How to save money at music festivals

The festival season is fantastic, whether it be Glastonbury, Boardmasters or any others, festival goers can face some hefty expenses. We take a look at how you save money whilst still enjoying all the festival fun.

Save money at music festivals

As Jasmine Birtles, founder of moneymagpie.com and financial expert comments: “From Benicàssimm to Boardmasters, the summer months mark the start of festival season.

“Whether you’re staying in the UK or a festival jet setter, you’re likely to have a few expensive days out ahead of you.”

So with help from Jasmine, here are 10 money saving tips for festival-goers:

1. Buy your festival tickets early

Most festivals offer cheaper early bird tickets. In fact many put their tickets on sale as soon as the previous year’s festival ends. Try buying your tickets as far in advance as possible to save money.

2. Take advantage of ticket deposit schemes

Many festivals offer deposit schemes, which allow you to pay for your ticket in instalments. Where offered, this is a great way to lock in lower ticket prices when the first batch of tickets are released.

3. Protect against theft

Protect against theft

Whilst many festival goers are not going to be causing trouble or stealing, taking huge amounts of cash at festivals could make you a target for any thieves and pickpockets that there are.

A particular problem in crowded areas.

Look out for festivals where card payments are accepted.

Some festivals now, like Boardmasters for example, will have 100% card acceptance, meaning you don’t need to carry lots of cash with you.

4. Try and get in to the festival for free

This isn’t as unrealistic as it at first may seem.

The reason being, several charities regularly look for volunteers to work at festivals to promote their cause. If you do this then you can get into the festivals for free and do good at the same time.

5. Cashless ease and card protection

Using your card has the added benefit of consumer protection.

If you lose cash or have it stolen, it is gone forever. With a Visa card for example, you are protected from fraudulent use if it is stolen, removing the unnecessary risk of carrying around large sums of money.

Also going cashless at festivals can mean quicker service at bars and food stalls, especially if you use contactless so you can tap and go.

6. Make a list and share essentials

Make a list

Make a list of the essentials you and your group will need.

By working together, not buying unnecessary duplicates and coordinating who is packing what before you go, your load will be lightened.

Importantly too, you will most likely be able to save money by avoiding paying a premium for items once on site.

You will also hopefully ensure you don’t forget to bring anything vital!

7. Get cheaper festival transport

Depending on your distance and the size of your group, consider how best to get to the festival venue. Shuttle buses and carpooling for example can save you money and are better for the environment.

8. Don’t waste money on flashy outfits

Whilst part of the fun of festival season is dressing up, don’t spend a lot of money for one-off outfits.

Think creatively about where you can get your outfits from.

How about raid a relative’s wardrobe, or ask your friends? Maybe look online for cheaper pre-owned alternatives or visit a local charity shop?

9. Be smart with your phone

Mobile payments such as Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay provide a quick and easy way for you to pay.

Just load your card payment details onto a compatible service and you can use mobile pay when you’re at festivals such as Boardmasters.

10. How about being a festival jet setter?

Be a festival jet setter

Festivals such as Benicàssim in Spain or Coachella in America can take music fans further afield and may not cost as much as you think.

Paying with a card abroad can be as safe as at home and comes with all the same consumer protection.

Whether you’re paying for food or drink at the festival or settling the bill at bars and restaurants, choosing to pay in the local currency will save you money as you can avoid extra fees.

You may want to consider a prepaid currency card.

Point to note regarding card payments at Boardmasters:

Visa is sponsoring the music and surf festival Boardmasters this year and is working with Square to bring up to 100% card acceptance to the festival for the first time in its 36 year history. Merchants will have access to Wi-Fi throughout the venue as part of the agreement and Visa will equip merchants with 350 mobile point of sale terminals. This is set to completely change the way festival goers make purchases at the festival.

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