Can you believe it? Festivals are back – in all their messy, magical, sweaty, glittery, muddy glory. They’re special events in a normal year – a chance to let loose, see your favourite artists or discover new ones – but this summer they’re taking on a new significance. Whether you’re a seasoned pro with mud-caked Docs to prove it or a newbie dusting off your dad’s old tent for the first time, 2021’s festival season is one for the history books. While we might be planning to go hard in the fields of Leeds or at All Points East Victoria Park, you best believe the headliners will go ten times harder. It’s not just our first time truly out of the house!
Novice or not, packing for a festival can be more than a little daunting; it’s the normal panic-buy-before-the-event kind of stress, times a hundred. So to ease you in, we’ve planned the outfits that we would wear to every festival happening in the UK this summer through to early autumn. From day events to weekend camping, beach to field, city to countryside, this is Refinery29’s no-stress guide to festival fashion: the 2021 edition.
Camp Bestival, 29th July to 1st August
Dorset’s Camp Bestival, held in the grounds of Lulworth Castle, is a family-friendly festival and ties perfectly into a seaside holiday. We’re leaning into the relaxed, coastal vibes with pieces that work on and off the beach: a pastel set from Damson Madder that can worn separately with a dungaree dress at the arena or together over your bikini by the sea. A beach dress that’s festival-ready with wellies or trusty combat boots, or boardwalk-ready with sandals; and a bikini top that doubles up as a bralette with loose shorts.
Wilderness Festival, 5th to 8th August
Hidden away in the Oxfordshire countryside, Wilderness has a reputation as one of the fanciest festivals, what with its boutique feel, glamping options, foodie-fave stalls, picturesque surroundings and focus on experiences (previous years have included lake swimming, woodland foraging and arts and crafts). So we’ve gone a little dressier with our options here, focusing on the festival’s glam boho vibe. Wilderness also implements a costume theme and this year it’s maximalism.
Boardmasters, 11th to 15th August
If you’re a fan of Malta’s Lost & Found or Croatia’s Ultra Europe, allow Boardmasters to satisfy your beach cravings this year. Taking place in and around Newquay, it’s a chill mix of live music, surfing and skateboarding – the perfect opportunity to break out the surf and Hawaiian-inspired pieces we’ve been hoarding over lockdown. Think hibiscus flower prints, crochet accessories, Bermuda shorts and tie-dye.
Creamfields, 26th to 29th August
Cheshire-based Creamfields is the UK’s biggest EDM festival so this is definitely where your rave wear comes into play. We’re talking about your funkiest prints, neon brights, metallics, sequins and mesh, finished off with chunky boots or trainers, a classic bum bag and (of course) a rain jacket.
All Points East, 27th to 30th August
All Points East is taking over London’s Victoria Park this August bank holiday for a weekend packed with big-name headliners, followed by three days of free events and community activities. Channelling the east London edge, we would opt for clashing patterns and prints pulled together with white accessories – something you can risk at a day festival in the city.
Reading & Leeds, 27th to 29th August
Reading & Leeds is traditionally your rock, indie, alternative and punk-focused festival so with that in mind, we’re going for a grungier look. This one works for sunshine and rain – all you need to do is pack different shoe options (sandals and rain boots). An oversized T-shirt over a midi skirt or cycling shorts is easy to throw on in a tent, plus your tee can double up as PJs when you stagger back to your tent, too tired (or drunk) to change after a long day of dancing.
TRNSMT, 10th to 12th September
Keeping one eye firmly on the Scottish weather, we’ve picked a rain- and mud-friendly outfit for Glasgow’s TRNSMT festival. Chunky rain or hiking boots will keep your feet dry and protected from the elements, while a cosy fleece is a must for chilly September nights. Just add your favourite rain jacket and a hands-free bag.
Wireless Festival, 10th to 12th September
London-based Wireless is well loved for its unfailingly brilliant R&B and hip hop lineups. This is another festival to really amp up your outfit, whether you go for bold colours, fun prints or cool festival wear like these amazing crochet flares.
Parklife, 11th to 12th September
We’re dressing for the rain (but keeping our fingers crossed for sun) at Manchester’s Parklife festival. Short dresses or skirts are best (bare legs dry quicker!) and chunky rain boots and a quality raincoat will keep you warm and stave off the wind as well as any downpours.
Isle Of Wight Festival, 16th to 19th September
Inspired by Isle of Wight Festival’s countercultural roots, we’re swaying towards a modern hippie look: a peasant skirt refreshed with a graphic baby tee or a statement-print midi dress layered up with an oversized knit. As one of the later festivals this summer, make sure to pack rain gear, warm fleeces and a pair of jeans.
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