We are delighted to announce the first artists for WOOD FESTIVAL 2014, which takes place 16th, 17th &18th May at Braziers Park, near Wallingford, Oxfordshire.
Early bird tickets have already sold out in record time, but weekend and day tickets are available frozen at last year's prices. Children aged 12 & under go free accompanied by an adult.
Headlining the Saturday will be North Wales native Sweet Baboo, aka Stephen Black, a single minded, idiosyncratic singer possessing an ear for sparkling melody and a gift for a deft lyrical turn - from darkly funny to piercingly tender, twinkling boastful to deliciously self-deprecating. Having already been shortlisted for the Welsh Music Prize in 2011, Black's evolution as a songwriter and musician is still very much in motion with the new album 'Ships', a concept album about the sea, influenced by the likes of The Beach Boys, Daniel Johnston and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci.
We have a wonderful and wild cast making up the rest of the bill: Alessi's Ark, the musical moniker of singer-songwriter Alessi Laurent-Marke. Travel, adventure and personal revelation mark the new album The Still Life, a work both lucid and heartbreakingly lovely, a sonic landscape that roams a wide range of emotions, with (as the songwriter explains), "Nature and love, as common threads". Sounds good for Wood.
We are delighted that Jackie Oates returns this year. Jackie is a phenomenon in the folk-pop scene in the UK today. Originally a member of Mercury Prize nominees Rachel Unthank & The Winterset, she has since carved out an astonishing solo career that began with an appearance in the finals of the BBC Young Folk Award in 2003. Jackie's influence has since stretched to every corner of the folk world and beyond. At Wood Jackie will perform with Tristan Seume, with whom she is making a new album.
"They get it when I put the deer mask on". This is a typical line from a conversation with songwriter and off kilter recording artist from Bristol, Oliver Wilde. Referring to a session with a friend's band, it makes you wonder what he does when he's recording himself. Whatever it is, it has resulted in a stunning home-grown debut album 'A Brief Introduction to Unnatural Lightyears', released last year and followed by a slew of acclaim and radio sessions. Oliver's new album is due soon and we're delighted to welcome him back to Wood. But Oliver, you'll have to wear a badger mask as 2014 is Wood's YEAR OF THE BADGER! (more on that later).
Closing the Sunday night party will be Oxford's favourite cider-fuelled New Orleans jazz exponents The Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band, who have recently released their second swinging album Party Seven. They have previously released a single on wax cylinder and their own brand of cider - the beverage of choice to British Trad Jazz fans in the 1950s, and to Wood Festival attendees!
We are thrilled to welcome Yorkshire duo O'Hooley & Tidow, who have become a must-see act due to their emotionally charged performances. New album The Hum, produced by Mercury-nominated Gerry Diver, reveals the undercurrent of optimism, grit and mettle in migrating people, the oppressed, and the disenfranchised. Both lyrically and musically, Belinda and Heidi's powerful, thought provoking and deeply moving performances are infused with honesty and empathy.
Also on the bill we have some long-time Wood favourites: Nick Cope, the former Candyskins lead singer now on his third fantastic album for children, acclaimed acoustic husband and wife duo Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou, festival organisers Robin and Joe's acclaimed band The Dreaming Spires, long-time friends from the south Co-Pilgrim and Rachael Dadd, Reading multi-instrumentalist Edd Keene, finger style virtuoso Nick Jonah Davis, Senegalese kora master Jali Fily Cissokho and singer-songwriter Paul McClure.
We also welcome Loose Music's excellent new signing Vikesh Kapoor, London songwriters on the Bucketful of Brains label Trent Miller and Jack Day, locally-sourced excellence from Count Drachma, Knights of Mentis, Juila Meijer, Art Theefe and Jordan O'Shea. More music for children comes from Macamu, while we also welcome back the many ukes of Oxford Ukuleles!
Music starts at 6pm on the Friday, gates are at 3pm.
Remember, 2014 is our YEAR OF THE BADGER, so indulge in some black and white stripes! We want to focus on a different wild animal from our fair isles each year and badgers, one of our most beautiful animals, are the perfect animals to kick off our project. They are getting a particularly hard time at the moment with the government trying to shoot them all because of they haven't researched the spread of TB properly.
In the words of Kindling tent organizer (and environmental author) Hugh Warwick, "in a healthy environment you can have a healthy population of badgers; when it is degraded as it is by industrial farming, both badgers and livestock suffer."
We will be highlighting their plight at the festival as well as all things wonderful about badgers and their very important role in the countryside.
Coming soon, the full list of workshops, activities and talks, which run all day Saturday & Sunday. Last year we had talks and workshops such as these, so expect more of the same!
How do animals communicate? Nuclear power, sustainable & safe? Nature Poems
Walk in the Woods Make a Communal Rag Rug Learn to Play Spoons Carve a Totem Pole
Kids' Crafts Superhero Power Den Building and Twig Sculptures Face-painting
Created to be one of Britain's greenest events, WOOD is powered completely on renewable energy. Three times a Greener Festival winner at the UK Festival Awards, WOOD's famous composting loos-with-a-view have even been nominated for Best Toilets - no portaloos here - and last year we won a Silver Award from Festival Kidz. The stage, made of hand-crafted oak, has a cheery thatch of flowers growing on its roof. Come and camp out with us in our wooded clearing in the Chiltern hills whilst red kites soar overhead.