Festival at CoachellaMusic festivals are one of the highlights of summertime. Some people spend months waiting for tickets to go on sale just because these are often epic events. If you’re one of these diehard festival fans, you don’t need any convincing that these are well worth the time and money spent.

For those of you who have never been to a music festival, you are missing out. These are often amazing experiences.

So, whether you’re a festival veteran, or you’re preparing to go to your first, here are a few things to keep in mind to help you have even more fun while you’re there.

Festival Facts

Music festivals come in several different shapes and sizes. But when you find one that has bands or types of music that you are passionate about, they can be some of the most memorable experiences of your life. Be sure that you know the basics about the festival—when it starts and ends, what parking is like, and whether camping is allowed before you go. This will help you to have a more enjoyable time as you will be prepared long before it begins.

There are a lot of huge festivals in the U.S. every year. Events like Burning Man, Coachella, and FYF Fest rank amongst some of the biggest and most exciting events in the world. Other festivals, like the Governors Ball in New York, touring festivals like Lollapalooza, and more have a lot of appeals, too. There are also a lot of different local music festivals of pretty much any type of music that you can imagine.

How to Get Tickets

Festivals are huge deals, and some of the bigger events sell out quickly. Regardless of size or popularity, festival tickets can sometimes be tough to get, or if you do find them, there’s a chance that you will end up spending way too much money on them. We want to help you avoid that.

Each event will be a little different when it comes to the specifics of how to buy festival tickets. For example, purchasing passes to a huge multi-day event like Coachella is going to be a bit different than if you are buying tickets to a single-day touring event, like the Van’s Warped Tour. If you are purchasing tickets right when they go on sale, you will need to go through the site of the event, or whatever the venue is that’s hosting the event. For the really big shows (like Coachella), you will need to know well in advance how to get tickets because they will go quickly. For smaller shows, there’s a lot more flexibility. It needs to be looked at on a case-by-case basis.

If you are late to the party, you do have options. The easiest and most trustworthy choice is to look at sites like SeatGeek to find extra passes to these events. At these sites, people who bought tickets but can no longer use them will re-sell theirs, or you will find groups that bought discounted tickets and then are re-selling to make a few bucks. Either way, this is a good option if you are intent on going to the festival, but are unable to find tickets through the original vendor.

Top Music Festivals

Coachella Burning Man Bonnaroo
Lollapalooza Firefly Afropunk
Vans Warped Tour Aftershock Austin City Limits
Big Ears Bottlerock Napa Electric Zoo
Floydfest Gulf Coast Jam Lost Lands
Moon River New Orleans Jazz Fest Outlaw
Outside Lands Paradiso Pitchfork
Shaky Knees South by Southwest Stagecoach
Sweetwater 420 Music Midtown Governors Ball
Made in America Chicago Open Air CMA

Ticket Purchase Tips

Tickets can be expensive, so although it can be tempting to buy the first set you come across, this isn’t always in your best interest. Yes, for hugely popular events, you might not get another chance to buy tickets, so you’ll need to grab them as soon as possible, but do know that this is only something you should do in extreme circumstances when you aren’t concerned about spending money. In most other cases, timing is everything.

Tons of Fun at a Music FestivalKnowing when the best time to buy music festival tickets can be a helpful start. For example, we have learned by observation that the best time to buy tickets for a concert is about a month after they go on sale. By this time, concerts are usually sold out, but people have begun to realize that maybe they won’t be able to make it after all. Because of this uncertainty, this is when prices tend to be the lowest. Now, remember that this is only the case if the show sells out within a couple of days after tickets go on sale. If it’s not a popular show, this won’t happen.

The same principle holds for festivals. The best time to buy tickets for big events is about a month after tickets sell out. If you buy during this time, you are going to find the best deals at third-party sites. Be sure to check a few different sites out so that you can give yourself the best chance possible of saving money.

As you draw closer to the date of the festival, third-party prices will go up. This isn’t a big deal if you want to go see the show, but if you want to save money it is. The closer you get to the event, the more expensive prices will be. Festivals are already pricey, so waiting too long will only jack up your costs.

Be sure to take parking or camping into account when you purchase tickets. It is common for big festivals near you to charge you extra to park your car or to secure a campground for the night. Most venues will sell these passes right alongside the tickets to the actual event. So, if you’re planning on going to a show and setting up a tent for the night while you’re there, you will want to ensure that you have all of the appropriate passes purchased well beforehand. You can often find these on third-party sites when you purchase festival tickets.

Finally, don’t forget to come prepared. Know what the rules are about outside food and drink so you aren’t getting in trouble or kept from accessing the fun. If you can bring food, make sure you have enough so you won’t be hungry while you’re there. Don’t forget to prepare for bad weather, too. There have been many festivals where a potentially amazing time was ruined because of cold or rain. Also, bring things like extra toilet paper so that you are not caught off guard when these things run out.