Wilderness Festival 2013


During Sixto Rodriguez’s performance at this year’s Wilderness Festival, I stood behind a lady as she painstakingly typed out a text message on her enlarged screen: “Very posh here amazing performance love mum xx”. I could not help but tap her on the shoulder and agree with both her sentiments. There was something ironic about a group of intoxicated accountants in front of us smashing their fists in the air as Rodriguez called for more power to the people. The festival seemed to be an opportunity for the rich and powerful to feel progressive in an environment where they would not be threatened. Even someone as generally disliked as Rebekah Brooks seemed able to enjoy herself, although she did look a tiny bit hounded when I caught eyes with her during Martha Wainwright’s set.

That is not to say that everyone at Wilderness was rich or powerful; rather everyone was too civilized to challenge anyone’s privacy, even Rebekah Brooks - who made a life’s work of invading other’s privacy. Most people were particularly likeable and fun. There are lots of beautiful things going on, some of which, like a cake fight I got involved in, are totally whacky. It might dismay some keener on the genuine festival experience to know that I did not feel remotely unwashed at any point, thanks to the extensive swimming lakes and showers. You can also go to sleep whenever you want, which was pretty cool for those who enjoy their zzzzz’s. In terms of music, most of it is folk, with some outstanding artists playing this year. Although I am a big fan of many of the singers and bands performing, I saw only a few of them, due to my general level of sloth. Martha Wainwright was very good, or “so lovely” in the words of a friend. I am going to run out of adjectives to describe each artist soon, so I shall just say that I give a thumbs-up to Ghostpoet, Tom Odell, Count Drachma, The Correspondents and a Balkan electro swing band whose name I did not catch. The rest of the singers shall have to wait until next year when I shall definitely be going back for more!