For some, music festivals are a “once in a while” event. They’re a great way to unwind and spend a few days enjoying your favorite artists. For others, though, festivals are a way of life! You might find yourself hopping from one music festival to the next, all across the country. And, with over 32 million people attending festivals each year, you’re in good company.
While living a music festival lifestyle can be freeing and fun, it can also be pricey.
Ticket prices are consistently going up, but that’s only the beginning. You have to consider everything from transportation to food, along with housing to avoid spending all of your money on merch booths.
So, how can you afford a music festival lifestyle if it’s something you’re truly passionate about? We’ve got a few tips that will help you enjoy multiple festivals each year without blowing your budget.
Deciding to live a music festival lifestyle will require you to be completely aware of your financial situation. That means building a budget you can live with. Budgets are different for everyone, but a standard financial plan includes:
- Fixed expenses
- Variable expenses
- Discretionary expenses
- Financial goals
When you sit down to look at your expenses each month, you might be surprised by the “little things” that pop up along the way.
Subscription services, entertainment choices, and even dining out can add up quickly – especially if you only check on your finances periodically. Make sure to check your finances regularly, so you can find easy ways to save or reallocate money. Things like only going out to eat once a week, or canceling entertainment subscriptions you don’t necessarily need are all ways you can save while planning for a music festival.
But, if you feel like you’re in over your head when it comes to sorting out your finances, take a step back. Consider working with a financial advisor or an accountant to set yourself up for success.
A financial advisor can offer you insight and evidence-based suggestions on how to make money in the future, while an accountant will help you to manage your current cash flow. Consider your goals and what you want your music festival lifestyle to look like before deciding on the right professional.
In addition to saving money and cutting out unnecessary expenses, you can fund your music festival lifestyle by making more money. If you have a busy schedule between school, work, and attending the festivals, however, you may not have time to work at a part-time gig such as a server at a local cafe.
The gig economy, on the other hand, can be a great alternative for festival attendees to save up the money when they need to without necessarily committing to a part-time or full-time position.
The gig economy has seen continued growth over the last few years – especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of April 2021, as many as 55 million people in the U.S. were gig workers.
The great thing about working in the gig economy or taking on a “side hustle” is that you can still go to as many festivals as you want. Gig workers take on as much work as they want/need. Once you build up a steady client base, you can work from anywhere, which means you can travel from fest to fest and make a steady income at the same time.
If you want to take things one step further, consider combining your love of music festivals with a potential career.
Working as a music reviewer or travel blogger is a great way to combine your passions while making money. Every time you go to a festival, you surround yourself with thousands of people interested in the same things as you. Imagine the audience you could target by writing about those experiences. The median salary for a travel writer in 2019 was over $63,000. With the right clients and audience, you can make a lucrative living that takes you around the globe.
- Spending money on drinks
- Buying food from vendors or going out to restaurants
- Indulging in concert items or rare merchandise
- Making your costumes or band clothes
- Buying your supplies in bulk to take with you
Setting a budget ahead of time and working to find a side hustle or part-time job both take time. They also take a lot of planning. Don’t let your wheels stop turning once you’re ready to go to the festival, or once you’re on the grounds.
With a little planning ahead, you can save money on transportation, food, drinks, and merchandise. It’s okay to be flexible (especially when you’re confident in your budget), but by knowing how to be more frugal at every festival, you’re less likely to run into a sticky financial situation.
Living a music festival lifestyle can be an endless source of fun, entertainment, and excitement. If it’s something you want, understand that you might have to make some changes in your financial situation to reach that goal. But, when you have a better understanding of your finances and how to keep them in check, living this lifestyle is easier and more fulfilling than most people might think.
By Adrian Johansen