For many, music festival season is just as anticipated as the holidays. Music lovers have held onto their tickets tightly for months, and now it’s finally time to get outside, enjoy the weather, and listen to the tunes. While the season for music festivals can be a lot of fun, they often come with a hefty price tag when you factor in tickets, travel and food.
With a few simple hacks, you can enjoy your favorite bands while not hitting a sour note with your money.
Choose your tickets wisely
Whether you’re hitting up Coachella this weekend – or other big festivals like Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Outside Lands later this summer – make sure to pick a festival that doesn’t blow your budget as these bigger name events can set you back over $300. It’s also a good idea to check the festival lineup and see when your favorite bands are playing. You might be able to save money on a full pass by buying a ticket for only one or two days. Once you choose a festival, buy your tickets as early as possible. Tickets tend to go fast, and buying a ticket from a third party re-seller may leave you spending double the amount of the original cost.
Hit the road
It’s no surprise that picking a festival within driving distance of home can significantly reduce travel expenses. However, if getting to the festival is half of the fun, check-out some inexpensive ways to get there. Compare the costs of airfare to bus or train and figure out which will be most affordable. Kayak.com or Airfarewatchdog are great sites for inexpensive plane tickets. You can get ticket price alerts sent directly to your email inbox. If driving is a reasonable option, carpool with others to split the cost of gas, parking and driving.
Camp out—if possible—or stay in a hostel. Tacking on a hotel cost along with your festival ticket means you’ll likely end up spending close to $1,000 just for a weekend trip. If you do plan on camping, make sure to check in advance to see if the festival charges extra for camping on the grounds. Traveling with a big group? Split the rate and look into renting a house through sites like Airbnb which offer the added benefit of a kitchen, so that you don’t have to eat every single meal on-site at the festival.
Eat smart and stay hydrated
Before you leave, make a food plan to avoid eating all of your meals at the festival. Eat a hearty breakfast outside the venue and pack a small bag with a bunch of high-energy snacks that will fill you up, like trail mix and fruit. You should also check out the rules on bringing in bottled water. It’s important to stay hydrated, especially in warm, dry climates — so check the event website for any restrictions on food and drink to minimize costs.
Cash is king
It can be really easy to spend your hard earned dough in a festival environment. The best solution is to only carry a small amount of cash with you. This will help you keep your spending in check and allows you to avoid the long lines and high ATM fees. The point here is that when the cash is gone, it’s gone!
So sit back, relax and enjoy all that concerts and music festival have to offer. With a few simple hacks, you and your money will be singin’ a sweet tune!