4 Tips for Attending Summer Concerts and Festivals—Without Going Broke
Summer is a time of the year where the concert lineups are as hot as the weather. From Lollapalooza to Bonnaroo to Electric Daisy Carnival, the warmer months of the year provide multiple chances to see your favorite artists perform across the country.
Unfortunately, even early-bird pricing for big events can be pretty steep—the average ticket price for Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza in 2016 were $386 and $266, respectively.
While it’s hard to come by discounted tickets, we’ve looked for other opportunities to help you save money as you attend summer concerts—from cheap accommodations to deals on your outfit. Below you’ll find tips to help you enjoy your festival experience and have enough cash left over for the next show.
TIP: check out the Live Nation Summer 4 Pack offer where you can buy 3 tickets and get 1 free!
1. Book Travel Plans Early to Get the Best Options & Rates
Concert lineups can be announced up to six months in advance, and you can find some great discounts on your flight, hotel, and rental car if you book early.
For example, plane tickets are usually less expensive if you buy them between three weeks and 3.5 months beforehand. Using a site like Expedia, you can fine-tune your flight details—including airport location, time of day, and airline preference—to hone in on the best deals.
With hotels, booking a room as far in advance as possible ensures cheaper rates and ample vacancies. Plus, you can find travel deals when you look for and book your hotel and flight together.
If you plan on camping out at the show or doing some sightseeing in the area before your favorite act takes the stage, you might consider renting a car rather than relying on ride-sharing or taxi services. There are plenty of affordable options if you’re looking for car rental deals for commuting or camping at the show.
2. Shop Sales & Use Coupons to Save on Your Festival Wardrobe
The key to concert clothing is finding that perfect mix of fashion and functionality. A versatile look featuring multiple layers will help you deal with high temperatures during the day and lower temperatures at night.
While Rihanna might be willing to spend more than $8K on her Gucci outfit for Coachella, you don’t have to break the bank to make a great impression. Retailers this summer are dedicating sections of their sites to functional, head-turning festival fashion. Plus, if you plan your look early enough, you can shop online and save money with promo codes for staple pieces at places like Revolve Clothing.
Don’t forget to consider the weather conditions at the venue. If rain is in the forecast, you’ll want to pack a poncho. If there won’t be much shade, you’ll want to bring sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen (getting a bad sunburn on the first day of a four-day festival leads to uncomfortably restless nights).
3. Carry In Food and Drink—Or Containers—When Possible
Larger festivals typically hire third-party vendors, like food trucks, to supply refreshments, which will mean stricter policies on bringing in outside food or drinks. However, some multi-day events have a more relaxed policy, and bringing in your own snacks can save you a lot of money.
For instance, Tennessee’s Bonnaroo festival lasts four days and allows those who are camping to bring outside food and alcoholic beverages in moderation. Those who aren’t camping can bring in small snacks, a factory-sealed bottle of water, and empty water bottles to fill on festival grounds.
Staying hydrated is crucial, and drinking plenty of free water is the best and cheapest way of doing so. Not only can you save with a discount on Camelbak hydration packs, but they’re also a great way to stave off thirst on the go as you walk from stage to stage.
Be sure to check ahead on each festival’s food and drink policy so you don’t run into any situations where your food is being confiscated during bag checks at the gate. For example, Lollapalooza and EDC don’t allow outside food or drinks other than empty water bottles.
4. Don’t Lose Your Cash—Use a Credit Card Instead
When it comes to attending shows, you’ll want to travel light so you can avoid lugging around what you don’t need — and that includes cash.
Mobile payments devices have become so ubiquitous with vendors that it no longer makes sense to carry cash, which could be stolen or lost, especially considering that credit cards provide added benefits like buyer protection. Not only are you not liable for fraudulent charges if your card is stolen, but you can also easily cancel a misplaced or lost card.
Plus, most issuers like Visa offer free roadside assistance so you don’t have to worry about getting stranded on the way there. And don’t forget that choosing one of the best cash back credit cards available will reward you with up to 5% back—basically free money to spend at the next show.
‘Tis the Season for Summer Festival Fun
Remember to keep your eyes peeled for early-bird specials on tickets and look for discounts on your travel and outfit essentials before you buy.
With some planning ahead, you won’t have to go into debt just to attend the summer’s hottest shows. Plus, the money you save can add up to help you buy more concert tickets.