Wood Festival comes from the creators of Truck Festival, and had been described as its cleaner, younger brother.
Considering the stage is powered by a solar energy and the showers are heated by a wood-burning stove, I would have to agree. One can only say that this festival is an amazing feat of ingenuity and careful consideration on the creator’s part. As for the music, it didn’t disappoint.
My festival highlight would have to be the impromptu acoustic set held by Danny and the Champions of the World. Having played the main stage on Friday, Sunday saw them come back for more, much to the appreciation of the crowd.
Huddled by the merchandise tent and with the insufferable heat beating down on them, they gave us festival-goers 30 minutes of unforgettable music. Seeing the children play around them proved just how family friendly Wood is, and even the odd ancient hippy joined in for a bit of dance.
I managed to catch up with the band at their album signing later in the day. “Wood is always the highlight of the year; it’s usually the first festival of summer for us. This year there are a lot more people that know all the words, which is great.
We really enjoyed doing the acoustic set today.” Any bands you’re particularly looking forward to seeing? “Ben Folk Thomas is playing today, he plays at our folk club in London and he’s great. Of course, we’re looking forward to Frank Turner’s set; we’ve played a few gigs with him in the past.”
Marmaduke Dando was another highlight of mine, though I don’t think the same can be said for the majority of ticket holders.
Although their quirky tunes and Joy Division-esque movements were right up my street, they seemed a little out of place at what is essentially a hippy-fest. One member even admitted mid-set that he felt under-appreciated – oh dear. Put them in any other context, however, and I think they would go down quite well.
Aside from the music, there are workshops to satisfy all ages and quirky interests. You can learn how to make jewellery, bird boxes and even a wormery.
Being slightly wary of all things ‘green’, I expected the festival to be packed with do-gooders preaching about the wonders of hedgehogs but, whilst that speech did actually occur, I was pleasantly surprised.
The green theme was subtle and interesting, sometimes even comic. This may perhaps have been due to the beautiful weather which, being sunny and very, very hot for most of the weekend, made it somewhat difficult for anything to be taken too seriously.
The one thing I loved above all about Wood is how it allows you to escape from the Oxford bubble that we can all too easily get caught up in.
The weather is too nice, and the organic food too good, for you to get stuck contemplating your next essay deadline or the lecture you may or may not attend the next day.
Being mid-Trinity term, I would recommend this festival to anyone who feels as though the need a much deserved break from it all and, being only 45 minutes away by bus, you wouldn’t have to go far.
To all those who want to make the most of the short summer while it lasts, you know where to find me this time next year.