Into the Wilderness

Wilderness Festival 2015 is right around the corner and if you’re a newbie you’ll want to know what to expect. So here’s pb’s post from last year’s festivities to get you excited…

When I think of a British festival, I envision muddy wellies, and dancing in the rain. Sarah and I certainly did that this past weekend… but we also sipped champagne in the Laurent-Perrier Orangery, indulged in a 12-course feast at the chef’s table with James Knappett, rose with the sun for early morning yoga in a tipi, banqueted on hay bales over a dinner by Mark Hix – all while looking ready for our close-up thanks to on-hand make-up artists from Smashbox Cosmetics. Yes, Wilderness is not your average festival.

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Last year I scored an invitation to Wilderness with Smashbox, and quickly decided it was my favourite festival. Having spent a lot of my twenties dancing in a heaving crowd, eating crappy food, drinking sugary vodka pre-mixes and sleeping in a badly assembled tent – and loving every single minute – my ideal festival experience these day is a little more refined.

Call me precious (or just old), but there’s something to be said for enjoying some music and culture alongside good wine, scrumptious food, decent showers, and a comfortable bed. Wilderness ticks the boxes for me, so I was chuffed when Smashbox invited us back again this year.

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Sarah and I arrived on Friday under cover of darkness and rain, and after settling into our lovely lodge accommodation, dashed out through the downpour to get acquainted with the festival. Luckily, we had some trusty Hunter boots on to squelch through the mud in, thanks to the ever-prepared and generous Smashbox ladies.Wilderness Festival-8

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We caught the last strains of Metronomy on the main stage and then danced away the rest of the evening inside the main bar to a hilarious medley of Nineties boy bands, Eighties power ballads and early-Noughties pop hits.

On Saturday we were up bright and early for some sun salutations before breakfast, and then our make-up session in the Smashbox tent to get festival-ised. I had a certain look in mind, and Ann-Marie happily obliged. But more on that tomorrow.IMG_1832

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Next to the Accessorize tent, where we learned how to make some very festival appropriate feather headdresses.Wilderness Festival-5Wilderness Festival-6


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It was loads of fun, and we loved our creations so much we wore them for the rest of the day. We were pretty impressed with our skills – what do you think?IMG_1888


We had the afternoon free to dance, catch up with friends, enjoy the food truck offerings, and sip champagne in the sunshine.
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… Before meeting up with our group for dinner in the Hix hall.Wilderness Festival-15
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The after hours party in the valley of the forest was pretty epic – DJs on the Pandaemonium stage with aerial artists performing overhead.Wilderness Festival-18Wilderness Festival-17

On Sunday the rain returned, with thunder and rainstorms in between bursts of sunshine. We kept dry and watched the showers from beneath the canopy of the chef’s table overlooking the lake while we feasted on a 12-course lunch…Wilderness Festival-19

… And did a happy dance when the sun shone again, just in time for us to say goodbye to the Wilderness.Wilderness Festival-21
Wilderness Festival-20There is still more to come from the festival though… back tomorrow with more details of our festival make-up with Smashbox!

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