Record breaking beard-wearing event planned for Bearded Theory Fest.

One of the events that makes Bearded Theory’s family-friendly atmosphere so unique is the festival’s annual attempt to break the world record for the largest number of people wearing false beards.

Starting life as a spontaneous response to the festival’s rather unorthodox name (who’s true origins still remain shrouded in mystery and intrigue), over the years the event has grown into one of the most enjoyable focal points of the weekend. With 2017 being Bearded Theory’s very special 10th anniversary, organisers are expecting record numbers in attendance, meaning that as many as 10,000 people could be taking part this year!

Taking place on Sunday, the World Record attempt serves as an opportunity for festival-goers of all ages to come together for some fun and silliness in front of the main stage. Coinciding with the fancy dress day – this year’s theme being the frankly bonkers ‘Mobsters & Lobsters’ – a ‘guest host’ (including previously The Cheeky Girls, X-Factor’s Wagner and Wheatus) pick a selection of some of the best false beard wearers to come up onto the main stage for some fun and games. The crowd then select a winner, who gets to attend the festival the following year for free! Notable past victors include a 6-month old baby, and last year’s mob of 20 highly excitable bearded minions.

Festival organiser Rich Bryan says “Our annual World Record attempt is a completely silly but joyously fun part of the weekend. It is completely unofficial – we once tried getting a famous drinks company to do it officially, but they quickly discovered that trying to get thousands of rather merry festivalgoers counted and registered was harder than herding an equivalent number of cats through a fishmongers. But the annual gathering has become one of those things that just make Bearded Theory that extra bit special, and we can’t wait to see our biggest ever crowd out there this year for our 10th anniversary.”


Seminal British rock act Skunk Anansie, and punk duo Slaves will headline the main ‘Pallet Stage’ on Friday. Led by the legendary Skin, Skunk Anansie will be the first female frnted band to headline Bearded Theory. Talking ahead of their appearance the band said “Stoked to be headlining Friday night. This festival is crazy good and we are looking forward to smashing it.”

Veteran bluesman and festival favourite Seasick Steve will headline Saturday night. Since rising to prominence as a solo artist a decade ago, Seasick Steve has frequently appeared in the album charts, with last October’s ‘Keepin’ the Horse Between Me and the Ground’ charting at #8. Steve’s albums have featured many guest appearances including Jack White (White Stripes) and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin).

Sunday night will reverberate with the sounds of classic hits including ‘Our House’, ‘Baggy Trousers’ and ‘One Step Beyond’, as North London’s finest nutty boys Madness will close the festival in style. Madness are one of the UK’s best-loved bands, achieving more than twenty chart hit singles, many of them instantly recognisable classics.

Also performing on the Pallet Stage are alt rock/punk band The Alarm, Bearded Theory legends New Model Army, Ska survivors The Selecter, seminal hip-hop act Sugar Hill Gang & Furious Five, Californian Rockers Vintage Trouble, Punk stalwarts Goldblade, Alabama 3, Ferocious Dog, Flight Brigade, Anti-Pasti, The Mocking Jays, Jaya the Cat, and many more.

Friday night on the beautiful custom-built oak Woodland Stage will be headlined by multi-million selling Britpop stalwarts, Cast. Northern Irish singer songwriter Foy Vance tops the bill on Saturday. Sunday will be closed by Sheffield’s finest, Reverend & The Makers.

We have also bagged a coup in securing post-punk legends THE FALL, led by their notorious front man Mark E. Smith, to perform on Saturday night.

Also on the Woodland are BBC Folk Award winners Kathryn & Sean Lakeman, heavy rockers Tess Of The Circle, dub punk band Smiley & The Underclass, Roving Crows, Kissmet, cow punk legends Pronghorn (celebrating their 25th year anniversary), and many more.

As a massive thank you to all the event’s loyal festivalgoers Thursday’s bonus line-up will feature virtually the entire 2008 Saturday Main Stage bill! As such BT welcomes back Bearded favourites Dreadzone (LIVE), 3 Daft Monkeys, Tarantism, True Deceivers, Hobo Jones & The Junkyards Dogs and more to help celebrate this 10th anniversary year.


Tickets are priced at £105 (Adults), £55 (Under 16s), £25 (Under 12s). Under 6`s are free (ticket is still required). £35 (Campervans) £12.50 (Parking). Booking fees apply.

Tickets are on sale via, or by calling the box office on: 0871 220 0260.

Bearded Theory’s Official and Exclusive Coach Travel Partner, National Express, will be running dedicated coaches to an on-site coach park from 16 locations around the UK. Great value fares are available from across the country, starting at just £20 return, with group discounts available.

