From lake-side spa treatments to the Crystal Fighters to Raymond Blanc and everything in between, Gentleman’s Journal gives you the inside scoop on one of the UK’s best festivals, taking place next weekend.
This is no average affair and certainly not your typical mud-filled festival; Expect decadent three-course banquets on long tables, wild swimming and champagne by the lake, and a host of theatre, music, arts and workshops taking place throughout the long weekend. The festival will once again be taking place in Cornbury Park, a stunning estate in the heart of the Cotswolds.
The Music & Performances
Headline acts include Robert Plant, Matt Corby, Crystal Fighters, Goldie and Stevie Parker, and once again Wilderness is set to be an incredible year for music of all genres and styles. This eclectic line-up offers entertainment for everyone, and lives up to Wilderness’ reputation for catching talent in its earliest stages.
Away from the main stage, the Folk Barn will see performances from Katy Carr and Howard Rose, as well as a huge range of travelling musicians from all walks of life. The Wilderness Playhouse will also host to a huge range of comedy and performing artists this year, ranging from cabaret to circus to raves to a David Bowie tribute act.
Michelin-star dining may seem a far stretch from the rural fields of Oxfordshire, but the foodie scene is out of this world. From London-based super-blogger Deliciously Ella to a banquet by Raymond Blanc OBE, festival-goers are in for an almighty treat this year. There are London favourites Duck and Waffle, Patty and Bun, and the Quality Chop House, and then there are entirely new experiences from the many independent street food stalls.
If you’re in the mood for celebrating, the Laurent Perrier Champagne Orangery is a sanctuary of intoxication and class, or for a casual cold one there’s a Heineken Hangout, hidden behind a secret door. There will be Sipsmith Gin, Orchard Pig Cider, and for when it all gets too much theres a Pukka tea zen den and a Sanpellegrino Piazzetta. Also, brand new this year is Kitchen Tales, an arena entirely dedicated to cooking, eating and drinking. Attend an Italian food and wine tasting or listen to TED talk celebrity Tristam Stuart talk about his latest book.
Wilderness is also infamous for its late night parties in The Valley, which in previous years have included masked balls, outdoor cinemas, huge Gatsby-style 1920’s dances and burlesque. These parties, which have a different costume theme every night, have an air of mystery about them, and are not to be missed.
Then theres the Carousel, a spinning stage which holds everything from gypsy bass to Afro funk. Over the years, up-and-coming names such as Florence and the Machine, Muse and Mumford and Sons have all lost their festival virginity on this swirling stage, so be sure to watch out for this years Mr Chris Tofu.
And because no gentleman can resist a back rub after a busy day dancing and drinking, the famous Sanctuary and Lakeside Spa is the perfect location to unwind and relax at sunset. Sit back and enjoy a bottle of Laurent-Perrier Brut from the comfort of your own wood-fired hot tub, surveying the beautiful lake below you in ultimate luxury. Take part in outdoor yoga classes specially catering to runners,or indulge in a deep tissue massages from Neal’s Yard therapists; Wilderness has got the mix of decadence and wellbeing down to a fine art.
Wilderness festival runs from August 4th – 7th 2016 at Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire. A limited number of weekend tickets can still be bought online – head here to find out more.