Saturday, 26 August 2017 16:59

Festival season is upon us - here's how to do it on the cheap

Those of us of a certain age will be counting down to festival season –  and (yay!) it is nearly upon us. There is also a bonus this year, the sun has been shining and temperatures are soaring which means it looks set to be a great musical period for the UK and for all the music-lovers out there. Bring it on.

Unfortunately, though, there are many music-mad people out there who will be missing these once- in-a-lifetime events due to the rising costs of festival tickets and the cost of travelling to get there.

In a lot of ways, you can’t be a student without going to a festival. It’s the time of your life when you get to let loose, enjoy the music you love and, basically, just be free. The British summer and music festivals go hand in hand these days and it is clear to see why so many people want to get a feel of the magic and atmosphere.

As with anything that brings this much joy and fun to people’s lives though, money is an issue.

Tickets for these kinds of events are rising all the time, and we’re not talking pennies, in a lot of instances, we’re talking hundreds of pounds; so, it isn’t something that can be just done impulsively – saving will need to be done to enjoy the day(s) the best that you can.

Which leads us onto our first point. The first thing you need to do is save for this kind of thing as soon as you have the idea that you would like to go, as nothing is cheap. Tickets are extortionate and food and drink when you get there is also on the pricey side as well.  

Set so much aside each month until the date of the festival comes and then you will be able to enjoy the event as much as possible without having to worry about money. The last thing you want is to be stressed about how much money you have spent and how you are going to manage until the end of the month.

Once you arrive at the festival, you will find that there is a plethora of things to spend money on. From food and drink stalls, to merchandise and, the all-important beer tents, and while all these will attempt to lure you in, you must be resilient and remember to stick to your budget during the period of your stay.

We’re not for one minute saying you shouldn’t let loose and have drinks – that’s what festivals are for – and we’ve all done it! What we are saying, though, is remember to be sensible when it comes to money and always be on your guard. When you’re having a good time, that’s when money gets frittered and you wake up the next day with an almighty headache (mainly because of the beer, but also because of the stress and panic over what was spent the day before!) We would recommend you withdraw cash from a cash machine at the beginning of the day – a sensible amount that you can afford – and once that money is gone, it is gone. You shouldn’t withdraw any more. Budgeting is key at an event like this where it is all too easy to blow a fortune on the first day.

If you decide to take our advice and have a set amount of money to use per day, please ensure that you keep the money safe. You must ensure that it is on your person always and you never get yourself into a drunken state whereby you don’t have control over yourself or your money.

We hate to sound like we’re putting a dampener on your festival spirit, that is the last thing we want but we know exactly what takes place at these kinds of events and whilst the majority of people are there to take in the atmosphere and enjoy their favourite bands, there will also be people there who are purely attending with a view to taking advantage of people’s drunken state. You have to be on your guard.

Another bit of advice we’d offer is to take some of your own food if you can. Snack bars at these kinds of events will cost a lot and will prove to be extremely expensive if you rely on them for all of your meals during the time that you are there. It doesn’t have to be anything too exotic. Pack some essentials like cereal bars, sandwiches, fruits and you’ll be surprised how these things will keep you going – and more importantly, will help protect your cash.

A lot of people will also think that taking their own alcohol into the festival will help to alleviate some of the money spent whilst there, but whilst this is a good idea, there are limits as to how much can be let in past security so don’t go overboard with the cases of beer just yet – look into what the limit is so not to get the alcohol taken off you before you even make it through the gates.

You should also be wise when it comes to what kind of belongings you take to this kind of thing. Don’t take anything of value. Of course, we know that people will always take things like phones, but just be extra cautious with these, and don’t take clothes that may get ruined. It’s a festival in Britain so you should expect rain and mud and lots of destroyed tents and ruined belongings.

Finally, and it is something that many students have turned to, it you want the ultimate ‘festival freebie’ you should get your name down on the volunteering or steward list. Have you ever noticed that when you get to a festival it is always people of student age directing you where to pitch your tent and giving directions as to which stage is where etc? This is because they are volunteering, but in turn, are getting to see bands and experience the festival atmosphere without paying a thing. Signing up is easy, just get online and put you name forward.

It’s all about discipline when it comes to reining in the pennies and if you can do it at a festival you can do it anywhere! 

Primarily, though, enjoy the music and the atmosphere – it certainly is a great life experience.

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