Wilderness Festival preview: The highlight of the Great British summer is back

From headline acts Jungle and Years & Years to a food programme featuring Michelin-starred chefs, here’s why this bucolic festival is the hot-ticket to cop for August

From 4–7 August, the Wilderness Festival, one of the UK’s most colourful summertime celebrations, will take place at Cornbury Park, located between Chilson and Charlbury, in Oxfordshire.

The four-day 10,000-capacity event will be headlined by the electronic groups Underworld and Jungle, as well as synth-pop’s Years & Years, and throughout the weekend, the trio will be joined by acts such as Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Orlando Weeks, the former frontman of The Maccabees, and House Gospel Choir.

Moreover, internationally renowned DJ Peggy Gou, singer-songwriter-producer Róisín Murphy, soul trio Gabriels, and Craig Charles, who will oversee a special DJ set of funk and soul classics, are slated to play, while late-night dancing will come courtesy of the likes of underground house master Derrick Carter, and DJ David Morales.

This being set in the Oxfordshire countryside, few festivals are as bucolic as Wilderness whose premises comprise sprawling parkland and woodlands, ancient forestry, and Lake Majestic – so, while 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 crayfish trapping, butchery, and foraging.

Billed as a festival where the arts dovetail, the Wilderness weekend will also entail an arts-and-performance programme, which will include London theatre Sadler’s Wells return with a new show, Boy Blue: The Get Down; a talk-and-debates schedule, which will include Russell Kane and The Guilty Feminist; and hands-on fashion workshops by expert makers from the V&A Academy.

To refuel throughout the weekend, there will be a remarkable lineup of culinary options, including food by Jeremy Lee of celebrated members club Quo Vadis; Tom Barnes, chef of the three-Michelin-starred L’Enclume; and Sam Buckley from small-plates Stockport restaurant Where The Light Gets In.

Skye Gyngell, chef of Spring, will also bring her seasonal fare; Adam Handling, of British fine-diner Frog, will provide a zero-waste feast; and live-fire cooking is expected from a collective that includes the likes of Margot Henderson, known for her honest, modest menu at Rochelle Canteen, in east London.

To complete the holistic experience, a wellbeing programme, located in The Sanctuary, has also been confirmed, and will allow ticket holders to experience singular events, such as an immersive listening session of musician and producer Jon Hopkins’ album Music for Psychedelic Therapy in 7.2 surround sound, as well as barre sessions, and rocket yoga and dynamic-meditation classes.

This year’s Wilderness Festival will be the programme’s eleventh edition since it was inaugurated in 2011, and it will follow from last year’s event that was headlined by Jamie xx, Loyle Carner, and Rudimental.

Wilderness Festival preview: The highlight of the Great British summer is back

Wilderness Festival

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