UK FESTIVAL EXPERIENCE TO BE REDEFINED BY LAUNCH OF WILDERNESS
Wilderness, a pioneering new festival of music, food, learning, literature and rejuvenation, is set to redefine the festival experience for 2011. Set among the lakes, forests and parkland of Oxfordshire’s exquisite Cornbury Estate on August 12-14, Wilderness will be an inspirational weekend for all the ages.
Curated by the organisers of Secret Garden Party and MAMA Festivals, Wilderness will be a weekend of freedom and inspiration for all free-spirited festival lovers. Performances, fireside banquets and theatrical spectaculars set amongst the stunning lakes and meadows of the ancient Wychwood Forest will set the standard for the new festival.
The people behind one of the world’s best-known and best-loved theatres, The Old Vic, will take their spin-off, The Old Vic Tunnels, to Wilderness, in their debut on the festival scene. They will deliver a program of theatre, performance and arts activities, with The Tax Deductable Theatre Company also putting on a range of shows for people to enjoy.
Cornbury has always been a destination for exemplary shows and, for many years in the late 18th century, it hosted the Wychwood Fair, one of the largest and oldest gatherings in England. The fair grew to become a vast pleasure park of entertainments and frivolity but it was the introduction of artisan foods and fine beverages that established it as an almost national success. Over two centuries later, the Wilderness festival launches on the very same site and with the same emphasis on traditional culinary experiences with communal banqueting at the very heart of the weekend experience.
But the festival’s gastronomical offerings won’t just be long-table dining and fireside feasts. Wilderness is delighted to welcome Skye Gyngell and her Petersham Nurseries Cafe as well as Sam & Sam Clark and their Moro restaurant as both hosts and culinary maestros of the festival’s two flagship outdoor dining experiences, between the 12 – 14th August at Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire.
It will be all three chefs festival debuts and, although the menus won’t be released until mid-May, both teams are now hard at working designing the most sumptuous of spreads.
The finest names in musicianship will also perform, including Mercury Prize winners Antony and the Johnsons, Gogol Bordello, recent Brit winner Laura Marling who will perform solo, Toots & The Maytals, Guillemots and Hayseed Dixie, among many others.
There will also be an unprecedented line-up of talks and debates – from intellectual argument to educational workshops, humorous discourse to poetic declamation. Wilderness will come alive with stimulating debate, innovative visions and shared thinking from such organisations as Intelligence Squared the world’s leading forum for live debate, The Idler, the British magazine devoted to the ethos of ‘idling’ and Headspace, the meditation project who aim to demystify meditation and make it more accessible to the mainstream.
Restorative healing treatments and yoga workshops will also be on offer in the Well Being area for rejuvenation. The Wilderness Spa, set alongside the beautiful lakes, will offer festival-goers hot tubs, saunas and massages. Where else in the world can you be in a hot tub and jump straight into crystal clear lakes?
Family activities are at the heart of the festival, including nature walks and talks from the Bristol Institute of Natural History, lake swimming, boating, fly-fishing, a magical children’s area with babysitting from Boutique Babysitting and games and adventurous escapades on the front lawn of the enchanting 800-acre estate.
Tim Harvey, Wilderness Festival organiser says: “Wilderness is a concept that, together, we’ve been planning for nearly six years now. It’s as much a weekend retreat in one of England's ancient landscapes as it is an outdoor arts spectacular. It's a long overdue addition to the UK's world-class roster of summer shows and a genuinely different type of festival for all different age groups – young and old. The organisers have really focused their curatorial powers on creating experiences and activities that are designed specifically for the Cornbury Park site. In many cases, these performances and happenings just wouldn't be possible anywhere else.
“When we started, we wanted to broaden out the established offering of most festivals and introduce many more cultural, lifestyle and artisan aspects to the event – the kind of programming that the Edinburgh Festival, Hay-on-Wye and Taste of London have become so renowned for. But the really exciting bit has been working out how these kinds of theatre, food and literary happenings could work in a place as wonderfully remote as the Cornbury Park site and the surrounding Wychwood forest. We'll have to wait and see whether it becomes a new benchmark in the summer calendar but it will certainly be reflective of the variety and quality of the partners and talent involved.”
