10 Ways to Save Money at Summer Music Festivals

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The temperature is slowly dropping here in Kentucky and I already have my eyes on summer. Like most millennials, attending music festivals is one of my favorite summer activities. This year I’ll be heading to the Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama for the second time and the word excited doesn’t do me justice! Although these trips can create lifelong memories, they can also leave short-term dents on your bank account. I put together this list so you can still have the best summer ever without spending all your savings.

1.) Volunteer

Probably the best bet if you are trying to save serious cash.

Usually you will have to work a few shifts and in return will receive free access to the festival. With tickets ranging from $200-$500, this is a great way to drastically reduce the cost of your trip. Festivals will usually post volunteer application forms to their websites early spring.

summer music festivals coachella

2.) Buy a Single Day Ticket

This is the way to go if you live close to the venue or are making the trip for one specific band. Keep a close eye on when the schedule is released so you know which day your favorite artists are playing. If you can forgo seeing the acts scheduled for other days, a single day ticket is your best option.

summer music festivals girls

3.) Get Cash Before Your Trip

This may be obvious for some but if you are a procrastinator like I am, listen up! Save $$$ on ATM fees by withdrawing cash before your trip. You won’t have to worry about tracking down your bank’s ATM in an unfamiliar city, or paying service charges at on site ATMs. I found out the hard way when I was in Portland this summer and discovered there wasn’t a branch of my bank within 500 miles!

summer music festivals save money

4.) Stay Should Be First Priority

Your hotel stay is usually the largest expense of a trip but it doesn’t have to be! Booking a room as far advance as possible usually guarantees you the lowest rate, but now even if you’re the last-minute type you won’t have to sell your GoPro to cover accommodations. Airbnb is an awesome service that lets you rent out a personal home or room for a rate that is usually much cheaper than traditional hotels. Or if you can hang outdoors style, pitching a tent is always an economical option.

summer music festivals trip

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5.) Set A Daily Money Allocation

These events can get really expensive and it’s incredibly easy to lose track of your finances with all the fun going on! Impulse buying will happen and you need to be prepared for that. Organizing your money in daily allotments (don’t forget travel days) will save you from going broke halfway through your trip. This tip can be used for anything in your daily life and is referred to as “The Envelope System“.

summer music festivals coachella

6.) Watch For Deals From Festival Twitter Accounts, Sponsors & Local Eateries

These festivals are major marketing events for some of the biggest brands in the world and they are doing everything in their power to get you away from the stages to check out their products. Follow the Twitter accounts of the summer festivals you’re attending as well as sponsor companies. Keep your eye out for giveaways, discount codes and promotions. Who knows, you may go home with something awesome or score backstage passes! Some of the most popular music festival’s Twitter accounts include @lollapalooza, @hangoutfest, @coachella, @GovBallNYC, and @forecastle.

summer music festivals heart

7.)  Buy A Bus/Shuttle Ticket

This step saves time and money. Festivals offer these tickets for around $50-$7o dollars and make stops throughout the day to multiple locations, including most of the popular hotels and camping grounds.

summer music festivals group

8.) If You Craft, Why Not Sell?

If you can produce things that can be used or worn at festivals chances are you can sell them inside at a decent price. Things like handmade necklaces, bags, earrings and purses are huge hits in the festival-going community and if you have a good enough demand you could cover the cost of your trip.

summer music festivals woman

9.) Pack Staples to Avoid Inflated Prices

Whether you believe it or not, the city of your festival will be anticipating the sudden influx of tourists in the area. Retailers will have higher prices while you are there and you should prepare for that as much as possible. Umbrellas, ponchos, tents and other festival staples become gold during these times so it doesn’t hurt to buy what you can at home.

summer music festivals couple

10.) Do Not Pay $7.00 For Water!

I repeat… DO NOT PAY $7.00 FOR WATER. Staying hydrated will be the number one key to success during your experience. Festivals go all day and it can get really, really hot. Dehydration can easily happen. Hydration Packs have become increasingly popular with most festivals having free refill water stations. Either load up a backpack full of water bottles (just find out the per-person limit) or bring along a handy Hydration Pack.

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10 Ways to Save Money at Summer Music Festivals

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  1. These are all great tips! I know a few people who volunteer for the Country Fest we have here and they love it…great music, new friends…what more could you ask for!?

  2. This is great! I love the tip on volunteering because you will get all of the fun for free! Great idea! I agree with the water and packing staples. Being prepared is huge!

  3. I vouch for the making sure that you have enough money for a trip – those fees are crazy!

  4. These are awesome tips! I make sure to always bring water with. The prices at the venues are unbelievable.

  5. The Hangout Music Festival sounds like a wonderful event to attend with lots of fun. And these are some great tips to save a lot of money & to me staying hydrated all through the event will be biggest priority as I usually drink lot of water even when I am at home.

  6. I have noticed that social media accounts and certain websites will offer discounts, free ticket offers and giveaways for festivals. Also, radio shows do too.

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