Preparing for the end of Summer :( August 19 2013

We only have a few more festivals to look forward to this year. This weekend is August bank holiday and we can enjoy the long weekend at Reading/Leeds festivals, Shambala or Notting Hill Carnival.

Reading and Leeds festivals are held every August bank holiday weekend - the events take place simultaneously, sharing the same bill. The Reading Festival, the original and senior leg of the two, is the world's oldest popular music festival still in existence. Known for consistently booking big name rock and indie acts, this years headliners are Green Day, Eminem and Biffy Clyro. Fancy dress is popular, especially as the festival attracts a younger crowd than some of the more boutique festivals. Morphsuits are ubiquitous and I predict we will see a lot of Eminem costumes this weekend!


Shambala Festival takes place at a stunning secret location hidden in the middle of the Northamptonshire countryside. Music headliners this year include Alice Russell, Ducie, Hollie Cook, Lund Quartet, Phil King, The Skatalites, and Willie & The Bandits. There is also a dance tent, a big top with bar, a range of art installations and workshops designed to expand your mind and your awareness of the world. There are opportunities for fancy dress too of course. There is a prize for the best fancy dress group at the Shambala carnival. The winning troupe will be booked into Shambala Springs for a luxury group hot tub session! There will also be a Pirates VS Gangsters flashmob, drag queen competition (the belle of the ball will be crowned at midnight with an incredible prize of 10 free drinks) and the overall theme of Shambala is “The Lost Tribes of Shambala”.This is your chance to express all the eccentricities of your troupe by forming a tribe of your very own! Are you a colourful tribe? Are you a feathery tribe? Are you a glittery tribe? You can base it on where you live/what you eat/what you do… absolutely ANYTHING at all… let your imaginations run wild and tribal!

The Notting Hill Carnival is an annual event that since 1966 has taken place on the streets of Notting Hill each August bank holiday. Led by members of the West Indian community, the carnival has attracted around one million people in the past years - making it one of the largest street festivals in the world. Costume and fancy dress is an important part of carnival. In the days of abolition, there was a strong element of parody in the songs and dances Trinidadians performed. Having been forbidden to hold festivals of their own during the period of slavery, they now took full advantage of the relative new freedoms the ending of slavery brought them. Dressing up in costumes that mimicked the European fashions of their former masters, even whitening their faces with flour or wearing white masks, they established a tradition that continues in the costume-making of today's Notting Hill Carnival. The proper name for this aspect of the Carnival is Mas (derived from Masquerade).