, an open-air celebration of wellbeing, is filled with treatments, meditation, yoga, massages and delicious hot tubs. Wilderness is also famous for its culinary offerings – they really raise the bar for festival gastronomy. Raymond Blanc, the incomparable world-renowned chef, lays out sumptuous banquets and Virgilio Martinez with dazzle your tastebuds with some cordon bleu Peruvian creations. If we continued listing the different chefs, restaurant stalls and bars on offer, we’d be here all day – there are over twenty-five, and all superlative in their fields.

Family fun abounds at Wilderness – there’s Storystock for marvelous tales, The Enchanted Tree for magic, music and games, Pachamama Crafts offering superb workshops for children, The Magnificent Insect Circus – self-explanatory – and so much more – theatre, cricket, swimming, circus – you get the picture.

In the splendid Oxforshire landscape, one really can allow creativity and imagination to merge ecstatically with nature and beauty. If you don’t go camping often, but need a little canvas fix, then this is the perfect time to book in some luxury, boutique camping. Can you imagine anything nicer than a well appointed, charming bell tent set in lush green grass, simply awaiting your arrival?

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