A Celebration shaped by Nature, a Landscape Transformed by the Arts

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This year, Wilderness will keep the celebration going all hours with an exciting schedule of late night programming that will thrill and electrify even the most hardy of partygoers and keep you dancing till dawn.

By now, you would probably be aware of the amazing calibre of acts already confirmed to play for the fourth installment, the extraordinary range of chefs on hand to whip up lavish feasts for festivalgoers, the dazzling variety of outdoor pursuits to appease active types, and even the wonderfully engaging family activities for those travelling with their little ones. What you might not be aware of, however, is that Wilderness has assembled a stellar roster of DJs, performers, entertainers and events to take the party deep into the night as well. 

First up, the Pandaemonium DJ Stage, which will be “a secret hidden valley of revelers and dancing feet”, with a different theme for each night. For ‘Altered States’, festivalgoers are invited to brush off their everyday woes by transforming themselves to join the hypnotic rhythms of the Secret Valley. With incendiary sets from Eats Everything, Psychemagik, Lukas & Jim Morrison, and For Better and Worse lined up, attendees can weave between the shifting shapes on the dance floor and lose themselves to transformative beats, surrealistic spectacles and metamorphic performance. The following night disco kings Horse Meat Disco will lead the charge for a ‘Disco Renaissance’, enlisting Greg Wilson and Futureboogie in their mission to set dancefloors alight in the wee hours. On Sunday, the valley will embody “The Cosmos”, with the UK’s only Astronomers Ball to take place in a secret woodland valley. Expect an evening of celestial wonder, astrological music and aerial splendor with DJs like Zero 7 and Mojo Filter set to provide a sparkling, spinning universe of cosmic beats and stunning performance. And finally, the immersive dance experience turned morning rave, Morning Glory, will be onsite to get the festivalgoers’ day started right, with DJs like Carlo Rossi and the Organic Jam (Live), Tythe, Mark E and Zero 7 present and correct to get people raving their way into the day.

In addition, the acclaimed theatre company Petersham Playhouse will be bringing The Juke Joint to Wilderness, a specially constructed Rhythm and Blues barrel house run by the infamous witch doctor Mama Gris Gris. During the day guests are invited to unwind in the sunshine listening to tales of the southern wild, but as the sun goes down there will be a Mardi Gras inciting you to release your inner demons and inhibitions, with the help of Mama Gris Gris’ herbs, potions, spell and midnight moonshine, soundtracked by DJ sets from Gaz Mayall & Baby Soul of Gaz’s Rockin’ Blues fame and Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir, and live sets from the likes of HatFitz & Cara, Dollar Bill, Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir, The Black Kat Boppers and The Sunshine Kings.

Finally, for those with a world music bent, there’s The Styx Stage, hosted by those late-night experts in mayhem Rumpus, Artful Badger and the Shangri La Superstar himself, Chris Tofu, all bringing their idiosyncratic party-starting nous into the equation. Rumpus will be bringing together the gloriously varied sounds of The Turbans, Barking Bateria Samba Band, and the Brass Volcanoes New Orleans Brass Band in what promises to be a hugely energizing mix, while Chris Tofu has got the Renegade Brass Band, Le Klischee and Woohoo Revue lined up alongside Swing Patrol for his night. Last, but certainly not least Artful Badger will unveil the deeply eclectic sounds of Gentle Mystics, They Say Jump, Tythe and Tako Lako to excellent effect.

As this is Wilderness however, the music is hardly the end of it. The Footsbarn Big Top will also be present, a decadent establishment for louche elegance, avant-garde entertainment and hedonistic parties, a place to awaken all the senses. These Epicurean nights will be hosted by The Candlelight Club, London’s most notorious nightclub The Box, and White Mink, while the Wilderness Stage will dazzle with gin-induced opulent overtures, sumptuous symphonies and cinematic classics, with Borderless Beats, Cabinet of Living Cinema, Silent Opera and The Wilderness Orchestra all introducing special presentations of films. And Now: will lead revelers into the woods to witness this season’s Giant Ceremonial Burn, while Macnas processions will gather together as we light up the skies above Wychwood Forest.

Throw in the finest storytellers, firewalkers, luxury hot tubs, moonlight walks and live art painting, among many other frivolities and you have an experience that is completely and uniquely Wilderness.

Wilderness is the proud winner of: Best New Festival 2011 – UK Festival Awards, Best Small Festival 2012 – Live Music Awards, Best Extra Activity 2013 - UK Festival Awards

Published on 01 May 2014 by Ben Robinson

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