Consumer: Top tips for enjoying festivals on a budget

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With Glastonbury over and done with, the summer festival season is well and truly underway.

Thousands will already have their tickets in hand for the next event – but the cost of heading to a festival can now rocket into the hundreds.

A weekend ticket alone can run to more than £200, and then there’s the necessary camping equipment, food, drink and travel to take into account.

The best way to stick to a budget and cut costs is to be organised – there’s nothing worse than having to fork out valuable festival funds for forgotten essentials.

First off, invest in a decent tent – it will last years longer than a cheaper model and you’ll be glad of a sturdy tent in the event of a downpour.

If you’re travelling by public transport, make sure you book in advance to shave some pounds off the ticket price. This goes for car parking tickets too, if you’re planning to drive, as paying on arrival often costs more than booking a pass with your ticket.

The biggest expense once you get there will be food and drink. Check out your festival policies – many allow you to take your own alcohol into the campsite, although you’ll probably have to leave it behind when you go into the arena. Take an empty bottle with you and take advantage of the free water points, instead of paying an overinflated price for water at a catering van or bar. You can also take a stove and rustle up some beans, pasta, soup or noodles. Other staples to pack include cereal bars, fruit, flapjacks or granola bars, crisps and biscuits.

Don’t forget to take enough cash with you to last all weekend – most ATMs will charge you to withdraw your cash, and even if there are free machines available, these are likely to run out of cash pretty quickly.

Lastly, just remember you’ll be staying in a tent all weekend with little to no security – if you can’t afford to lose it, don’t take it. You’ll most likely need your phone to plan meeting up with friends, so make sure you look after it and that it is adequately insured.

PIC: Simon Hulme

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