There is no argument that going to festivals and other live events are easily some of the best summer activities. As festival season kicks off, it’s easy to get excited and buy tickets without really thinking about the cost of the excursion when it’s all said and done.
The price tag of any event gets pretty nauseating after costs of tickets, transportation, food, and of course, festival fashion. Not to mention, if an attendee is looking to go to a number of events in a festival season, the cost can go well into the $1000s.
While living off of one chicken finger for a weekend will save you a few bucks, here are 10 realistic tips to save money this festival season.
1. Stay In The Loop
Many large scale festivals and events companies, like Insomniac, have public newsletters and mailing lists full of useful info. People on these mailing lists are often the first to receive early access to event tickets, exclusive deals and more. Festival goers can utilize these mailing lists to their advantage and save some serious cash.
Festival attendees are usually added to these mailing lists automatically after buying a ticket online. Keep an eye out as previous attendees frequently receive emails with exclusive pre-sale ticket pricing options for the upcoming festival season!
2. Early Bird Gets The Worm
The saying is true! The earlier an attendee buys the tickets for an event, the more money they save. Festival tickets are often sold in tiers, where the earliest tiers are cheaper and prices increase as tiers become sold out closer to the time of the event.
The same is true for flight tickets. It’s hard to predict when the best time to buy a flight ticket is, but on a general basis, the earlier the better.
If you play your cards right, you can save hundreds of dollars on festival and flight tickets alone.
Bring your own food and bring your own bottle.
Food and drinks at festivals are not cheap, but a little bit of planning can make all the difference.
At camping festivals, try to go grocery shopping prior to going on festival grounds. Planning out simple meals and buying easy snacks ahead of time will go a long way. Also, check the camp policy for alcoholic items as some camps will allow a certain number of cans per legal aged person. Buying alcoholic beverages at the festival is a sure way to drain the wallet fast.
Drinks are expensive in the festival grounds as well, which includes water. It’s the norm for water bottles to be sold for 5$ or more. Save some money by bringing a reusable bottle or a hydration pack, and use the free water stations instead.
4. Two Is Better Than One
If you’re planning to attend an event that is in driving distance, consider carpooling. Filling a vehicle with festival goers and splitting the cost of gas is a smart way to save a few dollars, plus it’s a fun, environmentally friendly way to get there.
5. You Scratch My Back, I’ll Scratch Yours
Some festivals offer free tickets to attendees that volunteer. Spending a few hours a day donating time for a ticket can save hundreds of dollars depending on the festival. Some festivals that offer tickets in exchange for volunteerting include Shambhala and Ultra Miami.
6. Cap It
Set intentions prior to the weekend by setting a realistic budget, and stick to it. Getting tap happy with a credit card is fun in the moment, but can really hurt after the fun is over. Most festivals are cashless nowadays, but if you do plan on using cash, keep ATM withdrawals to a minimum as service fees can get quite high.
Pro tip: Buy a prepaid credit card that has the exact amount that you’re looking to spend and only use that at the festival.
7. Save Money While You Sleep
Local hotel prices skyrocket during the weekend of a nearby festival, get creative with sleeping situations to save.
Many festivals offer camping passes, which are often cheaper than hotels, plus shuttles or Ubers to the festival. Try tenting it, maybe it’ll be more enjoyable than staying off of festival grounds. For larger groups, an RV might be a smart move as it’s more comfortable than a tent and the group can split costs.
If there is no camping available, check out Airbnb or a home swap option. Often these options can be cheaper, and once again the earlier you book the cheaper it is.
8. Test Your Luck
Different festivals and events companies release a variety of contests to win tickets, merch or even the travel fare to attend the event. Entering contests is a free and easy way to potentially attend a fest for free!
EDM Maniac hosts contests on a regular basis to win free tickets and more, keep an eye on our Instagram.
9. One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure
Festival fashion is a fun way to express personality during an event, but it can get costly. There are dozens of rave wear trade groups on social media that house thousands of ravers looking to sell or trade their lightly used rave wear for a discounted price. Try selling older items on these groups and using the money earned towards new fits.
10. Beware Of FOMO
Last but not least, beware of FOMO (fear of missing out). Social media is crawling with content that makes it seem like attending as many events as possible is the norm. For most people, only attending a handful of festivals and events in a season is affordable. There are a few ways FOMO can be avoided:
- Prioritize Festivals – Take into consideration the festivals that are an “absolute must” vs “it would be fun”. There is no shame in having one or two big ticket events in a season, and saving up for them.
- Go Local – Local events save money in travel, and stay if the event is in close proximity to home. Try to attend more local events and save money for “big ticket” events.
No one wants to go into debt over festival season, and there is no need to. Hopefully these 10 realistic tips to save money this festival season will help make attending these events more attainable for years to come.
Images from Insomniac website.