Ticket and Travel packages are available, along with travel tickets only directly from

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❤️ THANK YOU!! ❤️

to the team behind the scenes, the bands, the staff, the caterers, the volunteers, the cleaners and most importantly you punters who turn out year on year to support our festival by purchasing tickets, a very heartwarming thank you.

Enjoy the memories and the new friends made, we can't thank each and every one of you enough. We have noted all feedback from all of you lovely lot and we will aim to address any issues in the near future, but for now, we're off to have a bath! 🎪✌️😘

📸 Graham Whitmore
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❤️ THANK YOU!! ❤️

to the team behind the scenes, the bands, the staff, the caterers, the volunteers, the cleaners and most importantly you punters who turn out year on year to support our festival by purchasing tickets, a very heartwarming thank you.

Enjoy the memories and the new friends made, we cant thank each and every one of you enough. We have noted all feedback from all of you lovely lot and we will aim to address any issues in the near future, but for now, were off to have a bath! 🎪✌️😘

📸 Graham Whitmore


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Fantastic festival. Thoroughly enjoyed myself. Only downside for me was the bass from magical sound drowning out the mainstage acts, especially Robert plant. A second set of speakers halfway back would sort it. Still had a brilliant time and already looking forward to next year 🤘

Absolutely loved it. And thanks to all the lovely people in the kids village, that place was amazing. Improvement for next year - make the kids village worse so that my wife and I can get out and see some bands! Maybe make everything contactless payment so we don't need so much cash (thefts). Can't wait for next year.

Our first time there. Highlights, Reverend and the Makers, Sleeper, Jesus Jones, Fun Lovin Criminals, The Barstewards son of valdoonican, the red barows, and the amazing Dubioza Kollective, they were phenomenal. The magic sounds stage was way too loud, how any of the nearby traders didn't have a mental breakdown I don't know🤓

On our way back to Holland...always well worth the travelling for the atmosphere at the festie..positive vibes and a lot of 💖.

Superb weekend... Stand out moments for me... Jesus Jones Fun Loving Criminals Lucy Spragan Jake Bugg Jimmy Cliff...... Oh yes... And being dressed as a Mushroom all day Sunday.... Back for more next year.. Cheers 🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄

Thank you team Bearded for another amazing weekend! If anyone loves the bubbles and happy to share I welcome all pictures for my future endeavours xxx much love xx the bubble fairy x

other fantastic year at Bearded Theory. Spent most of my time coordinating the production at the Magical Sounds Tent and riding my unicorn. A big heartfelt thanks to the organisers for putting your all into it. you created such a beautiful event. Making difficult decisions and taking flack for things out of your control. Now on to some shameless thanks and promotion for our Magical Sounds Crew. They adulted all weekend and kept things running smoothly. if you are thinking of putting on your own event please contact these guys, everyone is professional and has PL insurance where required. Sound System - Opus Jody and crew. created an amazing three way stereo stack.and live mixed all weekend Lighting - Doug Alan Coppell installed and programmed the light show Lasers - Adam Norton rgb lazer show to die for. Extra lighting, have you got? and can you? - Flo Yazmin (Floroworld) liquid lights, festoons blacklights, lit up the crew toilets plus all the back stage lights and cables Video projections - Wyn Rimmer, thanks for visuals, projectors and screens all weekend Stage managers - these guys are fantastic, they are on it all day till early hours ensuring the stage keeps running on time. Keith Fox, Ed Tyler, Rachael Baines-Holmes Stewards - Richard Keny Kenyon, got together a really nice happy Friendly crew, they kept everything safe and clean. love you guys. Green Room - thanks to chelle for looking after the artists and being a great moma bear Site Manager- Jai Richard Connor. fantastic getting together what we needed to build the site and meeting health and safety. was on call all weekend Decor - Tammi Argent (canopy) Lisa PsyHigh Stigg (inflateables) Mark Cummins (backdrops) Chris Gjertsen (very big mushrooms) Performers- funky fairies (malinka, Natalie Eastwood Emma Doobie), Led hooping stilt walking etc Emma Petkovic and friends . The world walkers - Harley Fox. Amazing little Anya ( Katherine Wright Ne Pool) Photography - Dwight Hubbard, always captures the spirit and energy, also thanks to Michael Stuart Neale for additional pictures and for stepping up to help out with back support. last but not least Magical Sound Promoter Phil Mellersh, he gets all these fabulous people together. He inspires everyone to give their best. Missing the vibe? He recreates this energy thoughout the year, promoting events at The Trades in Hebden Bridge. Heads up ..Zion Train in October. love peace unity respect in its true sense x x x x x

We had a brilliant, awesome time. It was our first BT but we'll definitely be back. If you could possibly get Feist, Joan as Policewoman or Kate Bush to play next year that would be amazing!!! Thanks for all your hard work, it really is a fabulous festival.

