Our full Arts, Talks, Comedy and Participation line-up is HERE.

Hello hotties.

We are thrilled to throw open the curtains on our multi-sensory extravaganza and arts tour de force. Featuring a seismic array of experts, visionaries, artists, luminaries, comedians, performers, roaming characters and more, your heart will be opened, your opinions shaken and ribs tickled, followed by a neon-clad Night Game or two…

A thrilling bill of experts, writers, thinkers - and the festival’s biggest ever comedy programme - join the already announced Letters Live, Claudia Winkleman, Jeremy Deller, Hannah MacInnes and Joel Dommett.

Our biggest ever comedy line-up features the incredible Russell Kane, 2023 Edinburgh Award Winner for Best Show, Ahir Shah, Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Fringe Amy Gledhill, award-winning comedian and writer Daniel Foxx, Joel Dommett - comedian and host of Masked Singer, Survivor, In With a Shout and NTAs. Stand-up comic and writer Rosie Jones and actor and stand-up comic Lee Peart. The Forum also hosts comedy, with appearances from razor-sharp American comic Russell Hicks and superby deadpan Matt Bragg - Ricky Gervais’ warm up comic.

The Atrium hosts Talks headliner Letters Live - whose mission has always been to harness the unrivalled power of old-fashioned correspondence. Past performers have included Olivia Colman, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ben Kingsley. Stirring It Up is the smash podcast from headline chef Andi Oliver and her star-presenter daughter Miquita. Hosted by the dynamic mother-daughter duo, they welcome a special guest and a plus one to gather around their kitchen - or Wilderness table - for a feast of laughter, vulnerability, and deep conversations about all things food, culture, and the human experience.

Talks HQ The Forum hosts A Drink with the Idler with infamous poet and broadcaster Murray Lachlan Young on the Life of a Poet. How To Academy - London's home of big thinking - bring Art Historian, columnist and author of best-selling book, ‘The Story of Art Without Men' Katy Hessel and Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller. The Futurenauts are Ed Gillespie and Mark Stevenson. Drawn together by their shared frustrations with the current world but working to stretch the imagination of the possible and making a podcast about it. 

Other opinionated experts include the ‘old school’ writer, reporter and broadcaster John Sweeney - infamous for his provocative work on Putin, Trump and Scientology, regenerative economist and author of Doughnut Economics Kate Raworth and social philosopher, Empathy Museum founder and historian Roman Krznaric. There’s a Philosophy Slam, join podcaster and writer Sydney Lima in reviewing the recent news headlines with some very special guests at the Monthly Digestif. Flamboyant secular celebration The Sunday Assembly return and England’s leading spoken word and poetry organisation Apple’s and Snakes bring a selection of incredible spoken word artists. 

Sunday Papers Live takes over The Forum to bring the broadsheets to life for a bumper Sunday from the sections. For the UK News section, Professors Kate Pickett and Danny Dorling present a compelling and achievable vision for a progressive future, with cutting-edge policies on welfare, health, social care, education, housing and a clear, evidenced plan for progressive reform. CEO of international, non-profit marine conservation organisation Sea Shepherd Captain Alex Cornelissen is in conversation with Arav Gupta for the Environment Section. Author Marriane Power asks can you have a life full of love without marriage and kids? For the Culture Section, in Health, Scientist David Robson discusses why social connection matters even more than we thought and in Travel, Kate Rawles shares her experiences of riding a self-built bamboo bicycle from Colombia to Cape Horn, criss-crossing the Andes and exploring biodiversity along the way.

The Books Tent is the epicentre of all things literature, and this year features a huge bill of writers discussing a range of topics. Highlights include Joshua Patterson - ultra-athlete, mentor, coach and author of Fortune Favours The Brave, June Thomas, author of Where Are All The Lesbians? Musician and novelist Kalaf Epalanga (of Portugese techno outfit Buraka Som Sistema), ARIAs-nominated writer and co-host of History Hit's After Dark: Myths, Misdeeds and the Paranormal Madeleine Pelling, author and Empire editor Nick De Semlyan, Showgirl turned author Ruth Ivo, top Sommelier Bert Blaize and more.

