CHAMPAGNE corks must have been popping extra early on Monday morning, at the headquarters of the county’s most fun-loving festival.

On the day organisers of Wilderness festival announced the line-up for this summer’s celebration of arts and nature, they received an unexpected PR boost all the way from LA, where the great and good of Tinseltown gathered for that annual showcase of plastic surgery and air-kissing — the Oscars.

Among the big winners were the makers of documentary Searching for Sugarman, about the hunt for ‘lost’ ‘70s folk icon Sixto Díaz Rodriguez. Directed by Malik Bendjelloul, the film tells the story of the singer’s disappearance, the rumours of his suicide on stage, the use of his music as a soundtrack to the anti-apartheid struggle, and the artist’s rediscovery in Detroit, where he was working as a builder.

And guess who has booked the star to headline one of just two UK festival appearances this year? That’s right — Wilderness.

As reported this week, the line-up also includes Noah & the Whale, Empire of the Sun, Michael Kiwanuka, Ghostpoet, Tribes, Matt Corby, King Krule, Melodies Echo Chamber, Lucy Rose, London Folk Guild and Eliza and the Bear. Oh, and Tom Odell who, proving those people at Wilderness really do have a gift for choosing acts, last week won a Brit Award.

Wilderness takes place at Cornbury Park, Charlbury, from August 8-11.

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  • Much has been written about the plight of independent record stores, but equal respect should also be afforded to our long-suffering bookshops. One of Oxford’s coolest is the wonderful Albion Beatnik Bookshop, in Jericho, which this coming week hosts an evening of music to celebrate World Book Day. Tuesday’s Pin Drop Performances acoustic show (actually two days before WBD) features sets by hip Afro-math-rockers Nairobi, Glaswegian balladeer RM Hubbert, local folk artist Bethany Weimers and the startling Marcus Corbett who mixes folk and classical Indian music to beautiful effect.

The music starts at 7.30pm, and entry is £4.50.