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The summer is just around the corner, and for some that means wellies, beer in plastic cups, muddy campsites and some of the best live music performances of the year. Yes, we're talking about music festivals. This article explains how to save money without missing out on the fun.
Food and drink are very expensive at festivals. On top of that the food is often unhealthy, the drink choices are limited, and the queues are never-ending. Stock up before you arrive. Cereal, snack bars, fruit, nuts and cooked meat are good choices. While you often can't bring your own alcohol into the arena, you may be able to bring it into the campsite if you decant it into a plastic bottle, as glass is often banned. Many supermarkets will do drinks promotions during festival season so go online and find the best deals. Bring an empty water bottle too so you can fill it up at a tap.
If you don't own a tent and sleeping bag, ask around your friends. If you can't find anyone to borrow off, go online and try and find a good deal. Do this ahead of time so you can practise putting up the tent and make sure you have all the parts you need and that it won't fall over in the night.
Festivals are a common place for thieves, and your things can be lost, broken, or damaged by the elements. Only take the money you need, leave expensive jewellery at home, and think about getting a locker if they are available. If you are going with friends, maybe you can pitch in and share a locker.
Personal Possessions Insurance
If you have contents insurance, see if it covers your possessions outside of the home. If not, you may be able to call up your insurance policy to bolt on this coverage, or take out a separate policy. Make sure your phone, wallet, event ticket, and camping equipment will all be covered, and remember many policies have an excess of around £100, so give some thought to the benefits of an extra premium.
Charging your phone
Here are a few ideas, which is cheapest for you?
Buy two or three spare batteries for your phone and charge them all in advance Does your festival have phone charge points? How much does it cost? Will you have to wait, queue, or go out of your way to find them? Look online for a solar of wind-up phone charger. Can you share this with your friends to split the cost?
Organise Travel Early
If you're planning to take public transport, book your ticket as early as possible as bus tickets sometimes become more expensive as the journey sells out. If you're travelling by car, take as many as possible and split petrol costs. If you have space left try liftshare.com.
Wait ‘til next year
If you have bills and debts that need attended to, perhaps it's better to save up for next year's festival. Use a budget planner to make sure you're putting away a little extra each month, then try to buy Early Bird tickets if they are available, as they are often cheaper and take longer to sell out.
It's almost always cheaper to buy your event ticket from the organisers or their preferred agent, but if an event is sold-out you might have to look into alternative ticket sellers. Statistics from the Office of Fair Trade suggest that over 5000 people are victims of online ticketing scams each year, these tips will help you stay safe online:
- Be suspicious of sites that claim to be selling tickets to events that are either not on sale yet or have been sold out for a while.
- Lookup the ticket company name on a search engine to see what others have said about them. Check that the website includes a street address and a working phone number so you know they are a legitimate business.
- Read the small print or call and ask some questions. Get the full picture before purchasing, including the seat number or type of ticket, the face value price, the price they are asking, the refund policy, when the ticket will be dispatched, and how you will be notified of this.
- If the ticket price is over £100 pay by credit card and your card issuer will be jointly liable if the ticket fails to show up.
If you suspect you are already a victim of a ticketing scam, or would like more information, check out the Just Tick It website.