Festival season is here, flags are flying, beers are flowing and melodies are floating on the breeze; it’s the perfect summer pastime. In theory…
If you’ve been slaving in the library all term, living off bowls of pasta topped with ketchup, and have been counting a pint in Spoons as a luxury then attending a festival can seem like a mirage – taunting you by shimmering in the distance but never getting any closer. They’re expensive, tiring and always miles away from you. Plus, you already know that you don’t have the funds so you’ve resigned yourself to heading back to your parents’ house for a summer of forced wake up calls, boredom eating and clean bathrooms. This is when the FOMO strikes; you’re scrolling through your Insta feed and seething as you realise that apparently EVERYONE is having the best time wearing minimal clothing and drinking until they vomit down the side of a stranger’s tent. Do not despair because Campus Industries is here to drag you from your moneyless stupor and raise you to the giddying heights of festival goer. Yes, it is possible.
An easy win is to sign up to stewarding at festivals. You get in for free, make friends with fellow stewards and still get to experience the whole festival vibe. Simple. Now yes, this would require you to actually work for some of the festival but it’s never for long and it’s not as if checking wristbands in the sunshine with your mates is particularly challenging. For more information check out http://www.oxfam.org.uk/stewarding because at the time of writing you can still sign up for positions at Bestival, Boomtown, Reading and Leeds.
Alternatively, if working at a festival isn’t your thing but you’re still lacking in dollar then it’s always worth searching out smaller festivals to attend. Glastonbury is amazing but you’re knackered before you even get there and have to leave your camp 2 hours before the band you want to see starts. Who wants that hassle? Smaller festivals, such as 2000 Trees in Gloucestershire, are less than half the price of a Glasto ticket and come with no entrance queue, amazing toilet facilities, zero distance between your car and the site, less music clashing, better band-viewing opportunities and a friendlier atmosphere that comes from being at a festival with 5,000 fans, rather than 100,000.
Once you’re at your chosen festival, there are still some things you can do to make your experience less expensive. Personally, one of my favourite parts of a festival is all the culinary delights on offer. I wander around slack-jawed at the grilled cheese, chicken burgers, falafel scotch eggs and watermelon slices until I realise that the food trucks are charging £4.50 for a serving of cheesy chips. Broken hearted, I spend the weekend watching my money disappear to ensure that I don’t die of starvation. A trick to beating the insanely overpriced food at festivals is to BE PREPARED! I hate to sound like a nagging parent but stopping off at a supermarket on the way to stock up on bananas (the god of hangover cures), apples, crisps and protein bars means that you’re not going to be spending astronomical amounts on a bacon and egg sandwich every morning. Another top food tip is to wait until about 3pm to purchase one main meal that’ll fuel you through your evening of mosh pits, beer bongs and portaloo failures. You can thank me later.
Water is your friend, not your enemy. Being drunk for 4 days straight is not an achievable goal (or it shouldn’t be!) so you need water to stay hydrated and help you sober up so that you actually remember some of your festival experience. I would suggest buying a cheap 2 litre bottle of water at your aforementioned supermarket stop off and using that as your bottle for camp: teeth brushing, washing vomit away, helping you not to pass out in the heat, etc… I would also suggest bringing a small water bottle that you can constantly refill at the free and plentiful water taps; that is unless you’re willing to spend £1.50 every time you need a sip of water.
So, next time your mates try to persuade you to buy a last minute ticket for V Fest from a dodgy tout, think about what you can do to utilise your summer and your minimal cash that still allows you to post those jealousy-inducing photos on Instagram.