My top six money tips for festivals

My top six money tips for festivals

For many of us, festival season is a much-anticipated time of year.

For me, it brings to mind images of people doused in glitter, evenings spent dancing to my favourite bands, and - when it all comes to an end - the inevitable human vs tent bag struggle.

Holly Mackay (left) with friends at Bestival 

Holly Mackay (left) with friends at Bestival 

It also brings to mind the painfully over-inflated ticket prices, outrageous food costs (£7 for a portion of chips? No thanks!), and a sore reminder of that time I lost my phone whilst bopping on someone's shoulders. 

To help soften the financial blow, I've put together a handy guide to festivals on a budget. 

My top 6 money tips for festivals:

1. Work or volunteer

This is one of the most effective ways to cut down on the cost of a weekend festival, as you usually get a free ticket in exchange for working a few shifts.

Along with giving you access to the festivities, some will pay you for your time. Websites such as Hotbox Events are a great platform for finding festival jobs. 

2. Bring your own food and drink

Much easier said than done, I know. Sometimes the bright lights of the burger van can lead us astray, but trust me - being disciplined with food is the best way to save your pennies.

If you're going to a day festival then you could pack a sandwich and some snacks, and although drinks aren't usually allowed in, you might be able to bring a reusable water bottle with you.

At £2+ for a small bottle of water on site, you'd be doing yourself (as well as the environment) a favour by taking advantage of free refills at water stations.

If you're camping, do regular supermarket runs, as booze and food will be a fraction of the price compared to the festival stalls.

3. Look out for ticket deals

Several festivals will offer cheaper early bird tickets, and others will offer group booking deals.

It's also worth looking out for payment plans that enable you to spread the cost.

For example Latitude permits you to pay in a series of instalments and Glastonbury initially just requires a £50 deposit when tickets go on sale in October. 

Rather than wipe out your wages in one go, schemes like this can help make the expense more manageable. 

4. Go to a free festival

There is a small but enthusiastic group of festivals committed to making the festival scene accessible for people on all budgets. A good summary of free festivals can be found over on MoneySavingExpert here.

5. Check if your gadgets are insured

If your phone is insured, say on your home insurance policy, it is worth keeping in mind that some insurers will not pay out if possessions are stolen from a tent. 

6. Check for refunds if an event does not go ahead

Last but not least, if your festival is cancelled, do check if they are offering refunds. Depending on the ticket seller, you may even be able to claim back booking fees too.


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