By David Atkinson
Last year, the first ever Wilderness festival transformed a charming corner of Oxfordshire into a paradise of music and all manner of artistic experiences. Wilderness doesn’t claim to have the biggest or best music line up, but rather it bills itself as “a celebration of the arts and outdoors”, but its thoughtfully curated line up holds some real treats for music lovers as well as a whole host of other bohemian experiences.
Last year saw Hayseed Dixie, Toots and the Maytals, Laura Marling and Anthony and the Johnsons providing a leisurely backdrop to the varied goings on. This year feels like a jump forward musically with a line up that holds some real treats and a little bit of something for everyone. Friday’s headliners – Mexican duo Rodrigo y Gabriela – will be sure to entertain with their perfectly polished live act. Alt-rock veterans Wilco will close Saturday night with music from last year’s excellent album The Whole Love and no doubt gems from their extensive back catalogue. Sunday night belongs to soul and funk as Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings end the festival with no doubt what will be one hell of a show. Other musical highlights include recent Australian Music Prize winners Cloud Control, fellow Australians The Temper Trap (who’ve just released their sophomore album), electro rockers Crystal Fighters and folk favourite Willy Mason.
Elsewhere in the festival you’ll find some very special non musical treats that other festivals just can’t compete with. Maybe watch La Heine with a live score by the Asian Dub Foundation or eat some vegetarian food made by Yotam Ottolenghi, go for a wild swim or even attend a midnight masked ball. Whatever your pleasure, there is no doubt you will find yourself with a smile on your face in the beautiful fields of Cornbury Park.