Stepping into the wild at this super mellow, culture, craft and music fest Wilderness feels like walking through a cool mist of water on a scorching hot day.
Literally set in the wilderness at Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire, it has a vibe unlike any other festival I’ve been to, with just the right people to field ratio. There’s no overcrowded music tents or stinky loo queues, and there’s top notch nosh vans with not a dodgy food truck in sight – you even get warm showers!
Main Stage musical highlights included a wicked and rocky set with head banging, sample shifting Shura, technical and insanely talented Tourist, who might look 21 but he’s actually 29, the crazy and colourful Crystal Fighters, as well as the ever-elegant Lianne La Havas. Then there was Goldie, who made a special appearance with the Heritage Orchestra, transforming his intricate and timeless drum and bass melodies into a full orchestral ensemble. Massive shout out to the drummers who effortlessly kept up with ultra-fast D n’ B tempo throughout – unbelievable!
On the theatre side we caught stand out show The Future of Sex, a hilarious take on those awkward first sexual encounters devised by the Bristol based theatre group The Wardrobe Ensemble.
For later in the evening and into the early hours, The Valley stage is a magical setting. It’s in a valley as you might expect, giving it an amphitheater-esque feel, with the bass echoing right the way through. Standing at the bass of the ‘V’ or up the sides in amongst the pines, you get different stage perspectives and sounds which makes this place a crowd pleaser and really unique immersive sonic experience. Wilderness should be on everyone’s radar for next year. The music and culture are well-balanced, it’s friendly and just good vibes all round, man.
Words Felix Clarke
Photography courtesy Wilderness Festival