How to Save Money at Festivals

There’s no denying it, festival loving is an expensive business. Here are a few festival money saving tips to help you and your hard earned cash go further and keep you travelling on the festival circuit.

1. Take bottle lids

I’m not actually sure whether its to stop you using bottles as weapons or they want you to drink faster but at many festivals they won’t give you the lid for the bottle. This is really annoying. Always make sure you have a stash so you don’t feel you have to drink up as soon as you buy – these things are like gold dust at festivals.

Money saving festival tips

2. Bring your own food

It might seem like an effort on the way there, but when you see the prices on the stalls (and in some cases the quality) you’ll be happy you bothered. If you’re bringing your own food to save money at festival you need to think about what will survive all weather conditions. In my experience the best things to buy are…

  • Bread rolls
  • Wraps
  • Tinned fish
  • Croissants
  • Crisps
  • Sweets
  • Nuts
  • Dried fruit
  • Tinned fruit

Of course if you’re taking a camping stove the world of food opens up. Beans, super noodles, pot noodles, soups and tinned meaty treats all become possible. It’s up to you how far you’re willing to go on this one.

Top tip: take a look on Google Maps to see if there are any shops nearby. At Dour festival there was a Carrefour supermarket just 10 minutes away on foot. Perfect.

3. Take your own drink

money saving tips for festivals

When I was 16 and went to Reading Festival, I remember selling a bottle of vodka for about £50 on the final night. I’m sure I wouldn’t let that go to waste now but I was young and inexperienced. There’s no need to make money at festivals but if you want to save a huge amount of your hard earned cash you need to stack up your trolley or wheelbarrow with as much booze as you can carry – that’s if they let you take the booze in though.

If their BYOB policy is whack, you’ll want to check out my post on how to sneak alcohol into festivals. It’s tried and tested…

4. Collect glasses on site

Most festivals will run some sort of recycling initiative where you collect a certain number of discarded plastic glasses and you can claim a free drink. At Dour it was 40 and it seemed like everyone was into it as they were even scrounging the bins at one point.

5. Don’t buy new clothes

Anything goes at festivals and whatever you do wear is bound to get filthy, so don’t go wasting your cash on new clobber. Keep it simple, comfortable and cool. Do make sure you’ve packed for the weather though – I was absolutely freezing every night at Dour Festival. My fault, I didn’t even pack a jumper, never mind a sleeping bag.

6. Take advantage of group tickets

I know that EXIT festival do a buy 8 get one free offer, as does Beach Break Live. Keep an eye out for special deals, or if you want to take it one step further and there’s a big group of you, email the festival organisers and ask for one. The worst that can happen is a no….

7. Get your tickets early

Nearly all the big festivals offer early bird deals if you’re one of the first to get a ticket. Be the trendsetter and you could save up to half of the normal face value ticket price.

Money saving festival tips

8. Book accommodation in advance

Festivals like Sonar and Primavera don’t have camping on site so you need to book early to get the best deals in the local accommodation. The prices will definitely hike if there’s a festival in the vicinity and you don’t want to be wasting your cash on somewhere you’re more than likely not even going to sleep.

As soon as you get your festival ticket, get thinking about your accommodation.

9. Don’t go near the shitty shops

Especially when you’ve had a drink. I ended up with a sequinned hat at Eastern Electrics, a colourful tail at Parklife and literally more pairs of jeans than I could carry at Reading. All of which have never been worn. My sparkly hat does look great on my bookshelf though.

Any more for any more?

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tagged in money

3 Comments

  1. by Anna Roberts on July 24, 2013  4:25 pm Reply

    #9 is my weakness! I once bought a t-shirt that said 'Victim of the [email protected]*k up fairy' - completely not me but for some reason I thought it was really funny when drunk...

    • by Vicky on July 30, 2013  8:36 pm Reply

      Ha, that sounds like something I'd do. We should hang out :)

  2. by Hogga on July 29, 2013  8:20 pm Reply

    great tips!

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