There’s always a few new tweaks to make Bearded Theory even better every year. As a seasoned Bearded Theory goer (a Bearded Theorist?), these are my top tips for this year…

A RARE DOVES APPEARANCE

Doves are back. Individually Jimi Goodwin and twins Andy and Jez Williams have spent the past ten years doing their own thing and now they’re touring again. Jimi was asked on BBC6 6 radio why they have reformed and jokily replied he’d had hefty tax bill. Whatever the reason, we’re delighted they’re back. They’ve got a few tour dates, and Bearded Theory have bagged one of them so they’ll be appearing on the Pallet Stage over the weekend. The sold-out show for Teenage Cancer Trust at the Royal Albert Hall last week showed the band are as fresh and as brilliant as ever.

THE WOODLAND STAGE

If you go down to the Woodland Stage… in a couple of month’s time you’ll discover a fabulous surprise roster of artists, many of the slightly more folky in nature. But not all. Justin Sullivan and the New Model Army are Bearded Theory regulars, but this time Justin doing a solo set. Seth Lakeman makes a welcome return, as do the Mahones, bringing their rousing Irish folk tunes. Manchester’s Slow Readers Club have a devoted following, and no wonder. Their euphoric slightly doomy electronic rock will be sure to wow the crowds.

KIDS ENTERTAINMENT

Being a committed family festival, there’s plenty going on for kids at Bearded Theory. Although the ever-popular school is already booked up for this year, there’s still plenty going on for the little ones. The Village area has plenty of activities such as as Lego tent, a disco outift workshop and a beard-making workshop too, so you can be ready for the Sunday Disco Parade. And the kids area has its own food vendor with veggie and vegan food too. Make sure you’re at the main stage on Sunday afternoon for a real family favourite: Bearded Theory’s Oscars equivalent – the awards ceremony for the best Beards and Fancy Dress. You just might win tickets to the following year’s festival…

THE ORB

It’s fairly rare these days to catch a set by The Orb, but they’ll be appearing (late and loud no doubt) at the huge, ever pulsating canvas contraption known as the Magical Sounds tent. This is one not to be missed.

Bearded Theory tickets are starting to run low, so make sure you get yours now at the Bearded Theory site

What do you think?