How to Get Into Festivals for Free

Following up from my UK Festival Guide post from last week I decided to let you guys in on a couple of things I do so I don’t have to pay for my festival tickets come summer time. Festival tickets can be pretty expensive and sometimes we don’t want to fork out $300/£200 on a weekend because we can’t afford it. Here’s how to hack festivals…

I mentioned in last week’s post how my favourite festival is T in the Park, I’ve been three times in total and not paid for the festival ticket any of those times. I’ve worked a couple of shifts at the festival and ended up being paid for the shifts with the festival ticket. 2 shifts for a £200 ticket, that’s £100 per shift and definitely more than I earn in my regular part time job. You can sign up to work a couple of shifts at a festival, usually on the days before any music acts are playing i.e the Thursday, and in exchange get music for free! Here’s a few companies and the festivals they will let you work at…

Festival Republic
Festivals they host: Latitude, Reading & Leeds, EDC, Wireless, Download etc.
I’ve not worked for Festival Republic before but I hear they’re pretty decent. You sign up for a couple of shifts which can entail picking up trash around the campsite or acting as a sort of ward telling people where to camp and helping people out with any questions they have about the festival or campsite.
Festivals they host: T in the Park, Download, Isle of Wight Festival, Kendal Calling.
I have worked for Festaff before and they are a great company. You’ll arrive at your campsite and have to do a small check in, once your tent is set up you’ll have a meeting and then be put into groups with a supervisor who will assign your shifts. They used to usually just fall on the Thurs/Fri but this year they changed that which is a shame but not really a HUGE issue! After your second shift you’ll get to enjoy the festival fully.
If you want to work at certain festivals you’ll have to apply through their website itself. One example for this is Glastonbury. There’s a contact form you can fill in on their website. They’ll also keep your CV with them so if anything pops up that you might be interested in in the future they’ll get in contact with you.
Now strictly speaking this is not legal or ethical but I have done it. If you apply for a job through one of these companies you can just not show up for your shifts. Usually the admin will take your driver’s license upon check-in. However, if you have an ID you aren’t bothered about giving up for a festival ticket then… So my last T in the Park festival I didn’t show up for my shift because I was mortally ill. I ended up going back to get my license and having to leave Sunday evening (wasn’t too bothered). This meant that I got the whole festival for free. It all depends on what you’re willing to do.
I hope this helps you out if you want to visit a festival but can’t afford it or if you want to visit 3/4 and can’t afford to fork out £1,000 in festival tickets!