Festivals on a budget


Warren Peters

Festivals are one of those events that thousands of people who know how to rock look forward to throughout the year. Pulsating energy, live performances, spending (in control so that you can avoid payday loans) and camping tend to be the order of the day at these fun-filled events. Gone are the days when attending a festival was free. Tickets these days usually start at around £100, with larger festival tickets going for £200 upwards. If ticket prices alone are this expensive, how do you manage the additional costs? You 've still got basic amenities such as food, water, and camping costs to cover. We all know it 's usually the little things that ring up the biggest bills most of the time. The primary goal of a festival should be to have fun without emptying your bank account and causing you to look to online loans to cover the shortfall. We believe that this objective is absolutely achievable with reasonable budgeting and cost-saving measures. On that note, this article will tell you exactly how you can festival on a budget.

Offer to be a volunteer

Volunteering may sound like a drag to some, but maybe not so much when it 's at somewhere as vibrant as a festival. We won 't underestimate the amount of work you 'll need to do, so be ready to get your hands a little dirty. The sunny side up is that you 'll get a free ticket leaving you with plenty to spend on other things. In order to be a volunteer, you 'll need to find a charity that will be working at the festival you want to attend. Contact them and see what their protocol is. The festival itself should also be looking for volunteers if the charity route isn 't your thing. No matter which option you choose, you shouldn 't be volunteering throughout the entire festival. Once your duties are fulfilled, you will most likely be free to party like the rockstar you are. If you 're not up for volunteering but you really want a free ticket, you can also try looking for competitions and giveaways. Keep an eye on the festivals social media accounts for possible updates on free tickets.

Early bird tickets

This is probably obvious, but the earlier you buy your tickets, the better. You will get significant discounts and better yet, first grabs on tickets. Festival tickets tend to sell out extremely fast so you want to secure your place as early as possible. Avoid buying last minute tickets at exorbitant prices. You still have many other expenses ahead!

upmarket burger

Try smaller festivals

If you are not enthusiastic about buying tickets for over £100, smaller festivals are your best bet. There are many in the UK that offer tickets under £100. European festivals can be much cheaper than ones in the UK as well. You can plan a short festival getaway as you 'll save a lot more on tickets and festival expenses.

Festival packing checklist

  • ID
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow
  • Waterproofs
  • Towel
  • Sunscreen

Have a secure bag/backpack

You 're going to need cash irrespective of the cost-saving measures you take, so ensure you 've got somewhere secure to keep it. It isn 't advisable to bring valuables along with you to the festival. If you must, get a fanny pack or backpack you can keep on you at all times. Nothing will spoil your festival spirit like losing things and having to replace them when you get home. If you feel it 's worthwhile, get insurance on your gadgets just in case. An alternative option is placing your valuables in lockers which most festivals have. In the spirit of money saving, we are happy to say that some festivals offer them for free. Some charge from £15 for the weekend but they have phone chargers inside which is useful. Other festivals, on the other hand, requests a £5 donation for the weekend which isn 't bad. Whichever option you end up going with, try your best to keep your things as safe as possible to avoid spending money to replace items when you return home.

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Save yourself from having to replace your favourite outfits by leaving them at home and not wearing them to the festival. The subtle theme for these events seems to be young, wild, and free so be open to your clothes getting a bit messy. Taking on board that it usually gets wet and muddy at festivals, save yourself the heartache of ruining your favourite outfit. Speaking of mud and rain, you may need a pair of wellies to keep your feet dry. If buying brand new wellies isn 't within your budget, you can always wrap plastic bags around your boots and secure them with duct tape. Looking fashionable may still be a priority for you, and if that 's the case, try getting creative with accessories by adding nice hats or sunglasses to your outfits. Additionally, you can get some old clothes and get your DIY on.

Bring a power bank

You 're more than likely going to want to capture many of your favourite moments on your phone. This means keeping it charged is going to be essential. Charging your phone at festivals usually comes at a cost, so plan ahead to cut that expense. You can buy a powerbank before the event if you don 't already have one. It 's a life-saving gadget to have as it should keep your phone alive throughout the day. Another option is bringing an old phone instead as they tend to have better battery life than smartphones do. It will also be less devastating if it gets lost, stolen or damaged.

