11 Ways to Survive Music Festivals on a Budget

Let's face it: Arizona isn't exactly prime real estate for music festivals. Yes, we have the party-hard atmosphere of Country Thunder and the locally beloved McDowell Mountain Music Fest, the EDM-drenched Soundwave and some killer jazz fests. But our fair desert doesn't yet have the appeal or pull of such festivals as Lollapalooza, Orion, Coachella, South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, Electric Daisy, Bonnaroo, Outside Lands--the list goes on.

For the avid music fan on a tight budget and unforgiving economy, deciding which festivals (if any) to travel to can be a frustrating experience. I myself encountered this same conundrum for 2013. Which music festivals was I going to budget for? How many days would I forgo the grocery store and live off canned soup and well whiskey? And sometimes, even if you do budget well for a festival, it's difficult to take into account unforeseen costs once you are already there: Cabs and rental cars, food, drinks, even water on-site.

Take SXSW, for example. The difficult-to-book flights to Austin, hundreds of dollars a night hotel rooms (even for the dinky ones), and days' worth of food and drinks. Ditto for Coachella and Lollapalooza. Thus I decided to compile some tips and tricks to survive festivals on a budget for all you other awesome music lovers out there--so read on and then book away.

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Lauren Wise has worked as a rock/heavy metal journalist for 15 years. She contributes to Noisey and LA Weekly, edits books, and drinks whiskey.
Contact: Lauren Wise