How to save money at music festivals
If you’re familiar with Canadian summers, then you know that the true heat comes in July and August. This is when all the camping trips, lake days and, of course, music festivals are planned since we can normally guarantee there will be no snow. Festivals bring thousands of people together for days of live music, fun costumes and good, greasy food. In the next few months, Calgary will welcome a multitude of electronic, country and ethnic festivals but perhaps most notably, we will host the annual folk music festival.
Calgary Folk Fest is a four-day music festival that brings with it extremely talented artists in the folk, acoustic, blues and alternative genres. It’s held on Prince’s Island Park just north of downtown, so you can take in the sunshine by the river and listen to your heart’s content. As amazing as this sounds, festivals are never cheap. After you pay for your ticket and accommodations, there are still food, drink, souvenir and transportation costs to cover. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy yourself while still going home with a few dollars in your pocket.
- Plan ahead. Bet you’ve heard this one before. All you need to do is: convince your friends to go and buy the tickets – voila. If only planning a festival was this easy! However, if you are able to buy the early-bird ticket, carpool with friends or buy a plane ticket months in advance – prices are guaranteed to be cheaper. Worse comes to worst, you sell the early-bird ticket for the regular price closer to the date.
- Value Village run. Leave those expensive clothes at home. No one there is going to be wearing Lululemon or Hugo Boss. Plus, you’re going to want fun patterns and bright colors anyway. Dress to impress at the festival with funky hats and floral skirts.
- Don’t let your phone cost you more money. This one is very dependent on the festival, but here are some of our best tips:
- Find the FREE charging stations for your phone – they usually exist.
- If they do charge you for this service, bring your own charger and find an outlet.
- OR, take a portable battery so that no outlets are needed.
- Better yet, leave it in the tent. You don’t need it anyway.
- Manage your money. Well since this is the topic of the blog, here are the basics. Be smart with your money. Bring cash instead of a card so that you can save on those pesky ATM fees. Plus, a lot of vendors won’t even accept card payments, so you also avoid the ATM lines with cash. Find a safe place to keep it, like a hidden wallet, fanny pack or bag with you at all times. Keep your money close, literally.
If you still don’t think that a music festival fits into your budget, you could always apply to be a volunteer. This usually allows you free admission to the event in exchange for a number of volunteer shifts. Free and fun, what’s not to like about that?!