Summer has descended on the UK at last and as we move through June, festival season is upon us once again. While clubs, pubs and an annual sun-kissed holiday might be the top leisure pursuits for mums and dads, for youngsters, attending the UK’s best music festivals is an absolute must.
Although 2018 is a fallow year for the UK’s best-known summer fling – Glastonbury – there’s still a packed calendar of festivals to choose from over the next few months. Whether it’s the double whammy of the twinned Reading and Leeds Festivals, the pure dance vibe of Creamfields, or the sun, sea and sounds of the Isle of Wight Fest, there are a lot of events to get to, as well as a lot of cash to splash on them. These feel-good fests don’t come cheap and if you’ve got a festival-loving young one in your family, you may be wondering how costs will be covered.
New findings by British finance company Progressive Money shows that, over the last decade, festival popularity has grown – but so too have the price tags for tickets. The average festival ticket now costs £165.00, 66% more than it would have done in 2008. If your son or daughter wants to go to one or more of the biggest UK festivals, the price climbs above £200.00, and that’s before they’ve even begun to look into travel, food, drink or other expenses.
Attending that festival starts to look very expensive indeed when you consider that the National Minimum Wage is just £4.20 an hour for workers under 18 years old. Between the ages of 18 and 20 it jumps £1.70 (to £5.90), and from age 21 to 24 it’s £7.38. This means that an under 18 with a casual job would have to put in 40 hours of work – a full-time week – simply to afford the average festival ticket at £165, excluding any additional costs.
As the parent of a potential festival-goer, you want your kids to have a fantastic time, while being well aware of how hard it can be for students to manage money, work and education. It may be tempting to open up the ‘bank of mum and dad’ to ease their way but your own cash flow might not always allow you to be so generous. Additionally, saving for these big experiences can provide kids with an excellent lesson in money management, delayed gratification and avoiding unnecessary debt. With all this in mind, we’ve pulled together a few top money saving (and making) tips to help you avoid digging deep for festival season.
Know your ticket
Many festivals, in an attempt to ease the cost for teens and students, do offer reduced rate pricing for under 18s and those in full time education. Make sure your kids are thoroughly checking all the ticket options and any terms and conditions (such as bringing a valid student ID along to the event) associated with these to ensure they’re not overpaying.
When it comes to festival costs, teaming up with friends is always the cheaper option. Although it may be a little late to benefit this year, tickets bought as a group can work out cheaper than individual tickets or even pairs. Delivery and booking fees are often lower for group purchases and the extra costs, like petrol and food, are cheaper when you buy and travel together.
Travel is a major additional cost for festival goers, with many travelling hundreds of miles to see their favourite bands live. Planning ahead to secure the cheapest train tickets, creating a door-to-door car pool, or booking seats on super-cheap coaches are all great ideas. Some festivals also offer travel package tickets too, which can work out cheaper than buying separately.
Beg and borrow
One of the big expenses associated with festivals is the camping gear. From the tent to the sleeping bags, the coolers to the torches, none of it is cheap to buy, so why bother? Instead, get your kids to ring around family and friends to borrow what they can. Alternatively, visit online selling pages to pick up basic kit second-hand. This is especially useful when considering that the Great British weather means that any gear taken to festivals could end up both extremely muddy and a little worse for wear.
Cash in before forking out
There’s something very satisfying about making money from the items you no longer use or want. Whether online or at a car-boot sale, selling clutter to make money is an excellent habit to get into and one that will serve your kids well in the future. Taking stock of what they really value and what might earn them a few quid, then seeing the cash arrive could even inspire an entrepreneurial streak. Under 18s might need a little help here, as some online market places have age restrictions.
Go for free
If your kids are looking to save some serious cash, volunteering could be the answer. Big festivals like Glastonbury, Kendal Calling and Camp Bestival have huge teams of volunteers undertaking all sorts of roles, including stewarding, wrist-banding, bar work and more. It’s demanding work (and is often available only to those 18 years old or above), but it means being there for the atmosphere. They could enjoy the music and the thrill of it all, without spending a penny, not to mention still bagging some free time to see their favourite bands.
Pack a lunch…
…and all other meals too. Food is notoriously expensive at festivals, so a good supply of easy-to-eat snacks will save your kids plenty of cash.
The festivals they attend when they’re young could well become keystones in your children’s most treasured memories. Make sure they get there without racking up debt with these handy tips. You never know, they might just thank you when they have teenage kids of their own.