How to: Spend less at a festival

Featured in NXG‘s May/June issue

1. Book your travel in advance
Before you have even arrived at the festival site, make sure that you book your travel to the site well in advance. This means mapping out your journey and finding out which train times are the cheapest. As the festival weekend gets closer, train tickets prices increase, so make sure you have already booked yours.
Unfortunately most festival sites are not right next to the station, and although you will be weighed down with tents, sleeping backs and crates of beer, resist the temptation of getting a taxi when you get off the train. All festivals put on coaches to and from the event site, most will charge between £5 and £8 for a ticket, but this is a lot cheaper than shelling out for a taxi.
Alternatively, if you are driving, make sure you find the most concise route and split the petrol cost equally between all passengers.

2. You are not the Queen of Sheba

Let us face it, it is a festival, not a weekend away at a five star hotel. You are not going to have the best sleep in the world, not matter what you do. A sleeping bag with a folded up towel/clothes is more than sufficient.
Do not waste your time and money buying pillows, blow up mattresses and duvets. All that extra cost for barely any extra comfort, just make the most of ‘sleeping rough’. After all, you are not there to sleep.

3. Take cash with you
Queues at the cash machine are always heinous, but that is not the worst of it- you are likely to face a £2.50 charge (or more) for each withdrawal. Now I know you might not be particularly comfortable carrying around all your cash- this is why we suggested the secret money pouch in the festival fashion section.
It is safe and secure, so you do not have to worry about it falling out of your pocket when you are dancing, and God forbid, if you get mugged, they will take only what is in your pocket and your secret stash will stay safe.

4. Cook your own food
Take your own food with you and cook it on a portable BBQ. Buying snacks and breakfast materials from a supermarket is also a great money saver. Of course you want to steer clear of dairy produce and foods that need to be refrigerated- unless you plan on eating it on the first day.
Buy crisps, biscuits, eggs, snack bars, sausages and bacon (if you have a cooler) and do not forget litre bottles of water- you will be able to fill them up at the water taps without having to spend money buying them inside the arena.

Bring your own booze. It is probably the biggest outgoing cost for any festivalgoer. Trail your local supermarkets for some great deals for crates of beer and cider, with any luck it will be enough to last you the whole three/four days and it will save you a bundle – £15 for 18 cans as opposed to £4 for one pint.


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