How to Experience a Festival for FREE

Back in July 2021 freedom day happened. The next day I took a covid test to confirm I was negative and was festival ready. Wed 21st July was the first day of festival life for five days. A festival that was 100% free. How come you ask?! Its a new discovery this year, how to experience a festival for free.

Sun Rise At Standon

Festivals are expensive to Attend

Back in pre-covid times July 2019 I went to Standon Calling festival with my children with freebie press tickets. Indeed this is a way to at least get free festival tickets. But you likel need a fairly substantial website or social media following to do this.

In addition to the press tickets I paid for a Camplight tent (a brilliant idea where they put up recycled tent for you, and you walk away at end of festival, tent is reused again) – £120. I upgraded our camping tickets to be in Lavish Lands with nice toilets and showers, help with bags and good festival location, close to the action – £50.

Standon Calling 2018 - The Best and Worst Bits - My Review

I then spent around £250 over the festival weekend on food, drinks, pre-loved festival wear, glitter for me and three boys. Total 2019 festival spend was £420. Festivals are not cheap. Firstly the tickets, a weekend ticket can set you back £150 to £200 for adults, £150 for big children, £50 for little children. The food is super pricey, but to be expected as those stall holders pay a premium to sell at a festival. The drinks are a lot (£6.30 for a 330ml can of cider this year). All those festival extras add up, bubble football, glitter faces, crepe after crepe for the children.

Lavish Lands at Standon Calling

Lavish Lands in 2019 was the best experience and is a brilliant place to camp if you go to Standon Calling. Its definitely worth paying the upgrade prices. Put it this way I ONLY ever used the toilets in Lavish Lands even if I was on the other side of the festival, Ide hot foot it back to cleanliness, toilet roll and hand soap.

A huge bonus of Lavish Lands is that there is a team of people to look after you, this is where I met Liz in 2019. We bonded during quiet moments, me without an adult to keep me company. We vowed to keep in touch, she was going to help me with my website (she is the owner of Lingo Web Design and can do EVERYTHING with websites and branding), business cards exchanged.

Business card was then lost, but re discovered in May of 2020 lockdown. It was a sign. I reached out and we talked business and Liz then proceeded to turn Mrs Mummypenny into a grown up website. New branding, logo, colours everything. A brand new website with brilliant navigation, oh and a book cover with shop on my website to boot.

I vowed to be part of Lizs team at the next Standon Calling whenever that was. The call went out a few weeks before the festival, it was proper touch and go if was to go ahead. But hurrah it went ahead and Liz was recruiting a team of lavish lovelies. I was IN.

How to Do a Festival for Free – Work

This is how you get to go to a festival for free. You work! In exchange for 5 shifts of 6ish hours a time I got a free ticket to the festival and crew food was included. Liz provided me with a tent (and actually put it up for me too!). And I got to camp next to her beloved camper van in Lavish Lands. And we all brought a good supply of gin and cider with us. Plus we were given mucho drinks by festival guests and some bar credit too.

Us lavish land lovelies had a few jobs; there was buggy drivers, luggage organisers, reception staff, a runner, the night shift. My role was customer service, mainly on the lavish lands reception. I was answering all manner of questions, helping with luggage, making coffee for the hard working buggy team. When it was busy it was manic, with so much going on; luggage everywhere, medical emergencies, complaints about noisy teenagers camping in the family section, the noise of electric meadows complaints. Lost property, where to find good coffee, missing festival wrist bands. I loved it. And then it was quiet. Mid festival I’de sit and chill having the most in depth life affirming conversations with my fellow lovelies.

My free time and the best Memories

I did the early shifts, being an early bird so I was done by 2pm. I had the afternoons to chill, watch music, catch up on sleep, start drinking cider. And then we would all get together in the evening and party until the festival closed. I have such incredible memories of dancing to Hot Chip (who were THE BEST, and I’m listening them right now as I type). An afternoon in the Lawn area with angel Gina and PT Matt laughing, sharing incredibly deep life stories. Hours in our lavish bar tent as the heavens opened. Going through my dating Whatsapp conversations with Prina and Rus, ripping them apart and getting great dating advice.

Raving and raving until 4am in electric meadows, behaving like a teenager. Wearing flashing flowers in my hair every night. Being chief glitter decorator, I did a lot of glitter looks on people over the weekend. Being ever grateful to the wonderful Roo for delivering all that food when we on duty. The work rate of Ian, the ever present buggy driver and luggage lifter. And such a lovely guy, with an incredible heart.

Reflection time Life, Love, Me

Most of all I was able to reflect on life, love and me. Share stories and listen to other people life stories. Guide and be guided. Reflect and maybe become a different person. These were 16 people I had never met before and I learnt a new thing from each and every one. We all vowed to return next year to the Lavish Lovelies Crew.

Liz you did a good un. You chose the most amazing team and we had the BEST time ever. Thank you thank you thank you.

I did spend a little bit of money. £53 in total, on a few emergency drinks and a very late night toastie. But I totally could have got away with spending nothing. And I had the best weekend ever. I will be back again next year.


More to explore


Lynn Beattie

Aka Mrs MummyPenny

Personal Finance Expert

I write about personal finance made simple, lifestyle choices that will save you time and money, as well as products and services that offer great value.

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