Thank You Team Bearded. You are amazing, I cannot thank you enough, not just for the best festival ever but for putting this on as volunteers. Knowing that you guys are out there, volunteering your free time, holidays and doing this so a bunch of random strangers can have a good time keeps me going when the works looks bleak. Your hard work, dedication and sense of humour make me love the world. You rock.

Our third time and we had a great time as usual. Thanks to all the volunteers/organisers for all your hard work. Saw some great bands, and personally I loved the thunderstorm ⛈ - superb 😀. No issues for us at all. We'll be back

I've been going to festivals 4 or 5 times a year for years and years. This was my first time at B. T. Let me tell you, the staff and stewards at the gate coming in were polite and switched on. We got in and to the campsite easily and quickly. I honestly thought your festival staff and your policies at the gate were really good. Made me a happy chappy. See you next year hopefully.

Despite the hiccups Thursday, and the odd drop of wet stuff, The love and positivity for the festival is wonderful. Happy (not)birthday rich

Another amazing BT Spring Gathering. Thank you so much to everyone involved in getting it ready for us all and for the hard work in keeping it up and running despite some crazy weather. The bands were a fabulous eclectic mixture as were us lot in the crowds. Wish I was still in the woodland with a rhubarb cider 😎

Gutted I missed Reverend and the Makers due to the horrendous traffic jam ( took well over 5 hours for a 90 minute journey) that did seem to be mainly festival traffic not been able to get into the site quick enough n no other reason but still a brilliant festival with great staff - woodlands sound not that good and the dance tent was just obnoxiously loud often drowning out main stage- more toilets needed spread out around the festival as the queues were at times and!!

Massive love and thanks for having Cara Means Friend open the woodlands stage on Saturday... That was really special!! One of the best festivals I've been lucky enough to play. Much love x

Brilliant brilliant festival thank you so much for all your hard work 😀😀 my sisters came with me (their first camping festival) to celebrate my 60th birthday and they loved it . Jimmy Cliff, fireworks streamers fantastic people we were all welling up 😂😂😂😂😂😂

Amazing weekend!! Loved every second. Great vibes and a fabulous atmosphere. Thank you to all involved behind the scenes....and a special thank you to everyone who popped into our little stall to say hello over the weekend! See you next year!😀 The I love you gift stall💕

Fantastic festival. First timers with our 2 young daughters. We all had a brilliant time, grest atmosphere...loved the children's village and the woodlands, but sound there needs a bit of tweaking. Thanks to all for your hard work....see you next year. 🤗🎶

Had a great time - feedback for improvement - traffic issues arriving (obviously), smaller horizontal posts on woodland stage (they blocked half the stage from most angles, sound didn't always seem great in there either) ps- love convoy cabaret 😁

Great time had by my partner and me.Well worth the 5 1/2 hour traffic jam. Would have preferred not too though. Thanks to all who were involved

This year was ruined for me. The amount of incident was ridiculous! The campsites were no way near lit up as much as last year. Robbed and tent destroyed on the first night and when reporting it was told we were number 13 at 2.30am and that there had been a tent robbed near us not long beforehand... If that was the case why was security not covering the area more? Then to be told they would have to take our details but would have to be quick as they had to deal with a noise complaint in a camper van field. Was there only them 3 security on that night? Last year was amazing and I felt safe. This year I had to leave early and didn't sleep well through fear that if someone didn't cut into the tent again they could burn us down while sleeping. Thank god the burns our tent did have didn't get any worse!

Brilliant festival, a few minor glitches on the way, but we all know that you know what they are and will be addressing them. Bottom line is, my friends & I had an amazing time, great music, great vibe, excellent. A special mention for the Maui Waui tent, what a blast it was in there!

Thank you! !!!! How lucky we are to have this on our doorstep. Actually looking forward to September's release to part with cash for next year. Have yourselves a good rest xxxx

Had a great time thanks. sound a bit iffy at times but still fab. My oil cap has welded itself on after Thursday queue, which wasn’t ideal for a 40yr old van 🙁 Better procedures for entrance if traffic backing up wouldn’t go amiss for next year.

A wonderful weekend, thanks to the organisers a great festival & a big thank you to all the lovely folk who poped by our stall. See you in a field soon.

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Post Author: John Bownas

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