Wilderness festival boss is confident Oxfordshire music event will take place
The man behind one of Oxfordshire’s biggest music festivals – Wilderness – believes the event can still take place.
The music and arts event is scheduled to take place at the Cornbury Estate near Charlbury from August 5-8. The flagship sets will be from DJ Jamie XX, rapper Loyle Carner and drum & bass band Rudimental.
Rory Bett, head of organizer Mama Festivals and VIP Nation Europe, said: “While we remain confident that Wilderness will move forward, we are delighted to reopen the doors to the beautiful grounds of Cornbury Park for a sold-out show.
“The response to this year’s roster announcement has been humbling, making the team even more determined to make this tenth year of Wilderness the best yet.
“We are hand in hand with the Surgeon General and the government on how we need to move forward and what steps we will need to take to keep everyone safe. We will post updated information closer to the event.
“Everyone has been struggling over the past few months, we have endured a pandemic, we are mostly vaccinated, now is the time for Wilderness and the rest of the live events industry to play our part in the process and provide the social antidote and bring us back together.
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“We are so excited with this year’s lineup and can’t wait to see amazing headliners Jamie XX, Loyle Carner, Rudimental and a host of amazing talent take to the Wilderness stage. Music of all genres, well-being of all styles, extraordinary dining in beautiful locations and world-class street food, theater, spoken word, dancing, games, wild swimming, workshops and the beautiful Cornbury landscape await. ”
Many other festivals have again postponed their events due to the ongoing pandemic.
Kidlington reggae coach David Rodigan and his Outlook Orchestra, Irish dance music stars Bicep, London disco-funk duo Franc Moody, multi-instrumentalist Georgia, jazz talent Alfa Mist, Irish rockers Picture This , American artist Katy J have also booked to perform at the festival. Pearson, Holly Humberstone CMAT, Weird Milk and singer-songwriters Charlie Cunningham, Jodie Nicholson, Joseph Reuben and Lyra.
Famous for his DJ sets, this year’s parties will be chaired by funk and soul fan Craig Charles, Grammy-nominated house and techno DJ Nic Fanciulli and Portuguese tropical jazz and soul DJ Mafalda.
There will also be sets from Worldwide FM DJ Luke Unabomber, Dom Chung from London, The Blessed Madonna, Jayda G and Eats Everything performing in the festival’s Hidden Valley – a richly lit ravine surrounded by trees and lit by lasers.
The festival’s strong program of intellectual and spoken word activities will continue, including a rehearsal of its popular Letters Live shows, which have already hosted prominent stars Olivia Coleman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ben Kingsley and Russell Brand. As before, the composition is kept secret.
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Its fine dining lineup will also be back, with long table banquets, which this year will be entirely vegetarian and vegan with feasts cooked by Helen Graham, Robin Gill, Lee Westcott and the Native wild food restaurant.
A smaller Chef’s Table restaurant will accommodate only 26 guests at a time in a location overlooking one of Cornbury’s lakes. The chefs include Mei Mei founder and ex-star chef Elizabeth Haigh, founder of Osip Merlin Labron-Johnson, and Michelin-starred Carter’s of Moseley Brad Carter.
There will also be performances by the 47-piece Wilderness Orchestra, cabaret, comedy, an unusual Miss Wilderness event, and talks and debates – with lineup featuring His Dark Materials creator Philip Pullman in conversation with producer of the BBC John Lloyd.
Tickets sold out.