It’s practically June, so the UK festival season is officially open. Here are my tips to help you be clever with your music money.
Most years I’ll make it to a festival. It could be a weekend away camping, it could be a day in the city. Most likely it’ll be wet, and it’ll be muddy. So far, so very typically a British festival. But when the sun shines, and the bands play, I feel right at home.
When I choose to a festival, the line-up is probably my first consideration – but money obviously plays a part. Festivals don’t come cheap. As well as working out the total cost, and whether I’ll see enough bands to make it decent value for money, I’ll look for other ways to make them more affordable.
So if you’re still thinking about where to go here are my tips to have a great time, but spend a little less.
Hunt for a discount
Last year I managed to get discounted tickets for Field Day, Together The People, Flow and British Summer Time, and already this year there have been offers for V Festival and Isle of Wight. I expect more to appear nearer to events that haven’t sold out. I can’t promise to update my deals page for every event, but I’ll add sales and offers which I think are good value.
>> Keep an eye on my Festival deals page for updates
Save on booking fees
If no deals are available, Barclaycard Entertainment has fee free Friday, which can cut the total cost by nearly 10%. You do need a Barclaycard, but I expect someone you know has one.
Bestival offers a student discount, though it’s now only a £10 discount. But it’s easy for anyone to get, even if you’re not a student, with my perfectly legitimate cash hack.
Volunteer and go for free
Stewarding for Oxfam is just one way to get free entry to a festival. At the time of writing, you can still get places for big ‘uns like Lattitude, Leeds, Reading and Bestival, as well as many smaller ones. You will need to pay a deposit (to stop you running off without doing your shifts).
There are other opportunities – whether behind the bar or scanning tickets – at places like V Festival and Creamfields through Feststaff. Read more about
Think about going abroad
Even with a weak pound there are dozens of festivals across Europe with ticket prices that work out much cheaper than those at home. If you get a cheap flight and hotel, it might work out the same and you’ve a holiday (and hopefully sun) for no extra. I’ve been to a few in Barcelona, and always have an eye out for top line-ups I can combine with a city break.
>> Read my cheap flight guide
Get ready for next year
Some festivals will have a limited number of early bird tickets available for the following year on sale straight after this year’s ends. You can make some pretty big savings, but the risk is you don’t know the lineup at all. Sign up to mailing lists for your favourite festivals to hear news first.
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