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Wilderness festival preview: The highlight of the Great British Summer returns

From headline acts The Chemical Brothers and Christine and the Queens to a food programme featuring some of the country’s most celebrated chefs, here’s why this bucolic event is the hot-ticket to cop for August

From 3–6 August, Wilderness festival, one of the UK’s most colourful summertime celebrations, will take place at Cornbury Park, in Oxfordshire.

The four-day, 10,000-capacity event will be headlined by electronic duo The Chemical Brothers, French innovators Christine and the Queens, and the legendary Fatboy Slim, and throughout the weekend, acts such as Arlo Parks; Franc Moody; and Andy Cato, of Groove Armada, will bolster the lineup.

Moreover, further electronic heroes, including Eats Everything and Honey Dijon, are slated to play, offering late-night dancing and raves.

A crowd in front of the Wilderness Festival Main Stage

This being set in the Oxfordshire countryside, few festivals are as bucolic as Wilderness, whose premises comprise extensive parkland and meadows, ancient woodlands and Lake Wilderness – so, although live music may be the focal for the weekend, festivalgoers can also look forward to activities that run the gamut from wild swimming and boating to foraging and fire cooking.

A red light filled Wilderness Festival Main Stage, with the silhouette of a girl sat on someone's shoulders
A purple and pink laser light show beaming across the sky at Wilderness Festival

Partly billed as a festival where different strands of culture collide together, the Wilderness weekend will also entail an arts programme – which will feature a workshop on gilding with metal leaf – as well as a wide breadth of culinary events and banquets, including food by: Jeremy Lee, of celebrated members club Quo Vadis; Dom Fernando, chef of Paradise, in Soho, London; and Masaki Sugisaki, who oversees the kitchen at Dinings SW3, one of the country’s finest Japanese restaurants.

Customers sat dining on a counter side table surrounding the kitchen watching their meals get made

To complete the holistic experience, a wellbeing programme has also been confirmed, and will allow ticket holders to experience singular events and activities, such as a lakeside spa, as well as a class that’ll educate attendees on how music can help regulate the nervous system, and sessions that offer ‘practical tips to enhance sleep depth, duration, and quality.’

A Paddleboard Yoga session taking place on paddle boards on the lake
Wilderness festival a night with laser light show
Pre-erected camping Tents in a field at night time with ferris wheel lit up in the background

This year’s Wilderness will be the programme’s twelfth edition since it was inaugurated in 2011, and it will follow from last year’s event, which was headlined by Underworld, Jungle, and Years & Years.

Ticket sorted? Now read our guide to festival style…

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