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How to save money at a festival

By TheStudentGuide
How to save money at a festival

The festival season is upon us but yet again, we are still feeling the pinch.

Gone are the days of partying in a muddy field for a week and then heading off abroad for a post-festival chill out. This year more than ever, people are treating their festival of choice as their one and only summer break and we want to help you make the most of it.

Seasoned festival goer Kate Proctor takes a look at the top ways to save money and party like its 1999...

Tent equipment

Wait until the last minute in order to take advantage of the annual supermarket tent war, and see who caves first - Aldi is usually a safe bet for the £10 tent. It will almost definitely only last one festival and let some water in, but it won’t break the bank. E-bay is also a great place to pick up a tent bargain. I spied a nine-person tent for sale once for only 99p, now that’s a bargain!

Getting lashed on zero cash

Always buy your booze in advance from a supermarket or cash and carry and take as much of it as you can into the festival on a sledge. If you’re heading to WOMAD, in the West Country, stop at a cider brewery and get yourself an industrial vat for a fiver to tank you up till Monday.

Work at a festival

Not for the faint hearted, but working at a festival can save you hundreds of pounds. You get a free ticket and sometimes even hot meals, a quiet camp site and clean toilets and showers. If you’re really lucky you might also get paid minimum wage. Get in touch with the people at www.stuartsecurity.co.uk who have shifts available at festivals all over the UK. Do remember that you could be watching a fence for eight hours whilst everyone else enjoys your favourite band.

Take your own food

Aim to buy just one meal inside the festival ground per day and take everything else with you. Bananas and breakfast bars are cheap and absolute essentials for kick starting your day and small enough to take into the festival ground in your pockets. Noodles and pasta sachets are good for snacks at any time. What ever you do… don’t ever, ever, ever take cheese. It will turn rancid and sweaty as soon as it goes anywhere near a tent and you will definitely be sleeping on your own. Always take spare gas for your camping stove because it will cost a fortune to buy inside the festival.

Use public transport – don’t drive

No one buys their festival tickets last minute any more, any festival worth its salt is always sold out months in advance, so there is no excuse for not sorting out your transport at the same time. Book your train tickets three months in advance and you can save up to 70% off your fare. Visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk, which sells cheaper fares than anyone else does. The Big Green Coach Company picks up festival goers from all over the country and takes them to V-Festival for about £40 for a return journey. Visit their website at www.biggreencoach.co.uk to save the environment and money on petrol and parking.

Recession festival chic

The basic concept – wear what you wore last year. Very little changes in festival fashion. Shorts, wife beaters and flip flops for the boys, unless your at Leeds festival then its jeans and bare chests for brawling later on, and cute flowery dresses and wellies for the girls. Sure, there might be a must-have hat or pair of sunglasses - like last years neon plastic slat glasses that no one could see through - but that boho-dress you wore last year will look just as good this time round. Alternatively, raid charity shops for cool vintage t-shirts or get out the spray paint and decorate those wellies to give your outfit a new lease of life.


Forget those novelty mini toiletry sets Boot’s has on offer – there is a cheaper way to keep clean. Time to head to the own brand toiletry section of your local supermarket for your shampoos, soaps, and toothpaste. These items cost only a few pence and just because they look like they were packaged in Stalinist Russia it doesn’t mean the actual ingredients are any different to well known brands.

The only thing I would not scrimp on is wet-wipes - unless you want to sport the well known festival affliction of ‘tent-face’. This is when your face puffs up into red angry weeping sore, due to the astringent chemicals found in budget facial wipes and a night spent with your face pressed up against a tent – nice!

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