Saving money at festivals

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You’ve been saving up all year and you’re ready to get the festival tickets – pricey, but worth every penny! Music festivals are the highlight of the summer but they can do some serious damage to your wallet, so we’ve put together a few handy tips to help you save some precious pennies whilst you’re having the time of your life.

Food

One of the biggest expenses at any musical festival is the food and drink. It’s always worth looking at the festival websites to see what the rules are around taking your own supplies. Keeping a stash of things like cereal bars, crisps and booze is certainly the easiest way to save money but some festivals are strict and won’t let you take much of anything with you, so check the rules before you start stocking up.

If this is the case, there are still a few ways for you to make your money go further. Firstly, make sure you give yourself a daily limit so you don’t end up short at the end of your trip (it’s easily done) some of the vendors may have cheaper prices at lunchtime so it’s worth filling up during the day so you don’t have to worry later in the evening. Also be sure to have a sneaky peak of the portions from the people ahead of you in the queue. Sometimes the portion size will give you more than enough food to share with a friend and you can split the cost. Festivals should also provide a source of free water so make sure you make a note of where it is to avoid dehydration.

Travel

Car sharing is a good idea if can find people willing. There are some great websites to find people who are driving and it means you can split the petrol. Try www.gocarshare.com or www.liftshare.com. If you’re going by train, try to get your tickets as early as you can. They’re usually available 12 weeks before the day and this is when they are the cheapest. If you need a cab from the station, be sure to check out our app Cab Guru, it allows you to instantly compare local cabs and book one for a fixed price. You can even book in advance so it’s one less thing to worry about.

What to take

Essentially, take as little as possible, the less you take the less chance you have of losing something. If you have an old backup phone then take that. You won’t be as worried if you lose it or it gets muddy and the battery will last you longer. Some festivals have free charging stations which are worth checking out but queues can be rather lengthy! Losing things can be one of the biggest problems at a festival so make sure to keep an eye on the important bits. You can keep them in your sleeping bag to keep track of them but if you want to keep them really safe, get a bum bag! Not quite the height of fashion, but probably the best way to make sure your valuables are secure.

We all know what the weather can be like in England, even in summer and chances are your tent (and possibly everything else) will end up a tad muddy so it’s not wise to spend a fortune on these things if they’ll end up ruined. A good tip for travelling light is to take an empty pillow case and stuff it with clothes at night – ta da! Instant pillow! If you want to save even more space, check out our last blog “9 Must have apps for festival goers“, it’ll help you cut out a few knick-knacks from the packing list. Even after all your thrifty habits, you might still end up down to those last few pounds early – never fear! Some festivals will pay you for collecting plastic cups. Usually around 10p a cup but some can be as high as 50p, so you can earn a little extra spending money as well as helping the environment!

Merchandise

Merchandise at festivals is notoriously overpriced, so the best way to save money is to avoid it, but where’s the fun in that?! The thing to remember if you do want a memento of your fun is to not get carried away (you really don’t need 8 festival T-shirts) and if you’re really low on funds, you can always compromise with a wrist band or a mug. If you leave it until the last day, a lot of sellers reduce their prices as they want to get rid of their stock. It may also be tempting to buy a festival programme, however all the information inside is available on the website for free! A little forward planning here can help save the pennies as you can also print off all the stage schedules either from their own websites or through the Clashfinder site (www.clashfinder.com) and this will help you get the most out of your time there.

Lastly, if you’re really struggling to save for the festival, you can always volunteer. Most festivals will be looking for all number of volunteers throughout the weekend and this will usually come with a free pass for the event! Just remember you might have to keep your sensible head on and not go too crazy.

Tweet us @CabGuruApp with your festival tips and advice.