Themes for festivals have been a way of representing the feel of the events. It also shows and identifies to the festivalgoers as well as everyone what the type of festival is about. For an example, Cannes film festival, which takes place annually in the location in France called Cannes, would be described having a theme of films, as the duration of the festival focuses on films with having awards ceremonies, exhibitions, master classes and many more activities with the theme concept on films.
Music festivals nowadays have themes for their events, which change on an annual basis on when the festival returns. These include festivals such as The Eden Festival, Secret Garden Party and many more. Some are related to what the festival is about, again like Montreal Jazz Festival, or some can be completely random or out the box just for fun!
Event organisers who work on festivals tend to use different themes, as it is a way to invite festival participants to join the community at festivals as well as letting the participants understand what the festival is about. This could be about showing the participants that the festival is cultural, fun, theatrical, historical etc.
The key for event organisers who want to involve dressing up themes in their festivals, is to make sure that the concept is not to complex but still fun at the same time. Additionally that they are a lot of characters, animals etc in the chosen theme for people to have a choice to pick from as the more narrow and niche the theme is, the harder it is for people to participate in. The event organisers need to make sure by keeping these things in mind that it will allow potential festival goers to attend the festival as would make it inviting for them to come.
The festival in the UK, who was the trendsetter of having dressing up themes annually, was Bestival. Rob da Bank, who is head honcho of Bestival, stated to the Independent a couple of years ago that the idea behind this was “to add colour to the show, and to make it more inclusive. Rather than just watching some bands and having some beer and burgers, we want people to be the show themselves. People get in their costumes, and stay in them all weekend sometimes. It’s very much a kind of escapism.” To celebrate dressing up at Bestival every year for the last 10 years, there will be a book released from the 16th next month, called the ‘Art of Dressing up’ which focuses on various factors of fancy dress at Bestival, including photographs of the Bestival attendees that all dress up ready to have fun, as well as words from the Captain at Bestival, Rob da Bank and singer Lily Allen, on memories and thoughts of dressing up at Bestival. From attending the last two Bestival events, I have watched The Cure, Brandt Frick Bauer and Congo Natty whilst being dressed as Tina Turner, and I have dressed up as a lion whilst watching The XX, MF Doom and Toddla T. This year I plan to dress as a pirate (as the theme for the 10th anniversary of the festival, is ‘HMS Bestival’) whilst having a whale of a time dancing and watching performances from Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, Wu Tang Clan and The Roots! Each theme chosen by Bestival, allows attendants to be creative on how you dress up and fitting into the theme whilst making it fun, which I have experienced. It has also given me the impression that Bestival is a fun festival from the choice of themes, which is one of the numerous reasons why Bestival is popular and successful. Saturday is the day where participants get to flaunt and strut in their themed outfit in the fancy dress competition to have a chance to win prizes such as a Bestival medal and tickets to the next years Bestival. Which is more of a reason to participate! Bestival, 5th-8th September, www.bestival.net
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