Creative Director Hamish Jenkinson said: “The Old Vic Tunnels has been successful in bringing together visual artists with theatre producers and musicians to create truly innovative productions. So we’re very excited to be extending the reach of our work onto the festival scene.
“Wilderness is a really inspiring concept, making culture accessible across one weekend, in one location. We will be providing festival-goers with a truly unique experience to celebrate the essence of the festival - creativity and inspiration.”
Early bird adult weekend camping tickets cost £99.50, Early Bird family ticket (two adults, two children) £250.00, 10 years and younger go free.
Tickets can be purchased from the following outlets or visit www.wildernessfestival.com for further information.
TICKETMASTER 24 HOUR HOTLINE: 0844 248 5103
HVM TICKETS HOTLINE: 0844 822 9992 (Open Mon-Fri 8am to 10pm; Sat & Sun 9am to 9am; 10am to 6pm Bank Holidays; Closed Easter Sunday)
Tickets can also be bought in person from a number of selected HMV Stores ‘LISTED HERE’.
Authorised Ticket Agents:
Also BUY IN PERSON AT: Stargreen, Argyll Street, London
Notes to Editors
The Old Vic - The Old Vic is one of the best known and best loved theatres in the world, synonymous with the greatest acting talent that Britain has ever produced from Laurence Olivier, Peggy Ashcroft, John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson to Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Albert Finney, and Peter O'Toole. This iconic 192-year-old building has a rich history of great performances and The Old Vic Theatre Company under the artistic leadership of Kevin Spacey, continues to attract the best creative talent from the UK and all over the world to tread its famous boards. www.oldvictheatre.com
The Old Vic Tunnels - The Old Vic Tunnels is a unique performance space offering opportunities for young people to gain experience in production and be part of an innovative and diverse arts venue is the latest winner of the Prime Minister’s Big Society Award. www.oldvictunnels.com
Skye Gyngell - Michelin-starred chef, Skye Gyngell started out as a private chef to celebrities including Madonna and Mario Testino and is currently head chef at the Petersham Nurseries Cafe. She is the first Australian woman to be awarded a Michelin star and will be opening a restaurant in Hyde Park London next year. www.petershamnurseries.com
Petersham Nurseries Café - A delightful quirky café-restaurant in Richmond Hill draws its own admirers. Five days a week, chef Skye Gyngell and her team produce a short menu of seasonal dishes to be eaten amongst the flowers and plants at the antique tables dotted in and about the enchanting main greenhouse. http://www.petershamnurseries.com/cafe.asp
Moro - Moro restaurant opened in 1997, and lies at the heart of Exmouth Market. Known for its award-winning Moorish cuisine, the restaurant is popular not only with diners, but with those who come in to enjoy tapas, which are served throughout the day. www.moro.co.uk
Sam & Sam Clark - It was an unusual route which led to the establishment of Moro in the spring of 1997: two cooks, Sam and Sam Clark, shared a desire to discover the abundant flavours of the Southern Mediterranean. They married, bought a camper van and set off on a three month journey. They drove through Spain, Morocco and the Sahara, learning, observing and tasting along the way.
