Wilderness festival announce first line-up for 2018

Wilderness 2018 announce Nile Rodgers Ft. Chic, Bastille, Jon Hopkins, Kamasi Washington, Baxter Dury, Chk Chk Chk, IAMDDB, Groove Armada, Peggy Gou, Yotam Ottolenghi, Letters Live and many more.

Wilderness Festival returns for its Eighth Season with an innovative and progressive slice of the finest programming, across the arts. On the back of yet another sold out year, Wilderness are thrilled to invite you to explore the genres, re-defined across a fresh line-up that bolsters the festival’s reputation for quality and quirky programming.

The Wilderness Main Stage, supported by BBC Music, is known for curating an eclectic mix of some of the world’s finest musical talents. Headliners bringing the party this year include Chic Ft Nile Rodgers – arguably the greatest disco band in the world – alongside Brit and Grammy nominated Bastille, the global phenomenon, who have sold over 4 million albums worldwide and will add anthemic, atmospheric pop to the mix. Renowned for his experimental and intelligent electronic compositions, Jon Hopkins joins the bill. There is also another Very Special Guest to be announced further down the line…

Adding weight to a richly diverse mix of musicians is American jazz saxophonist, Kamasi Washington who brings his progressive and improvisational catalogue, fusing jazz with hip hop, classical and R&B. Next up is Baxter Dury, who will perform songs from his critically applauded album, ‘Price Of Tears’ – a cinematic, raw and emotive collection. Chk Chk Chk will add another party dimension with their mix of dance, percussive and punk sounds.

Wilderness have also curated an impressive selection of the very best emerging rising stars; including 21-year-old IAMDDB with her very own distinct urban jazz signature.


Midlands singer-songwriter Mahalia is not to be missed with her distinctive rich vocals and evocative song writing, refusing to be genre defined.


Joy Crookes is already being hailed as one the brightest new stars and will certainly mesmerise audiences with her modern take on soul and R&B.

Joy Crookes

After dark at Wilderness, The Valley comes alive. And this year Wilderness blends the legendary Groove Armada, with one of the Berlin scene’s newest stars Peggy Gou. Korean DJ Peggy Gou will rouse the crowds with her own mix of kinetic, dark pulsing house and techno. Whilst Groove Armada will drop their finest mix of sophisticated house that never disappoints. This is the ultimate party in the forest, with The Valley a natural amphitheatre beneath the trees.

The Atrium, supported by Time Out, is the home of high arts with world-class music, dance and performance from the likes of Sadler’s Wells and Ronnie Scott’s, fused with a certain fondness for mass participation… Brand new for this year are ‘The Pee Wee Ellis Funk Assembly’, celebrating ‘50 years of cold sweat’ presented by Ronnie Scott’s – universally considered the world’s first pure funk hit. Also new to the eclectic talent mix are Afriquoi, bringing with them an uplifting fusion of African music and live electronics. The 5-piece band blends Gambian kora virtuosity, Congolese guitar and Mandinka percussion styles with electronic music to create a sound that is utterly unique. For the Sunday night Finale comes the latest in a long line of Wilderness inventions: The Wilderness Orchestra presents ‘God’s Jukebox’, which invites the Wilderness audience to apply to have their favourite song performed by the Orchestra and personally dedicated to them.

Before Wilderness, festivals didn’t have forest feasts or Banquet dining. And Wilderness remains the pioneer in quality, scale and ambition for festival dining. With its infamous culinary collaborations, the biggest names in the world of cuisine flock to be part of Wilderness and this year’s line-up will not disappoint. New chefs for this year include Santiago Lastra, Sam Buckley and James Lowe who will host at the breath-taking setting of The Chefs Table, overlooking the lake. The glorious Yotam Ottolenghi is welcomed back for a Sunday Long-Table Banquet. Meanwhile, the Feasting restaurants are in the safe hands of the best in the business, with Angela Hartnett bringing back Café Murano to the show for a second time, and Petersham Nurseries decamping their signature floral displays to the fields of Wilderness. All of this plus more Banquet hosts to be announced in the near future. They’ve cooked up brand new concepts too, The Counter, where a new exciting chef each day delights diners with dishes cooked at a counter-style restaurant, and a pizza house with Homeslice to help off-set late night revelry.

Banquets at The Pavilion

Wilderness is proud to welcome back Letters Live after a truly memorable festival first last year, that saw an array of A list speakers including Benedict Cumberbatch, Russell Brand and Tom Hollander to name a few. This year promises to be every bit as special. Expect another top-secret line-up, guaranteed not to disappoint.

Wilderness continues to push the boundaries in their talks venue The Forum, with a focus this year on inspiring ideas. Discussions will be held by some of the finest minds from those organisations leading the conversation, such as The Economist, The RSA, Refinery29 and London Review of Books and Sunday Papers Live. Sessions will include an audience-fuelled ‘Ideas Slam: Wilderness Saves The World’, focused around ideas for positive change, and ‘Headturners: Ideas to make you see the world differently’.

As the festival in the UK that boasts partnerships with all the leading arts institutions, Wilderness is thrilled to announce new partnerships with The Royal Academy of Arts and British Film Institute and as well as their continued alliance with V&A, presenting ‘Fashioned from Nature and Frida Kahlo’s Wardrobe’. Furthermore, there will be live podcasts from a stellar line up of influencers including No Such Thing as a Fish, Ctrl Alt Delete, Queer Say and News Roast.

There are 3 new music and arts venues, as Wilderness reveals its wild side, with raucous music programmed and hidden corners concealed. Brand new is ‘The Be All and End Hall’ the perfect pit stop for all manner of variety, vaudeville comedy and outlandish cabaret. Joining the show are Edinburgh Fringe favourite’s, Bourgeois and Maurice as well as performances from Pecs Drag Kings, Hackney Showroom and Missy Fatale’s Kabarett Verboten. Drop in and join the Wilderness Chorus Line with The Bee’s Knees or learn to tap dance with Sole Rebel Tap. Prepare to be bewitched.

Another brand-new venue for 2018 is ‘The Hereafter’, the ultimate rock and roll stage, curated by The Great Brain Robbery. The Hereafter is welcomes you to a world of whiskey and wild nights. Here you can catch sight of Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind, the latest sonic assault from Jim Jones, formerly of the acclaimed Revue outfit who will no doubt deliver a blistering show. Other acts joining the madness will be Henri Herbert & The Fury, Tom Mansi & The Icebreakers plus many more.

On top of the music and entertainment, you can do all manner of wonderful workshops, and learn countless new skills. Learn Self-Defence with Refinery29, have a go at Stone-carving or try your hand at Crayfish Trapping.

This year there will be lots of opportunities to follow your curious nose and explore, seek out hidden camps and secret bars, discover piano lock ins at The Skilamalink and other after parties. Wilderness has never been so secretive.

Wilderness is a treasure trove full of hidden gems for lovers of music, dance, theatre, cabaret, politics, fun, with world-class cuisine on offer for friends and families everywhere.

The full programme can be seen here.

Wilderness 2018, August 2-5th, Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire

Tickets from £168.50 + booking fee

Teens: £115 & child: £5

Tickets: www.ticketmaster.co.uk/wilderness

More info at www.wildernessfestival.com | facebook.com/wildernessfestival | twitter.com/WildernessHQ | instagram.com/WildernessHQ |


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