Bestival 2017: the ultimate fancy dress guide

Festival organiser Rob da Bank is going all out with lasers and LEDs.

Bestival: the festival where any outfit goes and fancy dress isn’t just a small part of the weekend – it’s actively encouraged. The festival even set a Guinness World Record for the most festivalgoers in fancy dress (with 55,000).

Over the past 13 years there have been some brilliant themes, ranging from ‘Summer of Love’ and “Wildlife” to “Desert Island Disco”, and this year it’s set to be bigger than ever with the theme of “Colour”.

Festival organiser Rob da Bank explained the theme to NME:


“Colour is going to come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours. It’s such a broad theme – it’s one of those mind-boggling things when you start off and think well that’s a bit simple, it’s yellow or blue. And then you spin off from that, is it the yellow submarine or the blue sea? Is it the orange skies? It’s such a diverse theme that I have no idea what people are going to come as!”

Festival goers embrace the ‘Summer of Love’ in 2015 – EMPICS Entertainment

And if you’ve ever been to Bestival – you’ll know that people take their costumes very seriously, and get pretty creative with them:

“When we did the out of space theme we thought everybody would come as astronauts – but people were turning up as the space bar off a laptop.” Rob told us. “People really use their imagination and have fun with it, and spend weeks and months planning their outfits. So I’m expecting some pretty diverse interpretations of colour.”

“The funniest costume I remember is when we did the Cowboy and Indian theme – and this girl came in a sort of an Indian takeaway container that she’d made. It was a huge silver Indian takeaway box, with a lid on it, and she was stood in the middle of it with a £3.60 price tag scrawled across the middle – so she was an Indian takeaway – and I just loved the humour and the reverence of it.”


And does Rob have his costume sorted?

“I have a nighttime costume planned which involves a lot of colour, and LEDs, and maybe a little lazer. Hopefully it’s going to be one of those things where the daytime will look cool, and the nighttime will just look incredible. I’m always the last person to get organised – so I’ve got two weeks, thanks for reminding me!”

If, like Rob, you’re yet to start planning your costume – here are a few suggestions.

Crayola crayons

An absolute classic – but it’s dead easy, and one for you if you don’t want to whack out the glue gun and just want an easy costume you can buy online. Plus – if you’re going in a big group it’s a great option for the entire squad.

The Rainbow Fish

From the classic children’s book – if you want to go all out and be crowned costumed royalty – this could be it. Get your sewing machine out and glitter ready – as you’ve only got two weeks to create this masterpiece.

Joseph, or more specifically, his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

Come on – it’s just crying out to be done. Plus – with a big ol’ coat like that it can double as a blanket if it gets a bit cold in the evenings.

Tie-dye it

A dip of the toe into the crafting world – why not embrace colour by tie-dying your outfit? That could be anything from a subtle tie-dye tee-shirt, or go all out and tie-dye an entire suit.