Wilderness is famed for its dazzling array of arts and for unearthing treasures from the most alternative and innovative corners across a dizzying multitude of disciples. Record breaking participation, unconventional commissions and awe-inspiring spectacles jostle in the rolling Cornbury landscape. Bass-heavy Bristolian superstar DJ Eats Everything collaborates with Missy Fatale’s Haus of Fatale to bring a surprise show to The Atrium. Expect risqué performance and banging beats.

The House of Sublime returns in fine form, Alt-pageant Alternative Miss Wilderness is a fixture - this year hosted by Lolo Brow - while international burlesque siren Missy Fatale, a long-time Wilderness favourite, collects and curates her own band of performance artists at The Haus of Fatale and at avant-garde club night FATALISM. The Cocoa Butter Club ‘where the melanated are celebrated’ deliver a menu of workshops, performance and extravagance - as well as clubnight Slicc n Thicc: a generous dose of RnB and Hip Hop from celebrated DJ's. Pinky Promise bring their collective of sensual deviants to create live-action hedonistic extravaganzas with a heart. Other performers include Dominatrix Eva Oh, trash-electro-disco outfit Chewy She, pole-dancing comedy witch Sian Docksey and Storyteller and Queen Amrou Al Khadi.

Brand new for this year, the In The Wild series transports a host of beautiful experiences outside of the arena, and thrusts them deep into the magic and mystery of the Wychwood Forest. Theatre In The Wild uses the landscape as its set, with completely amazing troupe The Fabularium taking you on a journey away from the paradise of Cornbury Park with their show The Hare and The Moon. Hunter Gather Cook return with three wild workshops exploring the delicious wild food we have all around us. Try Foraging, Deer Butchery and Crayfish Trapping. There’s a Falconry Experience in the Woods, a host of Guided Night Walks, a Story Walk, a Medicine Walk a Walking Discovery Session.

The Art Studio boats a whole raft of activities and workshops: from Macrame with Textile Artiist and Weaver Alice Hume to Playful Portraits with Frances Stanfield, Make Your Own Zine, Life Modelling, Still Life Flowers and Abstraction, make a cardboard quilt square with Crisis Charity and many more disciplines to try. The Cat’s Whiskers Cocktail and Cabaret Club presented by Wonderment moonlights here too, melting hearts and tantalising tastebuds with world class cabaret and inspired libations.

Roaming Theatre is a big part of the Wilderness vibe, with a colourful and inventive cast of characters traversing the parkland, casting spells and sprinkling magic: Judith Hope’s celestial puppets, the Chivaree Lampshade Ladies oozing sophistication and elegance, Puppets with Guts The Lips: a chorus of delightfully deviant divas whose mouths have broken free from their bodies, characters from Natural Theatre Company and Valarian Entertainment and Bedlam Oz with their bizarre and hilarious Slinky. 

The Playing Fields is the capital of games and participation - and the place to go for raucousness on the green. Whether its a Lycra 80’s Aerobics Class, Mass Musical Benches, A night game of Disco Dodgeball, race in The Grand Irrational Derby, Jenga Death Match, a Great Big Festival Football Match or the infamous Cricket with Bearded Kitten, you will find your belly laughs.  The Club House is the cornerstone of the fields and also presented by The Village Circus. Here you’ll find a Disco Ceilidh Hoedown, Fleetwood Mac Party, a Naked Pop Quiz, Twisted Time Machine and many other family friendly happenings.

From bizarre fete stalls to Maypole dancing and psychedelic twists on traditional games, The Faraway Fete - brought to you by Tootles + Nibbs, will provide a quintessentially British spectacle. Bringing hardcore beats from the underground German Haus scene, Acid Klauss is a Bavarian beatboxer, music producer, club veteran and comic creation of Charlie Partridge. There’s also Toe Wrestling, Faraway Croquet, Margate’s premier high leaping Morris team Bower Street Morris and the Theatre of The Small.

Togetherness is a ‘movement for meaningful human connection’ who have hosted a venue at Wilderness for many years, always facilitating intimate and hilarious moments with a colourful array of happenings. Their programme focuses on boundaries, relationships and desires, with a range of workshops and play sessions including How To Ask For What you Really Really Want, How Not To F*ck Up Your Kids, Understanding Family Dynamics, a Crafty Bitch self-critic puppet workshop, Ecstatic Cacao Parties, Bedtime Takes, singalongs and a Salsa Rendezvous.

That’s all folks.

Biggest love,

Wilderness HQ x