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Wilderness festival 2017 guide

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

Andrew Whitton

First things first: when is Wilderness 2017?

Wilderness takes over a pocket of Oxfordshire countryside from Thursday August 3– Sunday August 6 2017.

Who’s on the Wilderness Festival line-up?

Two Door Cinema Club, Grace Jones, Artwork, Nightmares on Wax, Bonobo, Michael Kiwanuka, Toots & The Maytals, Ray BLK, Sigrid.

What’s the vibe?

The thoughtfully programmed roster of acts from around the world has grown in calibre and breadth year on year, with Björk headlining in 2015. But it’s the awe-­inspiring performance art, debates, and mouth­watering feasts that have firmly positioned Wilderness as a carnival for the senses, and much more than just a music festival. This definitely isn’t your average weekend in the country. 

Wilderness festival naked swimming

How can I get Wilderness Festival tickets?

Get your festival tickets right here. A weekend camping ticket costs £164.50.

Anything else I should know?

If you add in the wild costume parties, a croquet tournament and an open-air spa, there’s way more going on at Wilderness than we can possibly mention here.

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By: Time Out editors


Evie J

I know this might sound like a really weird post, but please bear with me! I went to Wilderness festival last year and absolutely loved it. We had such a great time and the whole experience was ace. This year, a couple of friends and I are trying to organise our own small wellness festival for about 300 people and I'm looking for some Timber Hoarding wood to put near the entrance to stop people climbing over into the field. I've found this company online called parklanefencing.co.uk - but has anyone heard of them? I'd like to know if they're reliable to buy wood for my festival but wanted opinions before I did - or at least an honest recommendation. Please give me a shout if you think they're good to use. 

Clancy R

I wasn't expecting to be able to banquet at a festival but was treated to many ingredients smoked every which way by a kind faced Scandinavian chef... Note to self: Make sure you invite more people to banquet in the future to avoid having to share a table, and food with others!

I understand it's not "all about the music" but a few more bands wouldn't go amiss!

Rebecca E

Best time ever! Such a great relaxed and beautiful festival. The wild swimming and the spa is the best part! Oh and the great food and music

Nadia T

Wilderness was one of the best festivals I have ever been to. Had such a good time last year so definitely planning on going again. 

The lake is what made this place so extra special, having a dip really shakes off that grotty festival feeling (hangover). The atmosphere is so friendly and everyone who goes is there to chill, dress up and just relax. Its definitely a more grown up vibe, and exactly the sort of place to go if your tired of not sleeping after a full on party sesh. :)

Laura L

blah blah Spa..it was an awesome festival with very few hitches. We had the same issue with the spa and were a bit miffed but once we got there there was a trillion other alternative options. We had hot showers, clean loos and security guards that gave out high fives and hugs. Sure stuff got stolen but every year someone in a crowd of thousands is going to aim for someone else stuff.

The only down side was the crowd mentality.... massively charming open people when encountered in talks and queues and sleeping on the grass but spot police once a band started. I wonder if a lot of the belligerent standers have ever been to a gig. How can you complain about pushing and shoving in a gig?..have you ever been to System of a Down, you go under and you come out again at best without a shoe at worst without a rib, by comparison the crowd at Wilderness seemed to think when you watch a band you are entitled to have a clear 6 inches around you at all times..London Underground would end them. Gigs in my world are sweaty, communal and close and all sway together and if you don't have the balls to move through the gaps in people then be cool and slip aside when other more enthusiastic people go for the front. 

Despite the tepidness of the overall crowd, Wilderness was a dream. Blessed with sun and combining goodwill, imagination, daring and eclecticism we being those I knew before and the loads of people I got to know during, all had a wonderful time. Being filthy and having trench foot is a sad badge of honour when instead you can swim in a lake, eat amazing food on top of the  ubiquitous mesmerising festival vibe of never-ending people traversing a huge site of wonder and colour dressed in revellry outfits with open hearts and minds. 

and if you are lucky enough to cobble together the £250 ish all in for tickets and food then I would suggest just swallowing the £8 for a program as all festival charge for them...or ask someone for directions and make a friend. 

If you haven't been go!!!..or don't as it will make buying tickets a ball ache like Glastonbury became:.)


Really dissapointed about the expensive booking fee and it has been an absaloutely nightmare trying to book the spa. The system kept crashing and when I finally did book, I get an email stating I don't have tickets and that I will be refunded. To make matters worse, they have people requesting refunds which they grant but do not offer them to me but put them back on the Web site so now I have to go through the whole process again! Rubbish.

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,