Cheap or Free Music Festival Tickets

music festivals

Love music festivals? We’re with you. They are pretty dang expensive, though. This season, use some of these tricks to get free or reduced tickets.

Let me work it.

Have you ever worked a sound board? Have experience backstage? Consider applying for a job at a local venue. You’ll be able to catch festivals and local concerts as they roll in throughout the summer.

Musical festivals tend to require additional staff, so if you’re not willing to work at a venue all summer, be sure to check out the individual festival’s website and social media accounts for paid opportunities. You could even pick up a gig as a tour coordinator or promotions manager. If you have a background you can make relevant, you stand a shot if you get in early.

In the name of love.

Don’t have any specialized skills? Or simply can’t find a paying job? Consider volunteering your time. For a couple hours work, you’ll be able to see everyone else with your free, comped ticket. You might find yourself:

  • Directing traffic
  • Handing out wristbands
  • Running a promotional or informational kiosk
  • Keeping public areas clean
  • Helping at the nursing station, if you have experience to merit the position

These positions also go quickly, though, so be sure to keep an eye out for them both on the festival’s website and social media.

Don’t wait.

A few years ago buying off of third-party sites was a great idea. People that had purchased tickets but had something come up could sell them at a discounted price to cut their loss. Nowadays, though, many events, especially big ones, have opportunistic people and bots buying out their tickets just so they can resell them for a profit. That’s not so great for those trying to score cheap tickets to a show.

For that reason, the best method to save tends to be to buy from the actual ticket vendor. And do it early. As soon as tickets go on sale early. If you have an American Express card, you can usually get tickets before they even go on sale, allowing you to pick the best seats within your budget before they’re sold out. (Or just any tickets if everything is general admission as many music festivals are.)

We don’t need no education.

Except that you do if you want to score a student discount. Odds are that if you are living on or near your college campus, you’ll live close to a venue that offers student discounts. Check with individual festivals, too, as some, though not all, will offer a discounted ticket price to college students.

While some festivals will provide specialized student pricing at all times, others will provide a student rush. That generally happens the day of the show, and while the discount tends to be deeper, it’s often first come, first serve. That means that if you opt for student rush pricing, you need to be mentally prepared for the fact that you might not be able to get in at all.