Though tickets are usually the headline expense when you go to a festival, it’s easy to spend hundreds more when you finally get there. But there are easy ways to bring down those costs.
Last year at a festival I took a moment to record a quick video explaining some of the things I do and tricks I use to spend less on site with a little bit of advance planning. Over the two days I think these tricks saved me around £50, and that’s not even including things like advanced travel.
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Bring some food & drink
One of the biggest expenses. Bring as much as you can with you. Some festivals will let you bring things onto the site, so you can avoid overpriced and disappointing burgers and beer. Check the terms and conditions to see what they say as many will search you at entrances.
If it’s a camping festival I’ll generally bring some pastries, fruit and cereal bars to get me through breakfast and a few other snacks to reduce how much food I buy during the day. Alcohol is trickier as warm booze isn’t always that great. But You could bring some spirits with you and buy mixers from the bars, or even a box of red wine. It’s harder for day festivals, but I’ll try to eat before I get on site so that’s at least one meal covered.
Do you need suncream or wellies?
Check the weather. Will you need boots for mud or extra clothes to keep you warm? Have you packed suncream and shorts? If you have to buy any of these on-site you’ll play well over the odds.
Equally, think about what you won’t need – or don’t want to lose. Bring a cheaper watch or phone. I wear clothes that I don’t mind if they get ruined.
Don’t go too cheap on camping gear though. I’ve seen so many tents that have collapsed at the first sign of wind or rain. You can get decent budget tents at places like Decathlon
Print out stage times and maps
Some festivals will give you a programme and lanyard with times for free (well, you’ve paid for it in your ticket…), but others will charge you extra. If you want to know who’s on where and when without shelling out even more cash, head over to clashfinder where you can print out times in advance for most festivals.
Book your travel early
Buy in advance. Whether it’s by train, hire car or bus you should save the earlier you buy. Read my cheap train cash hacks for more ways to pay less.
Make your mobile last longer
Mobile phone signals might be patchy, but battery life is worse. Often you’ll have to pay to charge, and spend hours in a queue. To avoid this, invest in a charging pack. I bought a couple of Anker portable batteries from Amazon as they give me three full charges, and there are plenty others around. You’ll be able to plug your phone in at night ready for the next day. They may cost more than a half hour charge at the festival, but you’ll get plenty of use at other times.