An Idiot’s Guide to Festival Finance: 9 Top Tips

I read an article the other day that suggested that the best and cheapest way to experience a festival was to watch it at home.

Erm. Not sure who wrote this but… seriously?

Over a million Brits will be going to a UK festival this year and as one of the most anticipated summer experiences, it’s important you don’t basically rip yourself off and lose a lot of money in ways that are preventable. So here are our 9 tips to having a financially successful festival and hopefully being able to come home with some spare cash. Imagine

Go For Free

Clearly the easiest way of saving money at a festival is to volunteer rather than buying a ticket. I know the obvious downsides to this are that you have to work, you won’t see all of the acts and you have to wear a high-vis jacket. But let’s put this into perspective: standing around ‘checking people are okay’ isn’t actually working, if you can’t see the acts directly you’ll most probably hear them and a high-vis jacket is probably the most normal fashion attire you’ll see at the festival.

Pack Light

Okay, so this is the very basic logic: the less valuables you take (clothes, shoes, flower garlands for your hair) the more perishables you can cram in (alcohol, Pot Noodles, crisps). The more perishables you take the less you have to buy whilst you’re in the festival and the lighter your bag will be when you leave to come home. Win. “But my bag will be too heavy when I’m going there”, I hear you moan. Seriously, take one for the team, your own team, and do yourself the favour of taking the brunt of the weight on the way to the festival when you actually have the energy to carry it.

Insure Your Stuff

So many things not only get robbed at festivals but also get lost. It’s confusing when you come across a single stray shoe and wonder ‘who possibly would have walked back to their tent with only one shoe’- but it happens. So maybe insure some items, specifically your phone. If you have home insurance, check the small print as you may also get away from home cover.

Check The Rules

Even though the festival guidelines may say your beer limit per person is 30 cans, there will always be someone who believes that they are invincible and tries to take in 60. I mean, I take my hat off to you if you can get away with it and please send photographic proof. But for most of us, that alcohol will be confiscated and you’ve lost the money you spent buying it plus the money you’ll spend replacing it (festivals make these rules so that they can make more money off you- obviously). So rather than waste your pennies trying to bend the rules, just try and bend them as far as you can until it’s too obvious…

Bring A Portable Charger

This will probably be, hands down, the greatest purchase you make followed closely by plasters and Berocca. Not only will this save you money if the festival charges you to charge your phone, it’ll also prevent those hours spent wandering round looking for your mates at 5am.

Wear your valuables

When you leave your tent, take your money and your phone with you because it just isn’t worth the pain of coming back and finding your things gone.


Setting a daily budget might seem like a buzz kill but if you spend all of your money on the first day then you’ll be ruining your overall festival experience. You can budget using an app (like Loot) which will take the stress away from you whilst you’re trying to remember all of the words to your favourite songs instead. Also, try to have some spare funds for when you’ve gone a bit overboard/ been robbed. You’d be surprised at how happy you’ll be when you realise you have a spare £20 on the last day when you’re dying of thirst and haven’t eaten in the last 48 hours.

Don’t throw your bloody tent away

Oh. My. Word. Do you remember last year when you thought to yourself ‘oh fuck it! I’ll just leave my tent/ sleeping bag here’? Fast forward to now and you’re kicking yourself because you’re having to buy all new stuff. So on the last day of the festival, remember that feeling you felt walking back into Tesco for a tent this year and bloody bring it home.

And if all else fails… go abroad

Sometimes, the actual festival tickets are cheaper abroad than in the UK which I personally believe is criminal. I know you have to pay for flights and a hotel but you’re getting a two-for-one deal here; a festival and a holiday. And at least abroad you can more likely predict the weather and you probably won’t need a pair of wellies.

Original published article here.

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