“If music festivals were free, you’d forever find me in one”, is a neutral sentiment I’m sure to find among every festival lover. About a hundred or so bands over a few days at multiple stages? It’s the stuff dreams are made of. Except the money part, of course. Nightmarish, to say the least.

Music festivals are great in every sense except how they seem to put you back by your entire month’s expenditure. The big festivals of the year can cost you anything between $250-500, with the ticket prices averaging around $300. Add to that food and drinks that must be purchased at the festival, and camping, if you’re doing it, basically leaving you starved for the next month or two. And if music festivals are part of your summer vacation itinerary, then expect your budget to skyrocket even further! But do not lose hope. The Sherp has listed out some of the coolest festivals in Europe that can be done on a budget! Now you can pack in a European vacation with music festival hopping! Who said the festival experience has to be expensive?

1. Latitude Festival
Where: Suffolk
When: July

Shelling out  £300-400 at a time can be extremely hard, sometimes costing you that very festival you might want to check out. But Latitude festival at Suffolk have figured out a handsome way to accommodate music lovers. Allowing them an installment programme where festival goers can buy their tickets with periodic installments, each coming up to  around  £60, is a easier way to secure that ticket you’ve been wanting for a long time. Their entire ticket cost comes up to  £200 which is an easier luxury in periodic payments. Combine that with this year’s edition offering James Blake, Alt-J, Portishead and Jon Hopkins, it’s quite the sweet deal!

Jack Pasco - Latitude
(image courtesy: Jack Pasco / Latitude Festival Facebook)

2. Godiva Festival
When: July 

One of the most popular family free festivals in the world, the Godiva Festival is a three day show of a commendable line-up of musicians. It’s a non-profit festival organised by the Godiva City Council and has had artists like Happy Mondays, We are Scientists and Echo and the Bunnymen perform in the past. Even though the 2015 line-up hasn’t been announced yet, one can be assured it would be a promising list of musicians.

(image courtesy: bbc.co.uk)

3. Africa Oyé Festival
Where: United Kingdom
When: June 

In what is possibly the biggest celebration of African music in the United Kingdome, the Africa Oyé is a non-profit charity based festival that is absolutely free, and that has seen an audience turnover of over 50,000 people. Some of the strongest African acts such as Tinariwen, Tiken Jah Fakoly, Luciana and Baaba Maal have performed at the festival. With legendary UK soul act, Omar being one of the first few announced names in the 2015 line-up, it’s sure to be a crackling edition of the festival.


Mark Mcnulty
(images courtesy: Mark McNulty / Africa Oyé Facebook)

4. Leigh Folk Festival
Where: Essex
When: June 

Probably the biggest show of folk in England, the Leigh Folk Festival, while completely free, boasts of some of the most popular and flavourful folk musical acts from around the world. Taking place across multiple stages, they also sift around various sub genres like Celtic, African and Scottish to name a few, along with incorporating other activities like dance. If you’re a lover of folk music, you know where to head for an authentic taste of the same!

Anne Hinton van't Hof
(image courtesy: Anne Hinton van’t Hof/ Leigh Folk Festival Facebook)


5. Kenshyam Music Festival
Where: United Kingdom
When: June

If, instead of the oft repeated studio backed bands, you want to give a chance to the unsigned, truly underground fans waiting to show up, then Kenshyam Music Festival is for you. While free, it does accept £3 in donations from every attendee, thereby collecting appropriate funds for its next edition. Not only does the festival promote local music at a big time, but also allows for people to have the festival experience for no cost at all, yet leaving with the satisfaction of having pushed local arts! 

(image courtesy: Kenshyam Music Festival Facebook)

6. Porthcawl Elvis Festival
Where: Wales
When: September

If you are an Elvis Presley fan, then you have nothing, but to attend the music festival that is wholly committed to honouring the musical legend of the swooning rock ‘n’ roll legend! Not only does it have fans of the singer graciously impersonating him in look-alike contests, but it’s a three day celebration of the King’s music like there’s no tomorrow! And the best part? The tickets are as low as £6.


the guardian
(image courtesy: the guardian.com)

7. We Love Green
Where: Paris
When: May

A festival that is as known for its organic market and nature-loving activities as for its incredible line-up of musicians, We Love Green is also extremely easy on the pockets. Its two day pass costs as low as £70, with each day pass coming up to £50, keeping with its simplisitic outlook. With this year line-up featuring Julian Casablancas, Nicholas Jaar, Django Django and Ghost Culture, ‘tis the festival to be at this summer!

(image courtesy: Yulya Shadrinsky/ We Love Green Facebook)