The best of Oxfordshire’s Wilderness festival

Wilderness in west Oxfordshire is a festival with a difference. While it hosts plenty of good bands, dressing up and being seen take centre stage. This year’s festival is still scheduled to go ahead, from August 5 to August 8.

Other festivals also due to take place are Truck, the Big Feastival and Cropredy but Cornbury has been cancelled. Festivals across Oxfordshire were called off last year due to coronavirus. Sometimes celebrities join in the fun at Wilderness.

Friends get a tan at Wilderness in 2018

Friends get a tan at Wilderness in 2018

In 2018, Hollywood actor Richard Gere and Made in Chelsea star Millie Mackintosh were among the tens of thousands of revellers at the boutique festival held at Cornbury Park, near Charlbury. Read again: Oriel College Rhodes statue removal on hold They were joined on one of the hottest weekends of the year, by actor sir Ben Kingsley, comedians Olivia Colman, Ruby Wax and Shappi Khorsandi, Oxford’s Alexander Armstrong, rapper Ashley Walters – aka Asher D, songwriter Tom Odell, Jordan Stephens of Rizzle Kicks, Casualty and Sherlock actress Louise Brealey, who delighted the crowd with readings as part of the event’s popular Letters Live series.

Dressing up for Wilderness in 2018

Dressing up for Wilderness in 2018

The biggest cheers were reserved for the undisputed star of the weekend – disco legend Nile Rodgers and his band Chic.

Nile Rodgers sings at Wilderness in 2018

Nile Rodgers sings at Wilderness in 2018 Rodgers took top billing on the main stage to headline the Saturday night, playing a medley of his dance classics, such as Le Freak, Good Times and Everybody Dance and tunes from artists with whom he has collaborated, such as David Bowie and Diana Ross. : Pubs take bookings for first Sunday roasts since reopening inside

The veteran musician, songwriter, producer and composer had been battling serious illness, and received a standing ovation when he revealed to the crowd that he was now cancer-free. Other big names included electronic producer John Hopkins, pop act Bastille, jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington and dance duo Groove Armada, who played an extended DJ set in the festival’s Secret Valley – a spectacularly illuminated ravine hidden in the woods.

The view from under canvas at Wilderness

The view from under canvas at Wilderness They also treated guests to a secret show in the backstage bar, run by the team from upmarket country house venue Aynhoe Park.

The bar was suitably decorated with models of unicorns and a large dinosaur. Organisers were delighted with the weekend, describing it as the best Wilderness yet. Event manager Charlotte DC, said at the time: “This year wilderness surpassed itself.

It was a combination of the perfect audience and innovative programming, each stage bursting with creativity.

Friends enjoy a drink at Wilderness in 2018

Friends enjoy a drink at Wilderness in 2018 Revellers were full of praise for the event. : Oxford bar and restaurant brings back the sparkle

Johnny May from Bicester, said: “It was absolutely brilliant.

I have been before and couldn’t wait to come back.

We had a fantastic time – dancing in the valley, eating great food and just swimming in the lake.”