With festival season in full swing, music enthusiasts and partygoers are eagerly gearing up for a summer packed with thrilling events. From local gatherings to iconic international festivals, there’s a wealth of options to indulge your festival desires.
Unsurprisingly, attending these festivals can be costly, as ticket prices tend to increase each year. If your savings goal has been centered around attending a festival, you’re likely interested in discovering how to save money on festivals while still creating an unforgettable experience.
This article will explore 11 savvy strategies to help you trim expenses, maximise your festival enjoyment, and transform your festival adventure into a rewarding savings accomplishment. So let’s dive in and uncover the secrets to turning your festival dreams into a budget-friendly reality.
1. Consider volunteering at an event
If you haven’t bought a ticket for a specific festival yet and you’re worried about the initial cost, consider volunteering for the event as a perfect alternative to experiencing it without paying the full price. Volunteering offers a fantastic opportunity to attend popular festivals for free while also gaining valuable work experience. You can explore volunteer opportunities through reputable charities like Oxfam or the festival’s internal volunteering programs. They can offer roles such as providing wristbands, stewarding, and litter picking. It’s a win-win situation that allows you to enjoy the festival while saving money.
2. Search for ticket discounts
Many festivals provide early bird tickets at a lower cost compared to regular tickets, but they often require booking well in advance with a non-refundable deposit. Additionally, some websites offer group ticket deals where you can buy a bundle of tickets at a discounted rate, such as getting six tickets for the price of five.
Furthermore, certain ticket providers partner with events to offer discounted tickets for specific groups, including NHS staff, medical students, and charity sector workers. This provides an opportunity to save money on various events held in different locations.
Moreover, if you’re flexible and willing to take a chance, you might find last-minute tickets on resale platforms. It’s important to review the event organizer’s policy on resale tickets and their recommended platforms to ensure a safe and reliable purchase. This could potentially allow you to secure tickets at a lower price than the original selling price.
Finally, remember to take advantage of money-saving browser extensions while booking your tickets. Certain ticket platforms, like Ticketmaster, provide cashback opportunities through these extensions.
3. Save money on travel
Travelling to and from music festivals, particularly those situated far from where you live can eat up a substantial portion of your budget. To save money, it’s wise to be savvy with your travel plans and plan ahead. If you’re travelling by train, consider securing group tickets for 3-9 adults, which offer a one third discount on off-peak fares. Opting for off-peak travel or split-fare tickets when changing trains can also result in more affordable fares. For those journeying by car, carpooling with friends or other festival attendees can help minimise fuel and parking expenses. Joining social media communities or groups dedicated to finding car-sharing opportunities with other festival-goers is a great way to go.
4. Purchase second-hand outfits on a budget
Looking your best at a festival is important, whether you’re preparing for scorching temperatures or the unpredictable British weather. However, choosing the perfect outfits can often be another expense to stress about. Fortunately, there’s a money-saving solution that promotes sustainability: opt for second-hand purchases. Rather than buying brand new items, consider exploring platforms like Depop, eBay, Vinted, or local charity shops. These sources offer a treasure trove of unique finds at prices significantly lower than those of high-street retailers. By embracing second-hand shopping, you can save money while still rocking a stylish festival look.
5. Rent your camping equipment
If you’re not a regular festival-goer or camper, purchasing camping equipment such as tents and chairs can be a costly one-time expense, particularly if they won’t see much use throughout the rest of the year. Therefore, another way to save money on festivals is to rent camping gear instead. Consider exploring platforms like Fat Lama, which provide the opportunity to borrow a wide range of items from people in your local area. Whether you need camping gear, electronics, or other essentials for your festival experience, these platforms offer a convenient way to access the items you need without breaking the bank or worrying about storing bulky equipment.
6. Bring your own food and drink
Food and drinks can quickly become a significant additional expense when attending a music festival. Luckily, many festivals allow you to bring your own food to store in your camping area. This is particularly beneficial if you’re staying for the entire weekend. Pack non-perishable items such as cereal bars, crisps, and bread that can withstand different weather conditions to save money and ensure sustenance. Including fruits like oranges or tinned fruits with a ring pull can provide essential vitamins and nutrients to keep you energised throughout the festival. Remember to review the festival’s alcohol policy to see if you’re allowed to bring your own drinks to the campsite. Be sure not to exceed the permitted limit to avoid having your items confiscated by security.
7. Bring refillable water bottles
Bringing your own refillable water bottles is a smart way to save money at music festivals, as it eliminates the need to buy expensive water from bars and food vendors each day. This is a simple, yet eco-friendly way to save money at festivals. Festivals typically offer free water points where you can conveniently refill your bottles and ensure you stay hydrated throughout the entire weekend.
To keep your water cool for longer, consider using a thermos bottle or an insulated water bottle. These containers can help maintain the temperature of your water, keeping it refreshing even in warm weather. By having a thermos bottle on hand, you can enjoy chilled water throughout the festival, reducing the need to buy cold drinks and saving even more money.
8. Bring portable chargers
While festivals usually provide mobile phone charging stations, these stations may not always be free of charge. This can result in additional expenses, especially over a full weekend, and the waiting times at the charging stations can be quite frustrating. To save money and ensure uninterrupted connectivity, it’s recommended to bring your own portable chargers. This way, you won’t miss out on capturing great photo and video moments either! Make sure to fully charge your portable chargers before heading to the festival to keep your devices powered throughout the event.
9. Protect your valuables and invest in an insurance
Keeping your most valuable possessions safe is important when attending a festival. To minimise the risk of loss or theft, leaving your most valuable possessions at home is always advisable. Instead, consider bringing only the essential items you’ll need during the event. By adopting this precautionary approach, you can enjoy the festival without worrying about the safety of your valuable belongings. Additionally, investing in the protection of your remaining valuables at the festival, such as purchasing insurance or renting a locker, is a wise decision that can provide peace of mind.
10. Collect cups in sight
To enhance your festival experience while also supporting sustainability efforts, take advantage of cup deposit schemes implemented by many festivals. By returning used cups and picking up any discarded ones, you can earn valuable rewards such as drink tokens or a complimentary beverage. Embracing this practice not only saves you money throughout the weekend but also plays a significant role in creating a cleaner and more eco-friendly environment.
11. Set a daily budget to manage your spending
When exploring ways to save money on festivals, it’s important to remember the basics. Establishing a daily budget may be a common recommendation, but it remains an effective strategy for maintaining financial control during festivals. Nowadays, many festivals offer convenient card payment options, and some have even adopted entirely cashless systems. Embracing these alternatives eliminates the need for on-site ATM withdrawals, reduces transaction fees, and minimises the potential risks associated with carrying large amounts of cash.
To ensure you’re well-prepared and informed about the festival’s payment policies, it’s essential to check their information page. Not all events have transitioned to cashless operations, so confirming the available payment methods will enable you to effectively manage your budget, providing peace of mind and a seamless festival experience.
Conclusion: How to save money on festivals
By implementing these smart money-saving strategies, you can enjoy festivals to the fullest while keeping your budget intact. Volunteering, optimising travel plans, and embracing second-hand fashion are just a few of the ways how to save money on festivals without compromising the experience.
With these tips in mind, you can confidently embark on your festival adventure, immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, revelling in the music, and creating unforgettable memories—all while staying within your financial limits. So go ahead, dance to your favourite tunes, indulge in delicious food, and make the most of every moment, knowing that you’ve found the perfect balance between enjoying the festival and managing your finances wisely.