How to Budget for the Festival Season



Image Credit: iStock

Sun, music, sleep outs, singing and dancing, there's really no better time of year for it. But non-stop partying and road trips can really thin out your wallet. That’s why we’ve put together the best tips on how to budget for the festival season, so you can have fun all summer long.

Op-shop into festival wear

Every festival season starts with the right look. You need fashion to dance in without getting too hot (or too cold) and it's got to either be durable enough to last the festival circuit or disposable enough that if it's ruined, c’est la vie.

Forget going online. Op-shopping is probably the best way place to start your festival fashion search. Not only are op-shops full of cheap outfits perfect for the festival budget, you're also more likely to find unique looks so you don't look too 'off the rack’.

Other essential items include a pair of wellies for when things get muddy underfoot, a hat to keep the sun off, and one of those quick dry towels for, you know, towel stuff.

Camp, glamp or campervan

Committed festival veterans know accommodation can weigh heavy on your credit card. Still, if you're travelling all the way round this great southern land chasing that endless festival summer you're going to need a place to lay your head.

Camping or renting a campervan can take some of the sting off your accommodation budget. There's stacks of beautiful spots along the coast where you can camp and save yourself a bundle on accommodation, all while expecting a little more of the great outdoors.

If you’re camping, don’t forget a sleeping bag. Even in the summer, it can get cold at night.

Enter every contest you can

Nothing eases the budget pressure like freebies. The obvious course of action is to check out websites for radio stations, bands, promoters and other sources for ways to win free tickets and enter as many as you can. Get friends and family to enter too (even if they're not going).

You can also enter contests for free accommodation or other prizes that might benefit you. Hell, why not try and win a car. At least you'll have something snappy to drive you try festivals in.

Go vego and don't forget your cash

When it comes to festival food stalls, cash is generally all they are taking. But this can work in your favour. If you only bring what you need, you're less likely to overspend.

Food stalls also aren't exactly cheap. One way frequent festivalees (is that a word?) save money is sticking to the vego options. They're cheaper, and can be a bit lighter on the tummy.

Image Credit: iStock

Be picky

Sometimes, less is more. A shortlist of the festivals that really matter to you can help put this into perspective. Consider questions like:

  • Who do you love in the lineup?
  • Is it near any other festivals?
  • Have you been to this festival in the past?
  • Are you looking for the big acts or more indie artists?

If you just want to fill your schedule with festivals, then seek out cheaper and even free festivals. If you’re desperate to see just a few big acts, you might have to settle for fewer (but bigger) festivals.

Stay hydrated

Festival summers are synonymous with overheated revellers. Don't be a day 3 dropout. Keep it hydrated by downing plenty of H2O. It's free at most festivals and is better substitute for alcohol which will eat into your budget and your energy levels.

Become a journalist… or a roadie

Want free entry to festivals and AAA backstage passes. Maybe what you really want is a career in the biz. Music journalist, photographer, roadie, audio technician. There's plenty of ways you can get paid for attending festivals without breaking the bank.

Whatever you do this summer, be sure to make the most of your time. No regrets, just get out there and have a blast.

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