The Secret Garden Festival is a forty-eight-hour romp in the forest; featuring an intoxicating mix of bands, DJs and drag queens. What makes this festival even more freaking fantastic is the obligatory fancy dress. Why dress up at a music festival? Because fancy dress makes everything better – that’s why… (Plus prizes).

When you’ve got someone on your left in a unicorn-head mask, committing to the costume with every neigh, and someone on your right in head-to-toe body paint– going full left shark on the 80s dance floor– you can feel like a right fool for not stepping your pus*y up in your costume effort.

And the best costumes take a little bit of love. Love is headlining the festival this year, with a real wedding, love song dedications by Donny Benet, and the love shared by all those with glitter across their cheeks. So we thought to share some love and inspiration from Secret Garden festivals gone by and some top costume tips:

The First Night: 

You’ve been invited to the Royal Rave. Whether it’s finally your chance to go full Renaissance fair or rock a faux fur as a Royal Tenenbaum, the theme for this year’s first night is good as gold. If the word ‘royal’ prompts you to bring out your fancy pants, make sure they are either:

  1. Metallic
  2. Rainbow mesh
  3. What pants?

Maybe you have the exact number of people in your festival group to go as King Henry VIII and his six wives, or the Disney princesses, or the Queens corgis? Get your crowd together and do a team effort. If your flying solo for your costume, think outside the Buckingham palace box and go for the King of Rock and Roll, Foxy Cleopatra or Queen Amidala.

Add a touch of neon and you’re ready for a royal rave.

The Second Night: 

When the night’s theme is Anything Goes… anything goes. Spice up some sparkly or studded material with tutus, wings, wigs, masks, boas or all of the above. Face paint is a go (you could mix it up with some sunscreen and have some sick tan-lines for work on Monday).

Some costumes lend themselves to being lost in a crowd – Where’s Wally, Toy Story army men and morph suits could take you to next-level squad goals. If you need to find your original crowd again, pick an obvious meeting place, like the Secrets Wall or some of the fine forest art.

Dress up as your favourite cartoon or character. But remember, if you’re going as the ‘ugly naked guy’ from Friends, we recommend still strapping on some good footwear. Leave your thongs and dignity at home and kick on all night with your festival family.

Sweet dressing dreams, our friends.