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Broke-Ass Guide to Surviving Summer Festivals

Updated: Aug 10, 2011 15:40
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Summer is here and that means festival season has arrived! Being broke-asses and all, it’s not like you can afford to go to every “festi” that comes to your neck of the woods. Whether you are going to The Bounce Festival this weekend, High Sierra over Fourth of July Weekend, Outside Lands in August, Burning Man in September or Treasure Island in October – there are always some cheapskates that get in for free and scrounge their way through the weekend living off of other people. Well, that’s probably you, right? Here are some tips of how to spend the least money at Summer music festivals:

Get your tickets in advance – or very last minute

Ok, this is a given – but not always possible. On the day pre-sale Burning Man tickets went on sale, there were also 29,650 other people trying to do the same thing. But other festivals do offer much cheaper prices if you get your tickets in advance. There are also always some people who sale the pre-sale tickets on Craigslist last minute, so if you are a procrastinator – give it a shot. Very last minute people may even opt to sneaking in the festival, which I am not recommending because that is pretty fucked up for the people who do actually pay, I’m just saying it does happen. But, you do have a friend who can slip you his wrist-band, transfer you his stamp or let you in under a fence somewhere – good on ya.

Use Makeshift Camping Gear

You know some people that can afford to go to REI and buy a whole bunch of gear to make their festival all the more comfortable? Well, I sure don’t. Borrow a friend’s janky tent and use your stinky Yoga mat to sleep on. A $3 water raft from Walgreen’s could also make a great air mattress. Sew together some old sheets into a sleeping bag, or better yet, just find somebody at the festival to sleep with and keep you warm at night…

DOPB (Drink Other People’s Beer)

A true broke-ass doesn’t buy their own beer. They find ways to get other people to give them beers out of the goodness of their heart. I mean, who wants to pay $8 for a warm Bud Light in 90 degree heat? Or even worse, lug in a 30 pack that will never stay cold? No way. Make the rounds to other camp sites and trade jokes for beer or something lame that will get you drunk and make other people laugh. Be sure to get some food along the way – otherwise the only food you will be able to afford will be out of the trash bins…

Take drugs that last the longest

Unless you are a drug dealer, you are going to spend a fortune on drugs alone at any festival – no matter if it lasts two days or one week. Choose your poison wisely. Why waste money on silly drugs that you are going to need an absurd quantity of? Go for long endurance drugs like acid or amphetamines that may even seem like they are never going to end. That’s what you get for being broke!

Hitch a Ride

Save your bus fare or gas money and hitch a ride to the festival with some friends. This may entail squishing into a tiny hatchback for five hours with four other people, but maybe if you offer to drive, or even sit bitch, you may get a free ride. If you don’t have any friends because your too darn cheap, you’d better make good use out of your thumb!

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Heidi Smith - The Ultimate Scavenger

Heidi Smith - The Ultimate Scavenger

Heidi works for a non-profit cultural exchange organization helping others experience life from a different perspective. She likes magnetizing the obscure and scavenging the city for fun, free things to do. She is a world traveler, a freelance writer and a spontaneous chef. She is also said to be part-mermaid.