After a couple of years during which our lives were completely taken over by Covid-19, it seems like this summer we’ll be free once again. Free to do whatever we want with our time off, free to see friends and family, free to relax without having to worry too much. With the sunnier days come the first festivals and since most of them were cancelled due to the pandemic, festival lovers can now finally rejoice themselves. They’ve got plans all summer long, a different festival every weekend – locally or internationally. Great, but what if your budget doesn’t agree?
No matter how you look at it, festivals have the habit of costing you a lot. Of course, it all starts with the ticket price. Then you have to pay for the camping (or a hotel if that’s more your cup of tea), the transport, the food, the drinks… It quickly adds up and before you know it, your bank account says stop and you don’t have any money left to get you through the rest of the month. A bit of a problem, isn’t it?
Luckily, there are quite a few ways to keep your expenses down, even when you’re a real festival lover. That may take a bit more preparation but in the long run, it will allow you to go to even more events. Because, after all, that’s what we really want after those years of staying at home; the more, the merrier. So here you go, five ways to save money at all those festivals this summer. You can thank us later.
1. Choose your festivals wisely
We know there are a lot of big-shot, very well-known festivals out there. And yes, they tend to have some really nice artists on their line-up. However, they also tend to make you pay a lot of money for a ticket. That’s why it may be a good idea to pass on those famous festivals and rather go for smaller or more local options. If you do your research well, you might still be able to catch a concert of your favourite artist but at a fraction of the price or even for free. Did you know that most festivals even hand out free tickets to volunteers? Just make sure in advance that you’ll be able to attend the concerts of your choice.
2. Set a budget and stick to it
One of the downsides of going to a festival is the fact that you tend to forget your own (money) limits. It’s all so much fun, you drink a bit too much and suddenly, you seem to have all the money in the world. You’re buying drinks for everyone, the cash is flowing but then reality hits. And you’ve got nothing left. Therefore, it’s a good idea to set a daily budget and to bring that budget in cash. That way, you can see how much you’ve got left and you’re less tempted to go off budget. If you can, try to have a little extra as an emergency fund – even though, let’s be honest, you’ll probably just spend it on cocktails on the last night.
3. Don’t bring expensive stuff
Festivals can be rough. Yes, it’s nice to look nice but try not to bring your most expensive stuff to the festival grounds. Try to put on old clothes that can get dirty and opt for a budget-friendly tent if you can. If you can reuse it after the festival, great, but chances are someone will rip a piece out of it or get sick all over it. In that case, you just want to be able to throw it away without ruining yourself.
4. Go cheap on the drinks
Drinks at festivals may just be the biggest expense of all. Those people know that all that dancing and singing will make you thirsty and they’re not too shy to take advantage of it. And even though drinking water can already save you a few bucks, it still costs you a lot. Therefore, do your homework. Drinking policies tend to differ from one festival to another so it’s important to know what you can and cannot do. Some places will let you bring your own (non-alcoholic) drinks, others won’t. Some will let you keep the lids on the bottles, others will even take those away – meaning you can’t just put away your drink for later. In that case, it might be worth considering bringing your own stash of (reusable) bottle caps. Oh and don’t forget to look up whether or not there are drinking fountains on-site.
5. Bring your own food or eat out
When it comes to food, eating on the festival grounds will cost you. A lot. Of course, it’s always cheaper to bring your own but then again, that’s not always possible – whether it’s due to practical reasons or because the festival simply doesn’t allow it. Leaving the grounds and eating just outside of the festival can save you quite a lot in that case. You’ll walk a little more but your wallet will be grateful!