Wilderness festival

A leftfield line-up, gourmet grub and a distinctly boutique vibe: Wilderness could be the country's coolest festival


The first Wilderness festival took place just five years ago, but it’s already an institution of the British summer thanks to its killer combination of great music, a beautiful site, arts and culture and amazing food. Nevertheless, we’ve got to ask: could this year’s Wilderness be the best so far? 

We reckon it could, and our main reason for that is… Björk! Yep, the queen of Iceland (that’s what she is, right?) headlines Wilderness 2015, and she’s got a well-earned rep for a spectacular live show. We have no idea what she’ll do to bring her new album ‘Vulnicura’ to life, but we bet she’ll be wearing something amazing.

Björk’s possible rivals in the costume department include George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic, as the cosmic funk legends perform a show called ‘Return to the Mothership’, and Andy Butler’s New York disco troupe Hercules And Love Affair. There’s more than enough heartfelt crooning on the bill, too, with Ben Howard triggering mass singalongs and Benjamin Clementine bringing his unique voice and knotty songs to Oxfordshire. Further exciting noises come from Mercury-nominated singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey, piano innovator Nils Frahm and arse-kicking multilingual dance crew Ibibio Sound Machine.

Wilderness is about a lot more than music, though. Away from the main stage you’ll find decadent parties, theatre, opera, arts and crafts, talks and workshops, cinema, fire-walking, flamenco classes, world-beating food, an erotic literature salon and yurt-building. And let’s not forget the lakeside spa. The festival sells out every year, so book now to get out of London (and out of this world) this August.

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Critics' choice

The ever-magical August getaway returns for its fifth year in Oxfordshire, with Björk heading up a top-notch music line-up.

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Cornbury Park Thursday August 6 2015 - Sunday August 9 2015


Nicola Mills
Nicola Mills

Arrived with minimal planning on Saturday afternoon - taken aback by the size of the grounds (don't know what the word is for grass even bigger and posher than, "grounds"), lack of map and signage and requirement for over 8 quid for a programme. Also taken aback by low key security - especially after Gentlemen of the Road - pleasant, but probably only possible because of the clientele and distance required to do a runner. Didn't stop someone nicking all one stall's lip balms though. Punters far too nice to use vacant disabled loo, even with queues, but didn't stop the shoving and shunting at the main stage - which could have been cut down if they'd forked out for some screens. Finally found my niche at Friends of the Earth busking tent on Sunday where really impressed by a young man with musicianship down to his fingernails. Event did make me need to check he wasn't an Eton graduate pretending to grow up on a council estate - he wasn't and James, aka the Cartoonist now has his first middle aged female groupie. Will look up Debrett's first if I go again,