Your essential festival survival guide

It’s the time of year when music aficionados pray for decent weather and anticipate the set lists of their dream festival headliners (sorry, Foo Fighters fans).

But, when taking into account ticket prices, food, drink and travel, the cost of heading to a festival can rocket higher than an encore firework.

Back in 1970, when the Glastonbury festival first graced the Somerset fields, admission set you back £1.

Fast forward 45 years, and a weekend pass to Europe’s biggest music festival will make a dent of £220 in your bank balance, plus all the associated costs before and during the event. 

One of the best ways to make sure you stick to your budget is to get organised. We’ve created a helpful printable packing checklist to ensure you’ll avoid having to fork out on anything you’ve forgotten. After all, who wants to pay over the odds for a rain poncho that is essentially a sheet of plastic?

Whether you’re heading to one of the bigger festivals or staying local, we’ve come up with some suggestions to ensure you’re not left penniless after your weekend of shenanigans.

Check out our money-saving tips:

  1. Travel tidy: If you’re travelling by public transport, book your tickets in advance. You’ll cut the cost of your tickets and avoid the queues. You could even snaffle a seat reservation (minus your rucksack and kit, of course).
  2. Refresh yourself: Food and drinks can easily chip away at your budget, especially if you’re at a festival for more than a couple of days. Arm yourself with plenty of snacks and ‘mixers’ to ensure you’re fed and watered throughout the festival.
  3. Battle bottle overload: Why buy endless bottles of water at £2 a go? Take a reusable bottle with you and top-up-at-the-tap for free.
  4. Avoid withdrawal symptoms: Take plenty of cash with you. There might be free ATMs dotted around, but after a few days it’s likely the fee-charging machines will be the only ones in action. Additionally, divvy-up your cash into a daily budget so you have enough to see you through – and look after it at all times.
  5. One, two, three, forecast: Prepare for a range of weather conditions. Take extra layers for colder evenings as well as sunscreen and a waterproof jacket. And big shoes or boots. And maybe a snorkel.
  6. Fuel the fire: Split your petrol costs by buddying-up with fellow festival-goers. It is also worth buying your parking permit before the festival starts, as getting it when you arrive will cost you more (and you’ll have to use some of your cash).
  7. Guard your gadgets: Your phone is a must-have when coordinating with your friends on where to meet. Losing it or having it stolen is certain to cause a post-festival headache, so check your mobile is adequately covered. Take a look at the terms and conditions of your contents insurance to see if your policy includes cover away from home. Alternatively, gadget insurance will save you having to pay out for a new mobile once you’re back to your day-to-day routine.


Did you enjoy that? Why not share this article

Take control of your energy bills

Our handy tips and tools will help make sure you never overpay again

Popular guides