Monday, 20 August 2012

The Wilderness Festival 2012

It was the perfect weekend for messing about in the country and it was obvious everyone felt the same as we saw nothing but smiles the entire time.  Everything about Wilderness was gorgeous; the music, the food, the site, the people, and my god YES the weather!

Wilderness is set in the beautiful rolling grounds of Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire and now in its second year the festival has really fun independent atmosphere.  To firmly nail in the cliché it felt like a house party on a really grand scale in a field.

People were swimming in the lakes, rolling down hills; there was croquet, ping pong, cricket, as crazy as that sounds it was generally a joy just being outside.  The weekend started with cider and getting used to our surroundings; we explored the site and made our plans for the evening.

As it happened that plan was basically get drunk and watch music; we NAILED IT.  I took a lot of blurry photos; we talked to strangers, danced, and trying not to sound like a wanker we went where the music took us.  It was ace.

What goes up must come down and Saturday morning started early with the sun beating down on the tent.  The queue for the showers had already reached an apathy inducing length so while my mate ran down to the lake for a swim I drank a litre of water, knocked back some codeine, and scrubbed myself clean with some wet wipes.  Hangover sorted.

Saturday was a lot more chilled out for us and we took it easy to start with.  Wilderness was billed as being a foodie festival as well and there was a lot on offer so we thought it only right to try some out.

The Moro Souk Tent was open all day and was the perfect spot for breakfast and mint tea with amazing grilled chicken later on.  Anna Mae’s Mac and Cheese proved to be a lifesaver as my energy levels started to flag mid afternoon.  I’ll be honest as well they may have been the odd burger over the weekend but sometimes you just need something simple to keep you going.

Temper Trap got the evening off to an amazing start on the main stage but as the night progressed more and more people appeared in fantastic fancy dress for the Old Vic Tunnels Masked ball.  After a while the party started to look like a cross between Alice in Wonderland and Trainspotting and I mean that in a very good way.

Although we were erring on the side of irresponsible for the weekend there was a very strong family friendly atmosphere as well with a kids area and lots of entertainment to keep the little ones happy.  Camping was some of the quietest I’ve ever known so sleep came easily and the toilets were the cleanest I’ve seen at any festival; while a porta-potty is never going to be a pleasure to use it was so refreshing to find each one well stocked with soap and toilet roll the whole time.

Highlights of the weekend included watching some mental beat boxing in what appeared to be a tent from a village fete, roasted hog and crackling on a stall run by the local primary school, guerrilla archaeology, the boom boom club, and most importantly the people.  I’d love to see a bit more music on offer next time round but all in all the weekend was amazing.

Tickets are on sale for next year now.


  1. We were away this year so couldn't make it but we won tickets and went along last year - we thought it was brilliant. The food was great, the line-up was brilliant and I agree with you about the quiet camping and clean loos. I was 7 1/2 months pregnant and everyone was so chilled and happy - it was lovely. We didn't see any aggro at all.

    The only two niggles we had were that the queues for the food tents were soooo long (although apparently that was improved this year) and that the local primary school hogroast had run out of crackling - disaster!!

  2. Sme queues for food were a bit annoying but if you went away from the "headline" foodies it wasn't too bad at all! I loved it all, hopefully I'll head back next year as well.