Are you off to any festivals this summer? Glastonbury may have already passed but there are loads more music festivals up and down the country taking place across the summer, so you are not too late to have some festival fun!
One thing that most festivals have in common (especially if you need to camp) is the potential to be very expensive. You have to think about the cost of your tickets, your camping gear, food and drink, your clothes and your travel. They can all mount up quite quickly which can take having a good time into having an expensive time!
Here are some ways that you can cut the cost of festival going to make sure you have a great time, on a budget:
The first main expense of going to a festival is the cost of the tickets. If you are camping for a weekend expect to pay around £200 as a minimum. Also factor in the booking fees. Many festivals offer discounts on the ticket prices if you book well in advance, but often you won’t know the lineup so it’s a gamble as to who you will get to see. Also, don’t forget to check to see if you can get a student discount, this can be up to 20% off the ticket price, so well worth it.
If you can’t stretch the cost of the tickets but still want to go, think about being a volunteer at the festival. Oxfam is present at most major festivals and you can volunteer some of your time and get a festival ticket for free. You do need to pay a deposit (just to stop you from running off without having done your shift), but once your shift is over, you are free to enjoy the festival as you wish.
Think about taking a trip to an overseas festival. The ticket prices are often much cheaper, and when you combine them with low-cost flights and accommodation, you might find they come in around the same price as UK festivals. Plus you get to have a sun filled holiday too.
The best way to save money on travel is to book early. As soon as you have booked your festival tickets, book your train, coach or ferry tickets too. Planning on driving? See if you can lower the fuel costs by offering up any spare seats you may have. Check online festival forums to see who is looking for a ride, but for safety’s sake, remember to always make sure you meet before hand and also don’t travel alone if you can help it.
Food and drink
Once you have arrived there will be loads of places to have a bite to eat and of course grab a drink, but they won’t be cheap, expect to pay at least £6-£8 per meal and around £4 per drink, over the weekend this really racks up. One way to keep costs low is to bring your own food and drink with you. You are going to need things that you can keep, without refrigeration, so think tins and dried food. Bring a small camping stove with you so you can cook and heat up water, and try to eat at least one meal every day that you made yourself. When it comes to drinks most festivals are ok with you bringing your own, although some will not allow you to bring your own drinks into the main area so do check beforehand. Also, if you are planning a heavy weekend, bring plenty of water with you. There will be places you can refill your bottles with fresh drinking water for free, so take full advantage of this.
Clothes and camping
It’s a festival, you’ll be camping and it’s more than likely to get muddy. Leave your Sunday bests at home and wear things that are 1. Comfortable and 2. Not going to get ruined by mud! Make sure you have some good, supportive and comfortable shoes as you’ll be walking all day and dancing all night. Also, don’t forget to pack your rain mac and some wellies.
When it comes to camping try to get the best tent you can afford. You’ll see so many pop-up style tents that after one day of rain or wind are completely collapsed and totally unusable. Also, try to get a tent that has an inbuilt ground sheet that will keep out the wind and rain. Bring a blow-up mattress, a sleeping bag (it can get freezing at night) and a pillow. You can find affordable camping gear online and in stores like Decathlon.
Always bring some cash with you as the queues for cashpoints can be very long, but you will likely find that most places will accept contactless and chip and pin cards. So don’t forget to bring your Monese card with you! You’ll be able to use your phone to keep an eye on your balance so you won’t have to worry about the cost spiralling out of control.