14 Ways to Avoid Overspending at a Music Festival

We are guilty of it at one time or another… Overspending at a Music Festival. Who can blame you when you have to pay for the ticket, traveling, a place to stay, camping supplies, food, drinks, and wanting to splurge on all the festival merch? You are putting down a lot of cash. 

Music festivals are supposed to be an amazing experience, and you shouldn’t have to worry about running low on cash.

Yes, trying to save money and budgeting it out may seem like a challenge, but that’s why we are here. Below we have 14 tips to use and cut spending for your next festival adventure. 

1. Set A Overall and Daily Budget

Before you go to any festival, setting an overall and daily budget is a must! Setting a max budget will help you map out what items you will need to purchase before the festival and essential items you will need to buy during the festival. This way you won’t be stunned by the amount you’ve spent because you’ve already allocated it! The trick is to try having an overall plan 6 months before the festival.

2. Look for Presale Tickets, Promo Codes, and Payment Plans

Presale tickets, promo codes, or payment plans are a great way to save money. Sign up for the festival’s mailing list because it will help you get presale tickets. You will have the opportunity before the general public to purchase tickets at the lowest price. Just make sure you already have the money set aside in advance and are fully committed to going to the festival. Another way is to look out for promo codes; even if it is a 5% discount, you are still saving more than before. Lastly, payment plans. Payment plans are a helpful way to avoid dropping a huge amount of money to pay for the ticket all at once.

3. Volunteer For a Free Ticket

If it is an option at the festival and you are looking for a free ticket, then Volunteering is a great idea. You will get some awesome perks by volunteering, like a free ticket and potential access to areas that GA tickets can’t go. Always be sure to signup to volunteer a couple of months in advance if you plan on taking this route.

4. Make Your Travel Plans Wisely

Traveling for a festival can get a little expensive, especially if you have to travel a long distance, aka flying. Make sure you research flight, gas prices, etc. When it comes to flying, try to compare the prices of flights. If it is possible to take a train or bus, find times where tickets are the cheapest. But, overall, your best option, if possible, would be to carpool with friends. You can split gas and have a better time traveling.

5. Planning Where to Stay

Ideally, if it is an option, you want to camp at a music festival. Camping gives you the full experience because you get to be apart of silent disco parties, exclusive campground events, and a bigger opportunity to meet new friends. Camping isn’t everyone’s favorite, so if you choose to opt-out of that experience, finding an Airbnb or hotel can be great. You can split the cost with your friends. Try to book 6 months in advance to get the best price possible.

6. Avoid buying Overpriced Food, Take Your Own Food

Spending money on overpriced food is probably the biggest cost. Going to your local store and stocking up on food in bulk, is a huge way to cut costs. Try to stick to the most non-perishable and non-preparation foods, especially if you are camping. If you can’t hold off on purchasing food, search for the cheapest vendor.

7. Don’t Buy Expensive Clothes For the Festival

Of course, we want to look the coolest and stand out, but buying the most expensive clothing you will only wear once isn’t worth it. Most likely, those clothes will get so dirty that you will have to throw them away. You can still find cheap, cool clothes – go thrifting or to your second-hand store; the truth is you’ll find something awesome and one of a kind.

8. Bring a Portable Phone Charger or Look For Free Charging Stations

The best bet when charging your phone would be to bring your own portable charger. You can charge on the go, plus have your phone with you at all times and never miss out on getting that IG story or TikTok of your favorite artist. You can find cheap portable chargers on amazon that are reasonably priced. The other option would be finding a free charging station. The issue with that is you probably have to stay with your phone while it is charging. You also may have the risk of being stolen, even if you look away for a second.

9. Avoid the Festival ATM, Bring Cash

Many festivals charge you an ATM usage fee; opt to bring cash. It sounds scary, but if you invest in a bum bag to safely hold your money, you will be golden. Carrying cash only also helps avoid overspending.

10. Avoid Buying Festival Merch

In the moment, buying festival merch seems like a great idea, but it can really hurt your spending budget. Maybe hold off till the last day to see if you have cash left, then you can purchase the item. Plus, most of the time you can purchase the merchandise later online for a cheaper price.

11. Review Items You Can Bring Into the Festival

Checking to see what items, foods, or drinks you can bring in to a festival is important. This could help you save major money, especially if the venue allows food and drinks – alcohol.

12. Buy Hygiene Items Like Baby Wipes, Dry Shampoo, and Toliet Paper In Bulk

If you are camping, keeping clean is a must. So what do you do when certain festivals make you pay to take a shower? Well, the most cost-effective way is to buy items like baby wipes, dry shampoo, and toilet paper in bulk. It may not be a shower, but it’s only 3 days, and you will be saving money. Note: Be sure to check the festival website to see if you can bring aerosol cans, etc.

13. Borrow Gear Where You Can

Borrowing gear from someone who isn’t attending the festival can help save you time and cash. If you know someone with the essential camping gear (tents, sleeping bags, coolers, etc.), ask them to see if you can use it for the weekend. Just remember they are trusting you with their items, and if something bad happens, you may need to replace them. So be extra careful.

14. Buy Festival Insurance

It is never a bad idea, in general, to buy festival insurance on your ticket or even your campsite. Anything could happen with the festival, like cancelations or in your personal life, like getting sick. The insurance is an added expense, but it helps ensure you won’t lose out on money.

There you have it, festival lovers, the best tips to avoid overspending at music festivals. We hope this helps you at your next festival.

Have another tip? Email us at hi@festivalsurvivalguide.com, and we will get back to you personally.