Vintage Clown Costume The UK's biggest and best family-friendly festival is back this year, from Thursday 31st July to Sunday 3rd August. If you're looking for reasons to snap up a weekend ticket, keep reading, as we've collated seven ideas that are sure to leave you inspired! This is a festival the whole family can enjoy, from tots to teens and mums and dads!

Insect Circus – The Grand Tour

 Whilst 'Bug's Life' fancy dress is strictly optional, you do need to check out the Insect Circus' 10th anniversary show at Bestival this year. The whole festival is circus themed and this is a great opportunity to see the circus troupe dressed as insects, performing a variety of anthropod acts, from high-flying trapeze artists to amazing acrobats. This is one creepy crawlie circus the kids definitely won't want to miss – look out for Europe's only dancing snail!

BigTopMania Kids Theatre and Circus

This full-on family experience lets kids of all ages learn the skills of the circus, from plate spinning and juggling to walking the tightrope – the circus has never been so much fun! Of course, there's also the show itself to enjoy – the Magnificent Little Monster Circus and Big Bear's Big Balloon Disco are sure to excite kids of all ages and there's even a play area for the under 5's. Kids can create or add to their fancy dress costume with Caz and Jo's Ringmaster Mens Costume'Clowns and Circus Masks' workshop.

 Live Acts

For most adults, the highlight of Camp Bestival is the music and other live acts, and 2014 is no exception. With live acts including Basement Jaxx, James, Sinead O'Connor and Sophie Ellis-Bextor, there's music to suit all tastes, plus comedy from the likes of Stephen Grant and Milton Jones. Not to mention a range of poetry and author readings and talks – why not check out “How to Rule the World with Kate Tempest?”

The Costumes

Camp Bestival wouldn't be half as much fun if it weren't for the costumes and this year's theme is the circus! Think mustachio'd ring masters, animal face paint and clowns – you can be as traditional or as zany as you want. Why not opt for cabaret style outfits or don a strongman costume that's sure to make you a hit with the kids? Children of all ages will love the opportunity to put together costumes; help them create their own costumes from scratch if they're creative types, or look online on websites specialising in fancy dress for some great ideas!

 Street Food

The food at Camp Bestival is always worth shouting about, with a huge range of artisan food producers, street food traders and speciality chefs showcasing their wares. The Feast Collective is at Lulworth Castle again this year – so expect street food maestros Dorshi and Komito, the Jam Jar Bar and Smokestak, plus burgers with a twist at Baba G's Bhangra Burger. Food adventures have never been so exciting! Most stands open early and stay open till the small hours, so hungry kids are always kept happy. Why not check out Churros & Chocolate – Coffee Club, for authentic Spanish Churros served with a hot pot of Valor chocolate for dipping – yum! Or treat the family at Breddos Tacos, where Asian flavours are fused with British ingredients and American-style cooking for a truly different Taco experience that's verging on genius.

Dance Classes

Hobo Clown CostumeIt wouldn't be Camp Bestival without dance classes and if the kids (or you) fancy dressing up in spandex for the day, head for the Pan's People's dance class. Pan's People were resident dancers on Top of the Pops back in the 60's and 70's and members Babs Powell and Dee Dee Wilde will be on hand to teach you the grooviest moves. Classes are designed for kids, but all ages are welcome. Don your best 70's flares and prepare to boogie! This year will also see the West End Kids Musical Dance Workshop and Funk da Cirque, a street dance and acrobatics troupe who are hosting a unique workshop teaching moves from their show.

The Comedy Line Up

For laughs a-plenty, comedian Milton Jones (of Mock the Week fame) is set to wow the crowds with his loud shirt collection and surrealist flights of fancy, whilst other acts taking to the stage over the weekend include The Pajama Men, Jim Smallman, Ben Norris and Sarah Bennetto.

So there you have it, seven great reasons to head for Camp Bestival this year. Tickets are selling out fast, so make sure you get yours (and your fancy dress outfits) sorted in time!