How to Stay Frugal this Music Festival Season

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Coachella unofficially launched the musical festival season. While most people are fans of the bands and performers, many complain about the rising costs of events. Money magazine noted that tickets for Coachella ranged from $400-$900.  If you’re out of town, you have to factor in hotel, transportation, and food.

Don’t Let the Beats Break Your Budget!

As pricey as things can be, there are ways to be frugal and still have fun. With these tips, you can have an incredible time without going broke.

  1. Have a budget. Not the most fun to say, but save ahead of time for your trip. I’ve found that debt-free getaways are less stressful. Besides knowing ahead of time how much money you have to spend will most likely keep you from buying things you’ll regret later.
  2. Stay with a local. Have a friend in the area? See if you can hang with them and you both attend the festival with you. Since you’re saving big on hotel, maybe you can cover their ticket or work out some other deal.
  3. Split costs with friends. If you’re going as a group, you can share some of the costs. If you go with a festival travel package, splitting the costs can make a huge difference. I saw a deal for Coachella where it was $3,000 for two or $4,100 for four people.
  4. Shop around and build your own package. Just because the festival organizers have a package available doesn’t mean those are your only options. You can still try and bid to get cheaper rates on your flights and hotel.
  5. Go camping. Yep, I said camping. Did you know Coachella and Stagecoach has their own options for camping? Not free by any means, but it can be a more affordable option. If you have an RV, you can also score a good deal. The sites I saw had all the usual amenities plus some bonuses like pool and spa.
  6. Eat up before you go. Make sure you’re not hungry as soon as you’re in the festival. Food gets pricey so go ahead and have a solid meal and your water bottle handy.
  7. Speaking of loading up, come prepared. Have your bag ready with supplies like sunscreen, a safe spot or your electronics (don’t want beer to get on them!), poncho, and some cash. Many festivals have ATMs, but they come with high fees.
  8. See if you can volunteer. Though not always an option, it can be a way to get a discounted or free ticket.

One last tidbit, make sure you’re familiar with the festival particular rules. Some allow you to bring in one closed bottle of water while others are more strict. And don’t try to break the rules. I’d hate for you to miss out on some great shows (not to mention your money!) because you got kicked out.

This season is a great time to enjoy the music, weather, and fun. Being frugal doesn’t mean you have to skip out on the festivals. Go out, have fun, and just remember to keep an eye out for your budget.

What’s your best tip for enjoying the festivals on a budget?

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