If the big festivals are starting to leave you feeling bloated and overwhelmed it might be time to consider something a little lighter – because a little less is sometimes a whole lot more.
And Into the Wild (not to be confused with Into the Wild Gathering) could be just what the doctor ordered…but do watch out for 2019 tickets and grab them quick, because this a strictly limited capacity affair.
Set on a large estate just a short drive out of North London, Into the Wild beckoned quietly to us as a warm-up to next weekend’s Latitude extravaganza.
With a line-up scattered with familiar festival favourites such as Beans on Toast, Will Varley, Oh My God, It’s The Church, and The Electric Swing Circus we knew the playlist was sorted – the only question left to answer was ‘do they know how to festival?’
The answer? An emphatic ‘YES’.
Following the dusty single-track lane across the estate we eventually spotted the gleaming-white tee-pee tops of the glamping field set out along a delightful lakeshore. Within minutes (driving past the hot shower block) we were wrist-banded and parking up in a small camper van area just behind the treeline from the main campsite.
With so many events this is where the slog starts. That long route-march from camping pitch to where the action is.
But there’s no such thing as a long walk at Into the Wild, and it was mere moments before we found ourselves in the heart of the festival arena.
And the first impression (past the luxury loos – not a portaloo in sight) is that if the Latitude site is a top-end, fully-loaded Range Rover, into the Wild is a stripped down beach buggy.
Forget endless rows of catering stalls and hawkers trying to tempt you with trinkets. Into the Wild runs on a bare minimum of high-quality food and just a handful of relaxed festival stalls.
Of course we know which car we’d rather be driving on a sunny summer’s day accompanied by a handpicked mix-tape soundtrack of brilliant bands.
Who wants to be wrapped in a cocoon of technology and safety gizmos when you can be bouncing over sand dunes with the wind in your hair?
Into the Wild does however, take one wise precaution (unnecessary this year as it happened) – it puts all it’s stages under canvas. So, should the weather turn, at least there’s plenty of shelter from the storm.
Another thing in this fantastic little festival’s favour is that it throws everything into Friday and Saturday, leaving Sunday free to pack down and head off home – meaning that there is a relaxing buffer zone before the Monday morning blues kick in.
Who is Into the Wild for?
This is an over-18s only event, and the bulk of the crowd seemed in their mid-to-late twenties and early-thirties, with a slant towards bohemian free-wheeling types. There were a few of the old guard in evidence, but the balance was tipped firmly towards the younger end of the spectrum.
Would we recommend it?
Without blinking we rate Into the Wild as one of the best festival experiences we’ve had in the last few years – and we go to a LOT of festivals. Our only worry is that now the secret is out!