We won’t sugarcoat it: Music festivals can cost a lot. Weekend passes are often several hundred dollars and don’t include travel expenses and other extras. That doesn’t mean you should skip music festivals altogether. The events are a great way to sample many different artists, meet people, and enjoy time outdoors.
Keep reading to learn more about music festival costs and money-saving moves. You’ll find out:
• What are the average costs of a music festival?
• What are the main expenses to consider when going to a music festival?
• How can attending a music festival be more affordable?
What Is the Average Cost of a Popular Music Festival?
The average cost of music festival tickets — typically for a weekend-long event — ranges from $200 to $600. If travel is required, expenses can shoot up quite quickly: Spending $2000+ in a weekend is not unusual. Transportation and lodging are often premium-priced during a festival, since businesses know they can get top dollar.
Music festival costs also depend on where the festival is located and the type of experience the attendee is looking to have. Camping out will save you money, as will skipping the VIP experience for basic tickets bought at early-bird pricing.
Recommended: Luxury for Less: How to Travel Posh
Main Expenses to Consider When Going to a Music Festival
Because everyone’s music festival experience looks different, costs can vary. That said, these are the common music festival expenses worth planning for.
Tickets for a multi-day event can cost hundreds of dollars. For instance, in 2023, general admission to Bonnaroo in Tennessee was $380 and up for four days. And passes for Coachella, in California, began at $540 for three days.
Costs will vary depending on when you buy tickets (they get more expensive closer to the actual performance date), and whether you decide to shell out for the VIP options.
Don’t forget to budget for travel for out-of-town events. Driving may cost less than flying, and some festivals offer camping passes that can save you money on hotels.
These tips on saving up for a vacation can help you project your travel costs.
Recommended: Let SoFi help you map out your next trip.
Even if you live nearby, you may need to pay for a rideshare or shuttle pass to get to the event. At the very least, remember to account for gas and parking.
Music festivals attract large crowds and visitors from around the world. That means local hotel and home rental costs can become inflated. Book early to avoid overpaying once pickings are slim.
Because music festivals have their attendees held somewhat captive for the day or days of the event, the food and drinks for sale there can be quite expensive. Think about what you pay at a concert or in an airport to get a sense of what you might need to pay.
Part of the fun for many festival-goers is planning what you’ll wear. Sure, some people are happy in their usual jeans and a T-shirt, but if you want to buy some new clothes or accessories before a music festival — be honest! — add those costs to your budget.
Recommended: What to Do If You Lose Your Wallet While Traveling
Tips for Saving Money on a Music Festival
The price tag for a music festival experience can be steep, but it can also be an amazing and memorable experience. Here are some ways to bring the costs down so you can be part of the fun.
Another way saving money can help you that’s worth mentioning: Do a great job cost-cutting, and maybe you can attend an additional festival.
Project Your Expenses
From tickets to transportation to food, plan out what the day or weekend will entail cost-wise and make a budget. This can be done in a journal, on a piece of paper, or in an app. You can also learn how to make a budget in Excel. If you can plan for this outing months in advance, you can slowly save up for it so your overall budget doesn’t take a major hit.
Once you know the total amount needed, you can divide that by the number of months until it’s time to pay for your expenses. The figure you see is how much you should save monthly to afford the festival.
Take a Pass on VIP Tickets
Music festivals often have different tiers of tickets and offer some sort of VIP experience for a much higher price than the cost of general admission. Skip these overpriced tickets, and spend the money on food or transportation instead.
Buy Tickets Early
Some music festivals offer cheaper tickets for people who book early, so don’t sleep on those good deals. If possible, save up before tickets go on sale to take advantage of early booking deals.
Book Travel Far in Advance
It can be possible to save on travel and lodging by booking those things sooner rather than later as well. (This is a wise move when trying to save money for a trip of any kind.) Once tickets are booked, try to find some travel deals. When flights and hotels get down to the last few available options, prices tend to soar.
BYO Food and Water
If allowed, pack food and lots of water to avoid overspending on food and drinks at the event. Bonus: You’ll spend less time in line and more time enjoying the music. Some music festivals won’t allow attendees to bring in their own food, but most allow water from outside sources. Not overspending on water is a great way to save money and stay hydrated while out in the sun all day.
Some music festivals offer volunteers the chance to trade work for access to the festival. It’s always worth seeing whether such opportunities are available — they may very well be worth the trade-off.
Walk Whenever You Can
If staying nearby, try walking to the event. Parking is often expensive at music festivals, and ride-share prices surge as well due to high demand.
Because it can be hard for the many attendees of music festivals to find affordable lodging nearby, some music festivals are held at campgrounds. Camping is a great way to save a lot of money versus hotel costs, and it can add to the fun of the weekend.
Music festival costs can vary greatly, but the major ones are undeniably expensive. Planning ahead for these events is one of the best ways to manage costs. By booking early, camping instead of staying at a hotel, and considering volunteer opportunities on-site, you may be able to listen to your fill of music and still have money in the bank.
Need to save up for a music festival or other short-term goal? SoFi has you covered. Open a bank account online with direct deposit, and your SoFi Checking and Savings won’t charge you any account fees, will offer you automatic savings features, and pay you a competitive APY.
Why are music festivals so expensive?
Attending music festivals can be expensive. The tickets for weekend-long events are pricey (the organizers have to cover the bands’ fees, the space, set-up, advertising, and more). Plus, if you travel to get there, you have transportation and lodging costs to contend with as well, plus food costs are part of the experience, too.
How much does it cost to hold the festival?
One reason that tickets for music festivals are so expensive is that it can cost a lot of money to host these events. It can cost millions upon millions of dollars to host a music festival — especially when top-tier musical talent is performing; their fees can be steep, in keeping with their stature.
Should I use my emergency fund for a festival?
Emergency funds are a type of savings fund specifically earmarked for unexpected expenses that interrupt daily life, such as a car repair, medical bill, or loss of one’s income. Since a music festival is a planned expense, you should not tap your emergency fund for this. Instead, it’s better to gradually save up for the cost of the festival in advance.
Should you layaway your festival tickets?
Whenever possible, it’s best not to make a purchase using a layaway arrangement, especially for an unnecessary expense like a music festival. While layaways don’t come with interest like credit cards, they do typically charge fees for spreading out the cost of the purchase. It’s best to create a budget for attending a music festival and to save up for festival tickets in advance.
Photo credit: iStock/urbazon
SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.50% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a deposit to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.
SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.50% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.
SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.50% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.
SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.
Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.
Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 8/9/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet..
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.