England’s Wilderness Festival’s Food Focus

The music and arts festival has a new approach to festival dining

Diners will be served much more than just burgers and hotdogs

The third annual Wilderness Festival in the English countryside may be a music and arts festival, but The Telegraph reports that food and dining is also a huge part of this unique festival experience. The festival is “a celebration of the arts and outdoors,” but in a civilized manner.

The festival, held August 8th to 11th this year, is about blending the arts with the wilderness. Activities include an after dark trapeze show, lakeside spa facilities, and a performance by Shakespeare’s Globe.

The festival won both Best New Festival in 2011 at the UK Festival Awards and Best Small Festival 2012 at the Live Music Awards. Notable musical performances this year include Empire of the Sun and Noah and the Whale.

But part of the real charm of this quirky four-day experience is the dining. Instead of the standard beer and burger carts seen at most outdoor festivals, the Wilderness Festival has banquets. Hosted by Russell Norman of Polpo, Yotam Ottolenghi of Ottolenghi, and Mark Hix of Hix, the meals are five courses long under candlelight, and diners are seated next to someone they don’t know at long banquet style tables.

Norman is making his Wilderness debut this year. Last year his cookbook, A Venetian Cookbook (Of Sorts), was a hit.

The idea is to make the food a focus at the festival, offering a dining experience that is completely unique. The coordinators hope the Venetian style communal dining experience will be something special for diners.


For more information on the festival and tickets, visit the festival’s website