Thumbnail graphic by Iliana Garner / North by Northwestern

This year marks the 51st Dillo Day at Northwestern. The event is the nation’s largest student-run music festival. Inspired by Area 51, this year’s theme is Planet Dillo, an astonishing celestial celebration.

As a first-year student, I originally felt a lot of pressure to make a good impression and go all-out for Dillo Day. I frantically ripped apart my closet, hoping to find something that would spark an outfit idea. My only problem: I have nothing that gives off extraterrestrial vibes.

My next idea was to dress to fit the vibe of the headliner, but the lineup usually gets announced just a few days before the festival. I felt totally defeated, especially as someone who likes to sport a good outfit and be ready for every photo op. So, I did what anyone would do and asked around to find some inspiration for what to wear.

I asked 30 students if they intended to follow the theme or wear festival fashion this Dillo Day. The answers varied, ranging from slutty space themed, alien-esque childhood cartoons to space cowboys. The outfit ideas shared with me were bold and creative, which encouraged me to think of fun ways to fit the theme.

Olivia Abeyta / North by Northwestern

Bienen first-year Sid Chalasani shared his opinions on this year’s theme.

“My plan was to just wear something wild. I think in general it’s all about having fun with it and wearing something you wouldn’t be able to wear normally,” he said.

But mostly, people just said they were going to work with what they already owned and hope it fits the theme well enough. Some students said they weren’t going to follow the theme because they didn’t know how to or did not want to spend time and money buying things that would only be worn once. Fair point.

Overall – according to my informal poll –  the theme takes the lead, with 22 students saying that they planned to follow the theme, at least to the best of their ability. Be prepared to be blinded by glittering tops and gleaming accessories.

At the end of the day, many experienced Dillo Day attendees, like SESP fifth-year Sterling Ortiz, agree that the theme isn’t the main point of the event.

“I don’t know about the theme, but what matters is the grace,” Ortiz said. “As long as you have a good time, as long as you’re safe, it’s a good day, no matter what kind of theme you follow or don’t follow.”

Whether you’re going out of this world for your look or exploring the depths of your wardrobe for a fun festival fit, just sit back and enjoy the ride to Planet Dillo.