1 It’s the perfect festival season opener three (and a bit) days of music with a choice of stages and two new ones for 2016, plus the infamous dance tent. And there’s plenty more going on besides. Tickets are only £97 and Bearded Theory festival is, as usual, on the way to selling out, so don’t wait too long.
2 Magical Sounds Dance Tent Bearded Theory just happens to have the maddest, most awe-inspiring dance tent ever, presenting a genre-defying mix of artists and DJs. Dance to its gorgeous mix of swirly global trancey sounds. Admire its tasteful Christmas decorations. Wait in anticipation for the giant puppets. This year’s highlights include Ed Tangent, Merv Pepler of Eat Static and The Orb Soundsystem. Also Astralasia, who gave a memorable performance in 2014.
3 There’s a children’s area loaded with activities, but Bearded Theory’s piece de resistance is the free OFSTED-approved school for 5-16 year-olds, which means no guilt for taking your kids out of their usual academy of learning. So, everyone gets what they need. Parents = bands, beer, dancing. Kids = school.
4 Fancy dress: the Pirate theme of 2015 resulted in many a feisty, sexy buccaneer with seafaring swagger. For 2016 the theme is Stars in their Eyes... the perfect opportunity to reincarnate yourself as your favourite icon, past or present. I better get practicing my Siouxsie Sioux eyebrows.
5 Beards Don’t expect Brownie points for your hipster faux-lumberjack fluff. Bearded Theory beards are of the proudly fake variety (flipflops, Lego, a duck…? see pic below), so women can partake equally of the hirsute facial finery. Yes, Bearded Theory believes in gender equality.
6 Mr Motivator The bum-bagged one is back for 2016, where he’ll be judging the fancy dress contest, hosting a Sunday morning workout and reminding us of our ever-expanding waistlines. In 2015 Mr Lego was deservedly crowned as winner.
7 The Woodland got a well-deserved thumbs up from the BT revellers, and the eye-catching Woodland Stage itself is a thing of beauty, carved from oak. The area is a shaded sylvan respite from main-arena action, with its own bar and – speaking of waistlines – Nana’s Kitchen cafe, whose staff produced a daily feast of freshly-baked cakes and roast dinners (click onto her website to order a roast dinner now!). A musical highlight for 2016 is Turin Brakes who are on tour, and will be dropping in to showcase their new album Lost Property.
8 Music, lots of it – this year the headliners are… Adele! and Coldplay!!
Not really. Bearded Theory festival has a far more eclectic lineup… John Lydon’s PiL, Wilko Johnson, Squeeze, Black Uhuru, Beans on Toast, The Levellers and Cornwall-based folkies 3 Daft Monkeys who have been involved with BT from the start.