Have you been dying to go to a music festival? You can close your eyes and envision yourself covered in rhinestones and glitter, boogieing all day into the night, and sitting in the grass whimsically blowing bubbles into the breeze while waiting to see your favorite artist. Then you open your eyes back up and reality hits… So how am I going to afford this ticket? A music festival ticket can be pretty pricey. Then adding in all the other gear, outfits, and booze can really add up quick. Here are 3 ways you can put your circular rose colored glasses back on and attend a music festival for free.
1. Volunteer with the Festival
A festival will typically start looking for volunteers 3 -4 months before the festival. Volunteer duties may include set-up, wristband scanning, recycling, survey administration, working information desks, catering, etc. There are a wide range of duties that need to be completed to put on a festival. These opportunities can usually be found in the small titles on the footer of a website. My advice is to start to hunt around months in advance. Once you find the application portal and due date, apply immediately or save it your calendar if the portal is not open. If you can’t find application start to google around on the topic. Most festivals take volunteers, but not all do. If the festival you are looking for does not have an opportunity, sometimes there is an organization partnered with the festival that takes volunteers. With a little effort and search engine scrounging, you should be able to find some leads on where to get involved.
1.5 Volunteer with a Non-Profit Organization at the Festival
Non- profits love to get involved with festivals to extend their reach and awareness. They need volunteers to help work their booths, set up, run logistics, etc. You can do some search by keywords such as Non-Profit Volunteers + Festival Name. Personally, to take this route I would look at what NPOs were at the festival last year. Many times the same organizations go to the same festivals year after year. If you find one you like, reach out to that organization, ask to be directed to the event’s chair, and then ask if they are needing help this year.
2. Work on a promotional team
Brands love to market their product, engage with consumers, and give away free swag at festivals. Being a brand ambassador at a festival is not as hard as it sounds. Most marketing agencies are looking for highly energetic and engaging people to help with their activation. Start your search 1 or 2 months before the festival. I recommend using google, Facebook, and potentially craigslist for this search. Keywords and phrases for searching would be – Brand Ambassador / Promotional Marketing + festival title / location. Example: Brand Ambassador Bonarroo or Promotional Marketing Music Festival Manchester TN.
Brand ambassadors do have to work during the festival but not the entire time. It is tough to work and enjoy a festival – but you are getting paid and getting a free wristband.
3. Sell your art or products
There are usually thousands upon thousands of people at music festivals. Are you an artist, entrepreneur, a clothing designer, hair braider, jewelry maker, face painter, etc? Many people at festivals come to network and promote their work. With this route you will have to pay for a ticket, but you can potentially make all money back you spent to come, and more based on your offerings. I have seen pop-up hair braiding and glittering stations in parking lots. My sister has purchased animal printed Korean face masks. Loads of people have shown us their artistic portfolios and we bought stickers of their designs. The festival environment is usually friendly and people want souvenirs to take home. Figure out what you can offer and network your way around. It can be a great way to make a little money and get your business out there.