Thirteen things you’ll overhear at Wilderness Festival

It's back this weekend — the Cotswolds bacchanalia of unique renown

Wilderness is wild in the way that David Cameron is Dave. Sort of, but at the same time absolutely not in any way whatsoever, and quite right too. (This is not an entirely random reference, by the way — I have spotted DC at the festival on no less than three separate occasions, each time in his uniform of navy polo shirt and lobstered tan, always chuffing happily on a Marlboro Gold or twelve, often nodding along to Toploader with almost-convincing humanity.)

I mean this as a compliment, of course. There are aggressively named festivals on the continent where you return home with two new tattoos and neither of your eardrums; bizarre shamanic rituals in the desert at which money doesn’t exist but MDMA somehow still does; immersive projects on abandoned oil rigs where they give you a new name and take away all your clothes. But count me out. These days, I like my festivals to resemble overgrown village fetes, or tipsy school sports days, or the kind of 21st birthday party where the parents are somehow hippies and venture capitalists all at once, and the brother of someone who was once in Bombay Bicycle Club has brought his ABBA CDs along for the after party. Bicep at three AM, bacon sandwiches at four, and do say hello to your mother for me, Jamie, I hope she’s very well. That sort of thing. 

Wilderness, which returns this weekend, is this dream in flesh and mud. And this is what it sounds like. 

To unlock this article, please subscribe. Benefits include:

  • 2 Magazines delivered to your door
  • Direct offers and benefits with luxury hotels, clubs, restaurants and handpicked brands
  • Invitations to a minimum of 4 member-only events each year
  • Paywalled content — access to exclusive online features only for members
  • 15% off selected brands online with Gentleman's Journal
  • Your own Clubhouse membership card to redeem all the perks
Clubhouse Membership

Clubhouse Membership

Buy Now

Further Reading