Where the wild things are…
Leave your inhibitions at home this weekend and head to Wilderness for a healthy dose of hedonism
This weekend we’re following a sequinned crowd to Cornbury Park where a scene from your favourite childhood fairy-tale reigns free. And whether you’re a hedonist or more of a cerebral type, Wilderness Festival has a remarkably curated serving of enjoyment for all. Music, food, the arts and literature are weaved through a wildly romantic labyrinth of stages, pop-ups, a boutique campsite, forested spa and fish-filled swimming lake.
In woodland dips around fire pits, revellers will gather for stories and songs but come sun down, dancing flames will cast light on unadulterated party pleasure. Overflowing with creativity and colour, merry ambling is the mantra we intend to adopt. The Main Stage however, with the likes of Björk, Ben Howard and Nick Mulvey will undoubtedly be the centrifugal force around which the rest of the festival spins.
The musically gifted are not the only headline acts. Foodies rejoice, as London’s gastronomic heart will be transplanted in Oxford for the weekend. Hosts of decadent banquets include Raymond Blanc, Angela Hartnett, Nuno Mendes and Scott Hallsworth. Communal trestle tables crammed with chatter and chomping will run each evening of the festival, and against the backdrop that these feasts illuminate, it’ll be hard to distinguish between astronomical stars and Michelin ones. What’s more, a cocktail master class with J.J. Goodman ensures we’ll be drinking the punchiest and most exotic libations into the early hours.
Tapping into our perennial desire to better ourselves, Wilderness has high-culture at its fore. Politicians, musicians, authors and actors will debate and postulate where talks include Charlie Hebdo and The Freedom of Expression and Who Made Jihadi John? For the uninitiated, think TED Talks – pervasive issues explored and orchestrated in inspirational ways. Perhaps not a proposition for world change, but open and honest, compassionate and empathetic conversations.
Thespians aren’t neglected either. To name but a few, purveyors of populist theatre The Old Vic, will be nurturing talent with its lauded workshops. The National Theatre will perform Treasure Island while Opera Holland Park will pay homage to the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland, with a showcase in eclectically fitting surroundings.
The prospect of our weekend is mouth-watering, and we’re going to savour every last moment. Watch this space, or even better don a hippie-designer ensemble and come and join us!
What to wear: