Wilderness Festival 6-9 August
Headlining is none other than that grandfather of funk, George Clinton himself...
Wilderness Festival announces 2015 line-up
Emerging from a triumphant 2014 installment that saw the festival completely sell out and draw its biggest crowds to date, Wilderness returns to the glorious environs of the Cornbury Park for the fifth time, boasting a lineup that is bigger, better and more ambitious than anything attempted previously.
If you thought the 2014 edition of Wilderness was ambitious – complete with live sets from Burt Bacharach, Jessie Ware and Metronomy, feasts from Simon Rogan, Angela Hartnett and Russell Norman, Lakeside Spas, the Oxford Shakespeare Company and much, much more – you are going to be floored by the sheer scale and scope of what’s in store for 2015.
Continuing in the esteemed Wilderness tradition of exciting and varied musical programming, Friday kicks off with a bang, with legendary, groundbreaking musical icon Bjork taking to the stage. Never mind that she has spent over two decades building a breathtaking archive of idiosyncratic and iconoclastic work, but with this performance she will be showcasing music from her latest and most emotive work to date, “Vulnicura”.
Joining her to kick off the festival in high style are London born musician/ poet/ pianist Benjamin Clementine, offbeat electro experimentalists Brandt Bauer Frick Ensemble and Nils Frahm, who seamlessly mixes classical and electronic genres.
Saturday meanwhile, sees more heroes on the main stage, albeit of a different kind altogether. Headlining is none other than that grandfather of funk, George Clinton himself, and even more amazingly, he’s bringing Parliament and Funkadelic with him, playing a mix of classic hits and brand new material from his forthcoming album “First Ya Gotta Shake the Gate”, in what already looks set to be a dazzling show.
Disco diva Roisin Murphy also joins them, displaying the gloriously eclectic and off-kilter stylings which rocketed singles like “Overpowered” and “Let Me Know” to the top of the charts, as does Hercules & Love Affair, who will no doubt slay the dancefloor with their brand of glamorous, infectious house music.
French electro-swing septet Caravan Palace, English reggae group Will and the People and Ibibio Sound Machine, fronted by the astonishing British/ Nigerian vocalist Eno Williams, will round off what is sure to be a phenomenal second day.
In a change of pace, Sunday will see chart topping, world conquering, BRIT Award winning troubadour Ben Howard headlining, and he is sure to cast a spell with his gorgeous, moving ballads.
And also playing on the weekend is the magical Nick Mulvey performing tracks from his critically lauded debut LP “The Trellis”,
Utterly enthralling as all that may well be however, music is but one facet of this multi-pronged festival. Food has always been as integral to the Wilderness experience, and 2015 sees the strongest rollcall yet.
First off, fabled, Michelin starred chef Angela Hartnett, whose restaurant Murano is one of the must-eat spots in London, leads off the beloved Long Table Banquets, a culinary experience quite unlike any other.
Then, for the Feasting in Field Restaurants, Wilderness have gathered a holy trinity of British dining, with HIX, Moro and, for the first time at Wilderness, Petersham Nurseries, all setting up shop on the grounds.
And not to forget, the Wilderness Cookery School with Daylesford Organic returns once more, with a stellar lineup that is yet to be unveiled, but is sure to be brilliant regardless.
For the night owls among us, Wilderness has more than enough on offer as well, as Late Night Revelry returns for another year of fun and hijinks after dark, with different, vibrant themes every night for revelers to dress up for as they head into The Valley. Other late night entertainment includes an evening with Ronnie Scott’s in The Grand Spiegel, deep south Americana at The Juke Joint, gypsy swing & big brass bands at The Carousel Stage and the decadent The Candlelight Club offering their own glorious twist on nighttime debauchery.
For those with a more artistic bent, Wilderness once again has an arts program which will prove as varied and compelling as ever.
For a start, there will be a pulse quickening array of theatre performances, from the Old Vic New Voices, Oxford Shakespeare Company, Son & Sons, Acrojou, and many more, as well as Opera North bringing “The Devil’s Jukebox”, Battersea Arts Centre presenting “The Archivists” and Opera Holland Park’s “Alice in Wonderland”, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s classic.
Also, the Champagne Laurent Perrier Orangery returns for another decadent but all new go-round this year, along with the Princes Charles Cinema and Wilderness Orchestra, and there will also be an eye strobing Saturday Night Spectacular and a Sunday Night Fire Walking Ceremony.
New additions for 2015 includes The Wilderness Studio - a new dedicated space for fine arts & craft workshops, as well as The Wilderness Choir to join the much loved Wilderness Orchestra for epic shows and unique collaborations.
Elsewhere, there’s the Grand Spiegel, a Spiegel tent packed with performance and workshops to delight all the senses, complete with booths, seats and even a cocktail bar, all contained within an utterly beautiful tent. Through the weekend it will play host to a glorious slew of multi sensory delights including a sensory classical concert by BitterSuite, Perfume Making Workshops, Robin Collective Tastings, Cocktail Making Masterclasses, Synesthesia Seminars, and evening with The Tiger Lillies and even an Erotic Literature Salon, for the most sturdy of heart.
Alternatively, those with a penchant for more cerebral activities will find these cravings sated by the many Talks and Debates on offer at Wilderness, with a roster of participants including Guerrilla Archaeology, Sunday Papers Live, The Sunday Assembly, The V&A Talks and Workshops and lots more besides.
As ever, too, there will be a staggering array of family activities so the little ones can be just as entertained as the adults, with the likes of Bearded Kitten’s Cricket Match,, Friends of the Earth Camp, The Hollow and Hunter Gather Cook Overnight Camps to make sure the whole family are well taken care of.
Wilderness is the proud winner of: Best New Festival 2011 – UK Festival Awards, Best Small Festival 2012 – Live Music Awards and Best Extra Activity for 2013 – UK Festival Awards
Wilderness Festival, August 6-9 2015, Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire
Weekend Tickets: £165.99 + BF
Young Person: £80+BF
Children aged 10 and under: £5 no BF
Tickets available here