5 Festival Trends We Can’t Wait To See This Summer

By Charlie Colville

12 months ago

Whether you're at Glasto or BST, these are the trends you'll be seeing in the crowds


Festival season is well and truly in full swing – meaning our calendars are booked up with gigs, shows and outdoor celebrations for the foreseeable future. With the pandemic derailing many of our favourite festivals over the last few years, we’re excited to swing back into action (tent or no tent). If you’re still in the stages of outfit planning, fear not: you can find some inspiration with our roundup of the biggest festival trends of 2023.

The Biggest Festival Trends Of Summer 2023

2023 has been the year for maximalists, with dopamine dressing leading the way in helping us build our seasonal wardrobes around what makes us feel good, happy and confident. The same principles are making a splash at festivals this summer, with indulgent and nostalgic aesthetics leading the way – from Barbie and mermaid mood boards to cowboy hats and excessive patchwork. These are the festival trends you’ll be seeing this year:

Top Trends At A Glance

  1. Barbiecore
  2. Cowboy Couture
  3. Double Denim
  4. Mermaidcore
  5. Utilitarian Fashion

1. Barbiecore

This Barbie is a festival addict. As the official trend of summer 2023, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Barbiecore has made its way from the screen, to the runway, to the streets and now finally to the festival circuit. Expect plenty of pink swimming around in the crowd, from sequinned skirts and crop tops to rosy denim co-ords and cowboy hats. This is also a trend that will merge quite seamlessly into the Y2K throng, with festival-goers donning low-waisted bottoms, bralettes and rhinestones across a spectrum of pink.

You can find out more about the Barbiecore trend with our explainer (and edit) here.

 2. Cowboy Couture

You can leave your wellies on standby this year – this year our clodhoppers of choice are cowboy boots (weather permitting, of course). With cowboy fashion making a comeback at live gigs this year (a quick Google of ‘Beyoncé concert fashion’ will set your browser alight with sparkly cowboy hats, embroidered boots and lots of fringing), we’re expecting to see some wonderfully Western looks this season. Pair up your hat and boots with a cute summer dress, lots of denim or a simple top and shorts combo for a fun and effortless fit. If it’s good enough for Queen Bey, it’s good enough for us.

3. Double Denim

Speaking of denim, you can expect to see a lot of that in general popping up at festivals this summer – and we’re not talking about the occasional pair of booty shorts, either. The year of maximalism demands a grand statement, meaning even the most familiar of wardrobe staples is getting a makeover for the festival circuit. Think double, triple or even quadruple denim (the more the merrier, eh?), with plenty of variations in texture and colour. We want to see ripped edges, patchwork, cut-outs and lots of quirkiness. The stage is yours.

4. Mermaidcore

Another ‘core’ trend making a splash this summer is Mermaidcore, which comes off the back of the recent live action The Little Mermaid film. Think shimmery sequins and scales, shells and pearls, and an oceanic colour palette befitting Ariel herself. You can even step up your game here by taking on the mermaid hair trend; take your pick of beachy waves and blue and green tresses, and get ready to become part of that (festival) world.

You can find out more about the Mermaidcore trend with our explainer (and edit) here.

5. Utilitarian Fashion

Festival fashion can’t just be pretty – it needs to be functional, too. And while bumbags and rucksacks are OK, they’re not always the most fashionable bit of kit to have on you. Utilitarian fashion is evolving this festival season, expanding into bottle bags (stay hydrated), fishing vests (pockets galore) and, surprisingly, gardening and tool aprons (just think of all those lovely compartments and pockets). With festivals typically having you up and about for 10 plus hours, it’s important to have some kind of hands-free survival kit on your person. This option just so happens to be a bit more stylish.

Featured image: James Genchi, Unsplash