Being a dedicated electronic music fan can get pretty costly, especially if you’re heading to all the major (and expensive) shows and festivals. Luckily there is a cost-conscious way to see all of today’s hottest artists and performances while saving a few cents along the way. Keep reading and take notes, because we’re about to break down the best ways to save some cash at electronic music festivals.
1. Make Your Selection
There are plenty of festivals and shows throughout the year that we’d love to attend, but unless we win the lottery, we’re probably not going to make it to all of them. This is when it’s crucial to start making lists. Some festivals are more expensive and some are more important than others. You’ll want to make a list of the shows for the year that you’d like to attend and work down from there. Create a realistic budget for ticket allowances and mark off the shows you can do without. With the process of elimination, you can help to create an epic (and affordable) performance timeline. Management is key.
2. Cross Examine Artist Locations
If you’re planning on hitting up Ultra to catch Calvin Harris, you might want to see if he’s performing at any nearby venues during that time for a fraction of the cost. While it’s a few hundred dollars to get into Ultra, you can see Mr. Harris for much less at a nearby nightclub. Sometimes you can get into multiple venues to see your favorite artists while still staying well under the cost of a big-name festival ticket.
3. Buy Tickets Early
With most electronic music events, there are oftentimes pre-sales and early-bird specials available to those who are planning on saving. This is when it’s the easiest to get an affordable ticket. Keep your eye on festival, venue, and artist websites, as well as social media outlets to stay up to date with all the latest ticket info. These savings are usually substantial so buy early.
4. Volunteer For Perks
A lot of our favorite festivals are in serious need of volunteers, so investigate and apply as early as possible. With many volunteering gigs available today, it’s more than likely that you won’t be asked to work the entire day, so you’ll still be able to hear the music and enjoy the atmosphere. Don’t forget that volunteering comes with perks, like free entry.
5. Lay Out Your Travel Options
Yes, we all want to fly first class, but it’s not always logical. Sometimes you can catch a ride on the Greyhound or a Megabus for a cheap fare. If you’re planning on traveling with some friends, consider renting a car and splitting the cost between everyone. Remember, there are many other transportation options that are not only more fun and more convenient, but are also much cheaper.
6. Focus On The Event, Not The Accommodations
Ever heard of the saying “sleep when you’re dead”? Let’s apply that now. Attending a show is all about the music, not about comfort. An electronic music adventure has no time for sleep, so allot more funds for your musical experience by passing on the five-star resort. Opt for cheap options, like camping, and spend more time making memories because you won’t miss the sleep. We promise.
7. Load Up On Munchies
Food spendings can add up quickly, so before heading out on your trip, make sure you bring along a cooler or pack some non-perishables. Whether you’re going for the day or the weekend, store-bought food can help you to save a lot. A meal for four of deli-meat sandwiches and chips typically costs less than just a one-person meal and a sub-par restaurant. Note: try to load up on meat, tofu, and/or vegetable-rich meals to help you stay full for longer.
8. Manage Your Alcohol
Let’s face it: alcohol can be expensive. While nixing the alcohol would absolutely be the most cost-effective way to save, we realize that it may not be the most realistic for you party animals. This is where pre-gaming actually serves an economical purpose. Down some brews before you head in and consider leaving your pretentious taste at the gate. Mid-grade beverages are much more cost effective than the frilly drinks, and the outcome between the two is just about the same. There’s nothing wrong with bottom shelf when we’re talking dollar bills.
9. Bring Enough Cash
Saving money is the right idea here, but you don’t want to be left without any cash. Being forced to use the ATM is no way to save money. A $5 surcharge may not seem like a lot, but it adds up. Before you head through the festival gates, figure out how much you’re willing to spend and bring that amount. Careful: bringing too much money not only endorses overspending, but it also comes with a higher risk of getting lost.
10. Avoid Merch Tables
Sorry, artists, but on-site merchandise is where companies can markup and make a greater profit. If you’re smart about it, you can order gear online for cheaper. Do some research when you get home because you can usually get merchandise and CDs much cheaper in stores or online. A few days isn’t going to hurt, especially if purchasing at the event is going to break the bank.