Summer time is the time for festivals and fun. What can be better than spending time outdoors in the sun having a blast, right?! I love nothing more than festivaling in the summer months. Unfortunately though, festivals can be a costly business; gone are the days of free love and cultural liberation. Today you can couple muddy fields, smelly toilets, huge amounts of beer and hopefully the odd band, with a whole lot of cash. But there are still opportunities to instil some thrift without losing the hedonistic experience – here are a few tips to saving money at festivals.
Check out the festival website to see if there’s any opportunity to earn your ticket – loads of big and small name events advertise for first aiders, litter pickers and stewards. Volunteering does mean donning a high-vis vest for a few hours everyday and requires a somewhat moderate approach to celebrations, but it also means a free ticket, camping and quite often food too.
Festival catering is pretty amazing – the diversity of dishes and tastes on offer in less than a square mile is pretty unrivalled the world over. But this all comes at a cost, especially if you factor in booze, coffee, cakes, breakfast, snacks, doughnuts… Whilst cooking up a gastronomic delight on a one ring gas camping stove might not be the most practical alternative, stocking up wisely at the supermarket in advance can mean huge savings in money, time and energy over the weekend. Opt for quick wins; boil in the bag rice dinners, pots of pesto and pasta, baked beans or even an entire breakfast in a can.
Write lists, plan your attack and pack well. Staging a festival dry run in your back garden the weekend before may sound more boy scout than rock and roll, but can save pounds. The onsite festival market place is a captive one and the prices reflect this state of affairs. The small purchases add up, so run through your scenarios and pack spares – matches, water, wellies, blanket, raincoat, sunnies, sunblock, can opener, flipflops… check!
Be an early bird
The early bird gets the worm – and all that. Register online well in advance of the event – most festivals promote an early bird offer, with substantial discounts for punters willing to commit early in the day, sometimes up to 10 months in advance. Being on the ball with ticket purchases is also essential for the biggest and best festivals – Glastonbury and V Festival are notorious for selling out within hours of the box office opening.
So as you can see heading out to the festivals on a dime is possible; it just takes some creativity. I hope after reading these tips you too can join me outdoors this summer at the many festivals around.
So, do you enjoy going to festivals? Which ones are your favourite? How have you kept costs down in the past?