Festivals can turn out to be an expensive weekend, with most major festivals now charging around £200 for the weekend ticket, and this doesn’t even include food, alcohol and transportation costs. According to the Daily Mail, the average festival-goer will spend £423, which is way out of my student budget! Last summer, I went to four festivals: Glastonbury, Latitude, Y Not and Leeds – none of which I paid for.

In this post I’ll let you into my secrets of a cheap weekend full of music.


At Latitude and Leeds, I volunteered with an organisation called Hotbox Events. I can’t recommend this organisation enough. Not only did we have luxuries such as hot showers, free tea and coffee making facilities and electricity for phone charging and the indispensable hot water bottle, everyone was so friendly and welcoming. I made many friends, with whom I hope to remain in contact.

At Latitude, I worked alongside security as a member of the arena team for two 8-hour shifts, which I found passed quickly and were extremely enjoyable. By pure chance, my position was on the backstage access gate and I had conversations with people such as George Ezra, Danielle and Este Haim, members of Clean Bandit and Temples. This was fantastic as I could still hear the music from the main stage and the security guards kept bringing us tea and coffee. I honestly had a fantastic time during my shifts.

Latitude Festival

Chilling one afternoon by the main stage at Latitude Festival

During Leeds Festival, I was working as a CAT (Campsite Assistant Team). My duties essentially comprised of wandering around the campsite with ghost-buster style water backpacks for controlling any fire that was above knee height, aiding people with directions, lost and found and general welfare.

The perks of this shift (apart from the rather attractive fluorescent tabard) was that campers always seemed so happy to see you around the campsite and offered us so much free food it was unbelievable. People also offered us alcohol, which regrettably we couldn’t take during shift. It was amazing how much the festival-goers appreciated us and it made us feel like we were really making a difference to the atmosphere and safety of the campsite.

My friends and I wearing our gorgeous tabards at Latitude hotbox events

My friends and I wearing our gorgeous tabards

 Small Festivals

If you’d rather not volunteer at a large festival, try going to smaller festivals, tickets are less than half the price and the weekend always turns out to be just as enjoyable.

I’ve been going to a small festival called Y Not for over 4 years now and the weekend ticket cost around £85 (even ‘cheeper’ for early birds). Headliners included Dizzee Rascal, Razorlight, White Lies, The Fratellis, Frank Turner, Newton Faulkner, De La Soul and many more great acts. Not only was the music incredible but Y Not always have such an friendly, youthful atmosphere, with the average age range from 16- 24. If you’re looking for a non-stop party weekend, then this is the place to go on a budget.

Y Not is a great place to go with friends fun

Y Not is a great place to go with friends