The summer festival season is quickly approaching, especially with Coachella just ending April 16. Here is some experienced advice on how to make your festival experience affordable and fun.
My first tip is to set a spending limit. Are you unsure how much the limit should be? Make it the cost of your ticket. Your ticket(s) for entry and camping should be the most expensive thing you buy therefore when it comes down to food or merchandise, don’t go over what you spent on the tickets.
When it comes to camping, make sure to bring food so you aren’t stuck buying the outrageously expensive venue food. Although the idea of getting a little propane grill to take and cookout on might seem appealing, it is something that can be skipped when budgeting.
Keep it simple and keep it healthy. Apples, trail mix, and peanut butter can quickly become your best friend when going to festivals on a budget. If you are willing to take a gamble, you can bring a cooler with some hotdogs or cookout food of your choice. It is likely you will meet someone who is more than willing to let you use their grill.
Air mattresses and coolers are on the list of things that can make your total add up really quick. In place of an air mattresses, I’ve seen people use pool floats and layers of foam bed toppers as a much cheaper option. If you are looking for an even cheaper way, you will survive with layers of blankets.
For coolers, my advice is to look for Styrofoam coolers. These are super affordable, the ones I used were only two dollars. For me they held up well and kept my drinks cool up until the last day of the 2-day festival. Instead of buying ice to add to your cooler, freeze water bottles. This saves space and money.
If you can’t afford lawn chairs for your camp site, make a comfortable lounging area with a kid sized blow up pool and blankets. If you are looking for an even simpler option, a blanket on the ground will do just fine.
Everyone usually wants a festival t-shirt, and if you are not worried about the exact style of the shirt wait till one of the ending days of the festival. The prices will be significantly reduced; however, do not buy t shirts in the parking lots without checking them first. These shirts can be cheaply made and can sometimes be from the previous festivals.
Be smart about it, don’t rely on people coming around to the camping areas selling cheaper t-shirts because this could leave you without one.
If you happen to choose a festival who requests that you pay to shower, my advice is to not. When packing, invest in a can of dry shampoo. Bandanas and braids are also life saviors.
When it comes to what to wear, comfort over style. Make sure whatever shoes you decide to wear are close toed and are something you can walk around in all day. It is smart to consider spending some money on sole inserts because sore feet can lead to you not enjoying the festival.
For clothing my advice is to again keep it simple. Avoid dresses and skirts, these will quickly become a burden when it comes to dancing, moshing, sitting down on the ground, or just walking if the day is windy. If you can’t avoid wearing dresses or skirts, a pair of spandex shorts underneath will be very beneficial.
During the festival stay hydrated. Some festivals, like Warped Tour, offer free water stations. Take advantage of these stations, the line goes a lot quicker than you might think.
At festivals lots of bands play, make sure to visit a band you have never heard of before, these can be awesome surprises and a way to branch out into new music.
Do not forget earplugs and pain reliever while at a festival. When it comes to earplugs, simple cheap ones will do but my preference is acoustic filters; they reduce the sound without diminishing the quality of the music.
It is likely with the music being so loud you will get a headache, my advice is to take some pain reliever in advance, and this will prevent the problem before it starts.
Overall, stay hydrated and comfortable, watch what you spend and take in all the festival has to offer. This will easily lead to a great and memorable experience.