Wilderness Festival takes place at Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire every August. The creative brains behind Wilderness Festival are Tim Harvey, Joanne Vidler and Jim Whewell. The first time they walked into Cornbury Park, it had that sense of pastoral grandeur that you rarely experience, scale and intimacy in the most dramatic fashion, and a setting for celebration it remains peerless. Each year fans get to experience a stunning swathe of artistic experiences intertwined within this unique landscape‚ banquets under canopies, tented talks, midnight masked balls, barefoot dancing, parkland processions and ritualistic revelry. Every one of them, time-honoured traditions that have created friendships and community for millenia, Wilderness will always be defined by its passions, award winning curators, pioneering arts and breathtaking landscapes. For three days and three nights this summer, come and find yourself in the Wilderness.
Cornbury Park is an estate near Charlbury, Oxfordshire. It comprises about 5000 acres, mostly farmland and woods, including a remnant of the Wychwood Forest, and was the original venue for the Cornbury Music Festival and later the Wilderness Festival. Cornbury used to be a royal hunting estate. The park is first mentioned in the Domesday book as a “demesne forest of the king”, which was used for the hunting of deer.
Cornbury Park is currently the home of Robin Cayzer, 3rd Baron Rotherwick, a Conservative hereditary peer who runs it as a business. Cayzer has developed business units for rental there, and for several years sponsored the Cornbury Music Festival and later the Wilderness Festival there.
Cornbury House is a two-storey, eleven-bay Grade I listed English country house. Built in the late 16th century, it was enlarged and altered several times, first in 1632-33 by Nicholas Stone for Henry Danvers, 1st Earl of Danby. The frontage was by the mason and sculptor Timothy Strong. Further alterations were carried out in 1663-77 by Hugh May who built the east front, the stables, and the chapel (1663–68) for Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon. In 1901-6, John Belcher removed addition of c. 1850, and altered the house further for Vernon Watney. Belcher’s work was mostly demolished c. 1972.