Festivals used to be synonymous with soggy fields, warm beer and skewiff tents, but recent years have seen a new generation where a few days in a field means hot tubs (Wilderness), luxe tipis (Glastonbury) and VIP tents (Cornbury). This September 1, perhaps the most soigné of alfresco musical gatherings yet, with Krug’s first festival foray in the UK, which takes place on Osea Island, off the Essex coast, an escape that has previously hosted musicians including George Ezra and Fleetwood Mac’s Peter Green.
The event follows a Krug World Festival launched earlier this year in Rome, which sparked the idea for similar events in other cities – from Tokyo to Milan. The festivals are a continuation of Krug Music Pairings – the brand’s “ongoing quest to enhance the tasting experience by experimenting and discovering new, unknown tasting dimensions”, says director Olivier Krug. “We have long intuited the link between sound and taste, and have been working for some time with a fantastic professor at the University of Oxford called Charles Spence, and have found that the relationship is backed up by scientific principles. Today, we know that what we hear materially influences how we taste.”
On Osea, the champagne house is collaborating with musician Mick Jones (second picture) of The Clash and Big Audio Dynamite to create musical experiences that will complement various Krug vintages.
Krug is also putting great emphasis on its food offerings, partnering with Michael O’Hare, (third picture) who has won a Michelin star at his Leeds restaurant, The Man Behind the Curtain, with dishes such as dumpling of minced chicken and blackcurrant served with tuna, and doughnuts made with white chocolate and foie gras. “Dinner will be in three movements – treated with the same approach as the music – and will be entertaining and original,” says O’Hare.
“Osea has a feeling about it with its musical history – although this festival isn’t about being nostalgic, but being more aware of the present,” says O’Hare. “To be in a space that has been occupied by some of my heroes is incredible, but to be here with one of my heroes – Mick Jones – blows my mind.”
With tickets (£449, including transport and the overnight stay) limited to 150, and access to the island only for an hour at dawn and dusk due to tides, this is a rare chance to enjoy a stylish festival with one of the finest fizzes in the world.