Crowd at a festival

Other costs

Once you have packed your festival backpack, there are loads of other costs to consider:

How far away you live will determine the best means of transport you 'll need. Whatever the case, don 't leave it until the last minute. If you 're traveling quite a distance, coaches are usually the cheaper option as opposed to trains or taxis. You could also try carpool as it 's inexpensive. This option works well if you 're traveling with a group of friends or with a group of strangers. Either way, it could be lots of fun and is a great way to bond with people who you have a common interest with; festivals! Another cost-saving measure is looking for discounted travel which some festivals offer when you book it along with a weekend ticket. Research and see if you can find any good deals in that respect. Whatever it is that you decide, just look for the cheapest option to get you there and back home in one piece.

Buying camping equipment on site at the festival is a quick way to overstep your budget. Buy your camping gear ahead of time and look for deals on festival packs. You can also check online for reasonable sales so you can get your tents, sleeping bags and other items for less. You may have been dreaming of story-telling around the campfire. If so, splitting the cost of a big enough tent for you and your friends is cost-effective and a way to make that dream come true. Whatever you do, we don 't recommend compromising on quality. It 's not likely that the amazingly unpredictable British weather will have mercy on your camping equipment if you decide to get bad quality stuff.

There is no way that you can attend a festival and not indulge in food while having fun. Unfortunately, festival food is an easy way to drain all of your cash. Depending on the festival, a single meal could cost you anywhere from £5 to £10. Multiply that by three meals a day and snacks and you 're looking at a chunk of money. If you want to save, you 'll need to do some meal prep before-hand. You can consider buying a camping stove which ranges from around£10 and upwards. This way, you can cook yourself quick meals such as noodles, beans and sausages, and other quick fixes. Snacks are also ideal for you to munch on in between meals. When you do decide to buy food, try looking for places off of the festival premises. Use an app to find restaurants nearby as well as online deals to cut costs.

Like food, soft drinks and alcohol can be overpriced at festivals. Some locations only sell you drinks without caps which means they go to waste if you don 't finish them on the spot. In this case, your best bet is to bring caps to cover your bottles. Bringing a big empty water bottle to fill at water stops is a great way to save money too. It is very likely you 'll be thirsty from all of the walking around you 'll do and buying water isn 't cheap. If you fancy some alcohol, the worst place to buy it is at a festival. Apparently, buying it there could cost anywhere from £5 for beer to £20 for a bottle of wine. Check the festival rules and regulations to see whether you can bring alcohol. Most festivals do permit you to bring drinks to the campsite but restrict you from bringing them into festival grounds.

Check your ticket seller

Beware of fake ticket sites. They tend to sell tickets at outrageous prices and sometimes sell fake tickets altogether. Make sure you do your research and ensure the website is legitimate and it isn 't a scam. If you can, stick to official websites and any platforms recommended by the festival itself. The worst way to throw your hard-earned money down the drain is by giving it to a fake site and having nothing to show for it.

Avoid the official merchandise

Festivals have a way of tempting you with little items you didn 't think of and suddenly realise you need. Don 't bother going on a spending spree buying merch, you 'll only be left kinda broke afterward. Before attending the festival, think of odd items you may require. This could be accessories such as camping chairs for when you 're not jumping off the walls. It could also include blankets if you 're the sit on the ground type of person, or sunglasses and a gazebo. Think of the weather as well and include raincoats and bits to keep you warm in case it gets chilly outside. If you absolutely must buy merch because you want a tangible memory to take home, wait until the last day. Most sellers will be desperate to get rid of their stock so may sell it for half the price or even less.

Stick to your budget

All of the above suggestions will only be effective if you put yourself on a relatively strict budget. Decide on how much you can afford to spend in total. You can then go on to set yourself a daily budget and be as rigid as possible about it. Whatever you do, stay away from the cash machine. As well as being charged at least £2 per withdrawal, you will most likely end up withdrawing more than you need. If possible, leave your bank card home and take out a little extra just in case of an emergency.


Whether it 's a festival for a concert, play or film, you can have tons of fun without breaking the bank. You can never truly overpack for a festival, so don 't be scared to stock up on the things you need. At the end of the day, our most memorable moments are usually created from good vibes and good people. Spending money shouldn 't be a prerequisite for having fun, especially at your next festival.What is the last festival you attended and what did you find you spent most of your money on? For more great tips check out this website.

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