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Top 10 Festival Money Saving (and making!) Tips

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Woodford Folk Festival 2016
The crowd at Woodford Folk Festival 2016

If you LOVE summer festivals but have to choose only one or two each year, then read on. We attend loads of festivals each year, and have collected some valuable tips throughout the years that should make it easier for you :)

1. Work or volunteer at the festival

All festivals have a volunteer option where you exchange a few hours a day for your ticket. If you have a 'special skill' you can offer this as a workshop or healing space, again in exchange for your ticket. If you would like to actually earn some cash while you're there, most of the food and juice stalls regularly require staff. Some advertise for staff to do the whole festival season with them!

Volunteers at Womadelaide
Volunteers at WOMADelaide festival

2. Follow/ like your favourite festivals

Lots of them will have competitions on facebook or twitter leading up to the event for free tickets. All of them will post when earlybird tickets go on sale so you don't miss out. Some festivals offer deals or group discounts, so get a few people together before you purchase tickets.

3. Make use of the cloakroom / bring a backpack

Take a bag into the festival with a jacket, hat, sunnies (all the things you won't be bothered to go back to the campsite for and will probably impulse buy them inside the festival) and leave it in the cloakroom (or carry it). It might be sunny at 10am, but at 10pm you might be tempted by that lovely warm, comfy poncho you've had your eye on all day :)

Festival Backpack Parade

4. Check if you mobile phone provider has any festival deals or offers

This is a surprising one, but often Vodafone and Optus have giveaways, deals, and even secret toilets for customers! Technically not a money saving tip, but definitely free stuff up for grabs.

Secret toilets
Secret toilets!

5. Search the ground for dropped drink tickets

While technically not the best look, it does work! A trip to the main stage after a big name band at our last festival produced 48 drink tickets! Not to be scoffed at :) Some festivals offer the old recycled can trick, where they put the price up initially and then give you a return refund, do it if it's all you've got. Alcohol is THE biggest expense at festivals - the prices are usually outrageous, so this is a big one. Alternatively, opt for BYO events (there are not many, but every now and then...)

6. Use your trade qualifications 

For example, if you're a photographer, approach the stallholders to take some high quality, amazing photos for their festival applications. If a qualified electrician, bring your test and tag gear and again, go around the stalls area charging to test and tag their leads.

7. Do all your shopping on the last day

It's common for stalls to hold 'sales' on the last day so as to not have to lug all their stock back home.

Surya Market Stall at Rainbow Serpent Festival
Surya market stall at Rainbow Serpent Festival

8. Arrive at the festival early

and set up your camp as close as possible to the entrance. If you really do forget something, you can duck back to camp and avoid impulse and/or emergency purchases once inside. Some festivals have pre set up glamping sites for hire - if you can afford this they are usually far closer to the venue than regular camp sites.

Glamping at Spendour in the Grass
Glamping at Splendour in The Grass 2017

9. Cook a big breakfast every day

Like festival alcohol, festival food is ridiculously expensive. With the average price of a plate often well over $10, every meal you don't buy is a bonus. Our tried and trusted game plan is: a big bowl of cereal in the morning, for lunch a roll with egg, avo, rocket, mushy, sprouts and cheese (which you can leave in the cloakroom), but for dinner we give in to all the delicious smells and buy a plate. It saves us around $50 a day by doing this!!

Big festival breakfast!
Big Festival Breakfast by Life is a Festival!

10. Work For Us!

We're always looking for reliable people to help out / run the stall for us all around the country. These are paid positions so time 'out and about' may be limited, of course you'll be able to see your favourite bands though. Please get in touch with us if you're interested and let us know what you can do!


Until next time,

Mel Xx

We're committed to Ethical Trade


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