Bestival Bans Clowns

Put away your floppy shoes and red wigs. Bestival organisers have dropped the circus theme from this year's fancy dress party, after being inundated by concerned ticket-holders who suffer from a clinical fear of clowns...

The Bestival team had planned to follow up the success of last year's record breaking cowboys and indians parade with a circus theme at the Isle Of Wight knees up.

But festival curator Rob Da Bank changed his mind after being contacted by a number of people who have a medical fear of clowns, known as clourophobia.

Rob said: "We have decided to open up the fancy-dress thing so that it is not just the circus, as we have had so many people with clown phobias that I am worried everyone might end up hiding in the woods all weekend."

A Bestival spokesman added: "Most clown phobia therapies take months or years and sometimes even require the patient to be exposed repeatedly to their fear. Symptoms include shortness of breath, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea and overall feelings of dread, although everyone experiences clown phobia in their own way and may have different symptoms. So there you go, no clowns please."

The fancy dress party will still take place on the Saturday of the festival. Last year, more than 10,000 festival goers dressed up as cowboys, indians, and whatever else they saw fit.

There will be no excuses for those who don't bring a costume this year, as the dressing up area has been expanded meaning loads more outfits will be available.

It has not been confirmed how rogue clowns will be dealt with at the festival, but suffice to say it will be treated as a very naughty offence. Don't scare people. Don't be a clown.

Bestival takes place at Robin Hill Country Park from 8-10 September, featuring Pet Shop Boys, Scissor Sisters, The Fall, Mystery Jets, Devendra Banhart, Sasha, Mark Ronson, The Stranglers, Amadou & Mariam and many more. Click here for further info.