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Don't Break the Bank: Six Ways to Save Money at Music Festivals

Mainstage of Ultra 2018- Photo from Ultra Music Festival

After the mass hiatus from social gatherings last year, one plus is the large amount of extra time for saving money. Over this time you might have saved up for your next festival or big show. However much you saved for your next festival, it’s a fair assumption that you want to make it last. In that light, here are some tips on how to get the best bang for your buck.


Now this one is common knowledge, but always worth reiterating. It is no secret that alcohol at a music festival is expensive and it can be so tempting to shell out $13 when you suddenly have a craving for a refreshing seltzer or vodka cran. Rest assured, this is not your only option. Some music festival’s are fine with you bringing your own alcohol and I would like to tip my hat to them. In this situation, grab a few bottles, beer, or seltzers, throw them in a big cooler, and you are good to go. This not only applies to alcohol but also with other notoriously overpriced drinks like coffee and tea. Some festivals allow gas canisters which you can use to boil water. If not then an electric travel kettle can work well too. Overall, if you bring your own drinks that would normally cost an insane amount of money at a fest, it's an easy way to keep your hard earned money in your pocket.

Bring a Reusable Water Container

You definitely have heard this one before albeit in an eco-friendly context. However, bringing your own reusable water container to a fest can certainly save you a good chunk of money. Not having to buy the overpriced bottles of water, especially when the festival is only offering Voss, Fijii, or Disani if you are on a budget, will definitely keep you from running dry. Depending on your budget for a water bottle, buy one that is well insulated and can keep hot beverages hot and cold beverages cold for hours at a time. On top of that, most popular festivals would have taps and fountains where you can refill your water bottle for free.

Bring Your Own Food

This is another obvious one but still worth mentioning. At the very least you should pack food and snacks that are easy and involve minimal preparation. From fruits, dried fruits, nuts, granola, oatmeal, etc. There is no shortage of appropriate options. Check with the festival rules to see if gas canisters are allowed as it will open the door to be able to cook more involved meals which would certainly be a fun activity with your festival crew.

Explore the Food Vendors

Now if cooking isn’t an option, a good alternative is knowing all of your options before buying food. Festivals can have great food you don’t want to miss out on an you may finding yourself with an inexplicable craving for a burger after passing by a burger stand. However, food at a festival already tends to be expensive, so if you are going to spend money on food then it would be wise to have walked around the place and find the best food option. This is a sure fire way to make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck out of a purchased meal.

Think twice before buying Merch

When your at a festival, you may be tempted to buy something as a souvenir. There are so many unique and enticing vendors, selling everything from shirts and hats to kaleidoscope glasses and pashminas. But before you buy that feather headdress or face paint set, ask yourself, “Do I really need this”. While a lot of fun can be had with these pieces, knowing whether if it’s just going to sit in your closet for who knows how many years is key before making a purchase. If anything, wait until the last day of the festival since prices are cheaper then.

Be economical with your outfits.

I’m not going to pretend that people shouldn’t care how they look at a festival. Putting together a flashy outlet with flower garlands and sparkles is a huge part of the fun at festivals. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that it is very likely that your outfit will be damaged or heavily worn by the time the festival is over. It is certainly a better idea to leave your expensive clothes and items at home and try to make your own festival outfit. You can come up with something much more sentimental anyway. Give some extra time before your next music festival and hit up some thrift stores and boutiques. You would be surprised how awesome of an outfit you can make.

Overall a music festival is an all immersive experience, that can help you disconnect from the craziness and the stresses of life. If you follow these tips, than after the fest, you won’t come back with an empty wallet or low balance in your bank account. That will help you get ready for the next one!

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