Tax Deductible Theatre Company - Formed in 2005 from the discarded remnants of the once world-renowned East 15 Acting School. Tax Deductible’s original founders Rev. Lewis Ironside and Cpt. Chris Snelson came up with the name after buying over six hundred cans of beer to use as props for their first show. Tax Deductable are committed to producing original comedy writing, high energy performance and never knowingly taking themselves seriously. www.taxdeductible.co.uk
The Idler - The Idler is a British magazine devoted to the ethos of 'idling'. Founded by Tom Hodgkinson and Gavin Pretnor Pinney, the publication intends to return dignity to the art of loafing and promote liberty, autonomy and responsibility. www.idler.co.uk
Headspace - A 'meditation project', aiming to demystify the concept of meditation and make it accessible to the mainstream. They present meditation in a unique, humourous and easy to learn way. They offer simple, practical tools to help you find a bit more clarity and calm in your everyday life. www.getsomeheadspace.com
Intelligence Squared – The world’s leading forum for live debate, brings together the best writers, artists, politicians and scientists to debate the subjects they feel most strongly about. www.intelligencesquared.com
Bristol Institute of Natural History – Aim to deliver entertaining and informative events and activities that inspire greater public interest, volunteering and participation in nature conservation. They initiate and support research into how audiences absorb and respond to conservation messages. www.bnhc.org.uk
Boutique Babysitting - A new childcare company has entered the festival scene to provide a bespoke, festival-friendly babysitting service. For the first time, parents can enjoy a care-free festival experience; content in the knowledge that their children are safe and professionally cared for, whilst the kids enjoy a fun-packed “mini festival” of their own at the Boutique Babysitting kids club. www.boutiquebabysitting.com
Antony and the Johnsons – The band is essentially the vehicle for singer Antony. Born in Chichester in 1971, Antony moved to Amsterdam in 1977 before settling in California the following year. The band's self-titled debut album was released in 1998 but it was their second album, I am a Bird Now, which gained them popular recognition and won a Mercury Music Prize in 2005, in spite of being pitted against favourites Kaiser Chiefs. Antony was described by Rolling Stone Magazine as "a voice of singular majesty". www.antonyandthejohnsons.com
Gogol Bordello - Gypsy punk band from New York City, Gogol Bordello formed in 1999 and are known for their theatrical stage shows and persistent touring. The bands sound is inspired by Gypsy music and incorporates minor key accordion and violin mixed with punk and dub. Gogol Bordello appeared with Madonna at the Live Earth concert and are a regular on the festival circuit. www.gogolbordello.com
Laura Marling - Brit award winner Laura Marling released her debut album, ‘Alas, I Cannot Swim’ in 2008 at just 17 to critical acclaim. The folk musician from Hampshire has been nominated twice for the Mercury Music Prize and most recently released her album, ‘I Speak because I Can’. www.lauramarling.com
Toots and The Maytals - A Jamaican musical group and one of the best known ska and reggae vocal groups who formed early in the 1960’s. They currently hold the record for number ones in Jamaica and have won several Grammys. www.tootsandthemaytals.com
Guillemots - Brit award nominated indie rock band Guillemots formed in 2004 and consists of four band members. The band often use quirky musical instruments, such as the sound of a typewriter and industrial power tools to create new sounds on their records. Their third record is out this April. www.guillemots.com
Hayseed Dixie - American band turned tribute act to AC/DC, Hayseed Dixie have been around since 2000 performing a mixture of covers of hard rock songs and original compositions and are the creators of the musical genre “Rockgrass”. The band has played over 1000 live dates in 29 countries since 2001. www.hayseed-dixie.com
The Cornbury Estate - The Cornbury Park is the family home of Lord and Lady Rotherwick near Charlbury in Oxfordshire, England. The estate includes some 1,700 acres of the most ancient forest in Britain today and is a protected environment for native wildlife, creating a unique habitat in one of the few private forests in England. www.cornburypark.co.uk
MAMA - MAMA Group was founded in 2002, and is now owned by HMV Group Plc following the completion, in 2010, of a successful takeover bid. MAMA Group Limited is the parent company of a number of UK-based music and media businesses.
The Group is comprised of three divisions:
HMV - First established in July 1921 through its ground-breaking record store in London’s Oxford Street, and famous world-wide for its iconic ‘dog-and-gramophone’ trademark, ninety years on entertainment brand HMV enables its customers to get even closer to the artists and to the music, film and games they love whether in their homes or at work, on the move or via the ‘live’ experience. HMV offers a specialist and eclectic range of products, services and experiences that give unrivalled access to today’s popular culture through a number of complementary channels, including 260 stores around the UK and Ireland; an online store at www.hmv.com; a content download service at www.hmvdigital.com powered by 7digital; and live music and entertainment through the sale of event tickets via hmvtickets online and instore, and HMV ownership of MAMA Group venues and festivals. These include the hmvApollo, Hammersmith, the Jazz Café and Heaven in London, the hmv Picture House in Edinburgh and the hmv Institute in Birmingham; and MAMA festivals including Lovebox, High Voltage, The Great Escape and Global Gathering.
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