When to dress up

The party on Fri 31st August 2018 is the only event during the weekend at which we ask that everyone dresses up to some degree — and even then it's a fairly low-pressure thing. The theme is not compulsory if you have something you'd rather wear (see further down) but some guests feel happier with something to spark their imagination, hence these guidelines.

On the other days you're welcome to wear whatever makes you comfortable, whether that's casual clothes or something more fanciful and marvellous. You can get into your outfit any time on Friday but definitely be ready by the time sun sets and the party starts.

Whatever happens, don't worry! Whether you're completely new to dressing up or whether you're an experienced masquerader, we will support you every step of the way. We even have a dress-up rail and craft tent to help you make an outfit last minute.


[Image description: a collage of pirates, animals and monsters including stills from Pirates of the Caribbean, Game of Thrones, Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them]


The theme name: BOOTY & The BEASTS

This year's dressup theme is inspired by pirates, treasure, monsters and creatures. Pirates from air, sea and land; beasts fantastic, mythological and wild. Let your adventurous spirit meet the wonder of imagination. Walk on the wild side, unleash  your primal urges. Combine animals to make something fun and new! Bat-lions, dragon-tigers, lumberjack-bears! Oh my! This is your chance to buckle some swashes and swing from the chandeliers! Not all that glitters is gold... but booty shorts can be bedazzled. Mermaids in tricorn hats and eyepatches. A smart dragon wears their hoard to keep it close.

Why are pirates pirates? Because they ARRRRRR. So are beasts. Get ready to ROAR!



Pirates of the Caribbean (Tia Dalma, Calypso, Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth Swann, Davy Jones; Jack the Monkey); Peter Pan (Captain Hook; Wendy; The Lost Boys; Smee; the Crocodile); Yara Greyjoy; Disney royalty / princesses; Destiny’s Child; lingerie (especially on men!); Dead Man’s Chest; Han Solo, Rey, Chewbacca, Maz Canata; Red Dwarf; Treasure Planet, Puss in Boots; The Sea Hag; Charlotte de Berry; Spongebob Squarepants / Patchy the Pirate; Lego Pirates; Mrs Xheng, Black Caesar, Blackbeard, Anne Bonny/Mary Read; Blue/Yellow/Red Pirates, Captain Pugwash; treasure chest; gold hotpants (Kylie?), sequins & shinies

Bootylicious - Destiny’s Child; Thong Song - Sisqo; All About That Bass - Meghan Trainor; Booty - Jennifer Lopez; Shake Your Booty - KC and the Sunshine Band

The Beasts

Mermaids; Dinosaurs; Jurassic Park; Muppets (Gonzo, Animal etc); ALF; Harry and the Hendersons; Beauty & the Beast; X-Men’s Beast; Neon leopard; Avatar; Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them; Wizard of Oz; The Wiz; Little Red Riding Hood; Thundercats; mythological creatures; Lions & Tigers & Bears OH MY!



We hope to create a space where all guests feel welcome, so please make a point of reading this article from KSL on how to avoid picking an offensive costume. If you're not from a certain culture avoid appropriating the specific dress of that culture - see [1], [2] - as some of our guests from those heritages have told us it makes them feel uncomfortable and excluded. We may not have much Native American dress but the festival cliché of the feathered warbonnet is a perfect exemplar of what we're trying to avoid. Similarly characters that demean marginalised groups (fat people, disabled, people in the criminal justice or mental health systems) are out of bounds. Learn about the history of racebending in pop culture. With care it is possible to make a costume based on a celebrity or a character whose race is different to yours, without it being offensive. This article explains how, with example pictures.



What if I have A NON-THEME outfit I want to show off?

As long as you are dressing up and entering into the spirit of fantasy and make-believe, no-one's going to have an objection. We want you to be in your element, and if that means a different but equally fun / imaginative look, no problem. 

We encourage vibrant vintage wear, amazing accessories, marvellous millinery, unique uniforms, kigus and onesies, left-over outfits from Rumpus, Nowhere and Burning Man, AP, KSL, TG and so on. 

The only things we don't want to see on Saturday night are anything offensive (see above) and the kind of stuff people might wear to a house party, work do or a wedding, eg: street clothes or jeans, conventional clubwear, straight suits and cocktail dresses.


We're here to help!

Even if you only don't have much of a look sorted out by the time the party comes round, we have various activities at the event that can get you in the spirit of things.

Throughout the weekend we will have a dressup rail with various items of (admittedly quite disorganised and off-theme) fancy dress. There will also be an artist providing facepaint and bodypaint (for a fee) and we will have craft workshops throughout the weekend (free) to help you make accessories.

Putting together a great outfit needn't cost lots of money or specialist kit — a bit of imagination and stuff from charity shops / pound shops / bits of paper stuck on can work wonders and indeed that approach usually results in more imaginative costumes.