Wilderness, the festival of musicianship, theatre, talks, panel debates, late-night parties, outdoor pursuits and food experiences which returns for an eighth year to Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire from Thursday 2nd until Sunday 5th August 2018 has announced its talks and debates programme with over 250 speakers across 4 venues.
This year's programme welcomes back Letters Live to headline this year's talks programme, with this year's line-up a tightly kept secret.
Joining the speakers and roundtables discussions will be Observer journalist Carole Cadwalldr, comedian Shappi Khorsandi, YouTube phenom Rants N Bants, and Blackadder and QI producer John Lloyd are all on hand for a selection of conversations and debates. New is a Wilderness partnership with London Review of Books, bringing David Runciman's Talking Politics with guests from the festival's line-up of chefs to discuss the politics of food, while a partnership with Refinery29 has its Editor-at-Large Sarah Raphael joined by a panel of guests to ask whether we have made progress beyond the hashtags, where women (and men) can instigate palpable change in their communities and what's next for this powerful movement.
Coming with the Frontline Club, and using 25 year's experiences as war correspondent, Anthony Loyd looks at how, in the aftermath of war, some find it within themselves to reconcile and forgive. Closer to home, Neil Woods spent fourteen years infiltrating drug gangs as an undercover policeman and to quit the police in order to campaign for a radical change in policy. Teaming up with Vice reporter, JS Rafaeli, they discuss a better way forward. BAFTA-winning satirists Jolyon Rubinstein & Heydon Prowse's podcast News Roast invites top investigative journalist Carole Cadwalladr to help put the world to rights. The flagship debate State of The Nation returns, where Question time meets cage-fighting in a frantic tag-team debate featuring all the best speakers from across the festival.
Professor David Nutt - voted by The Times as one of the hundred most important figures in British science - will be explaining the importance of understanding the role pleasure plays when examining our relationship with drugs. Gavin Francis will explore how the transformations in mind and body continue across the arc of human life. Founder and Head of the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London, Robin Carhart-Harris discusses the mind bending clinical potential of psychedelic drugs.
Sculptural artist Andrew Logan will discuss how he challenges convention, mixes media and plays with our artistic values. Murray Lachlan Young presents a romp into the bizarre facets of fame, fashion, people, politics, a mild erotic folk ballad and the space-time continuum. Smash podcast No Such Thing As A Fish hosted by the QI elves returns to serve up the most extraordinary & hilarious facts they've uncovered in the course of their research. And Salon London have distilled the most gigantic ideas of the year in to one fast paced overview especially for the Wilderness audience.
How To Stop Being Busy has psychologists and coaches providing practical solutions to help you de-busy your life. Helping with the (not-so) simple task of being a better person, philosopher Robert Rowland Smith will explore the recurring patterns, unconscious motives and social forces that govern our behaviour. Mental health campaigners Natasha Devon and Jonny Benjamin give practical advice to improve mental health. Discuss bettering your business with four Insta-superstars Anna 'Mother Pukka', Zoe 'Dress Like A Mum', Natalie 'Style Me Sunday', and TV presenter Cherry Healey. And for the naughty - author, blogger and TV presenter Dr Jack Lewis looks at the Science of Sin - raiding the best religious, philosophical and scientific thinkers to get to the bottom of why we do the things we know we shouldn't.
A brand-new venue at this year's festival is Togetherness, with experiences from the social to the sensual to the soulful, and a programme that includes The Spooning Hour, Blindfolded Adventure Time, Silent Speed Dating, How To Not Fuck Up Your Kids, and workshops exploring the roots of the masculine. In Wilderness' flagship talks space The Forum, The RSA bring barrister, broadcaster and author of the bestselling book 'Brit(ish)', Afua Hirsch to deliver a rousing call-to-action for 21st century Britain - how do we tackle issues like racism, identity and belonging in a nation experiencing an identity crisis? Kate Devlin discusses human-robot intimacy. The Scummy Mummies and award-winning author and mental health campaigner and journalist Bryony Gordon for an afternoon of laughs for less-than-perfect parents. Emma Gannon's popular Ctl Alt Delete podcast brings midwife, author and instamum Clemmie 'Mother Of Daughters' Hooper to discuss the pleasures and pitfalls of mixing business & family. And two-time Olympic Gold medallist, Alex Gregory MBE shares his Dadventures - ideas for outdoor adventures to inspire the whole family.
When it comes to making the world a better place, speakers corner meets dragon's den in Wilderness Saves The World, where you can pitch your big burning policy idea to a panel of experts. The best idea is submitted to parliament & wins tickets to next year's festival. In The Books Tent, Oxford professor of human geography Danny Dorling inspires a better politics: one that will enable future generations to be happier. Nature writers Jay Griffiths and Gregory Norminton discuss how culture can better represent the natural world. Somalian refugee turned Team GB Olympic boxer Ramla Ali discusses her ongoing work for women who've stood in the face of adversity. Jamie Bartlett, author of The People vs Tech and The Dark Net, brings solutions on how we can better democracy itself. And former teacher and author of Natural Born Learners, Alex Beard takes us on global tour into a better future of education.
To see all details of the music line-up, please see the line-up page.
Tickets are on sale, currently priced as follows:-
An adult weekend camping ticket is £179.50
Young person (aged 13-17 years) ticket is £126.25, junior ticket (aged 6-12 years) is £39.75, with tickets for children aged 5 years and younger priced at £6.25. A car park ticket is priced at £15. A live in vehicle pass is £200.
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