As the dreaded exam season approaches for university students across the country, many are using their upcoming summer plans as a source of motivation to achieve the best results possible. For many students, one of the focal points of their eventful summer calendar will revolve around going to music festivals.

As with the majority of leisure activities, music festivals can be very expensive. Aside from the ticket expense, festival goers should also factor in the cost of transportation, food, drink, clothing and any appropriate equipment. In fact, research has shown that an individual can expect to pay an average of £423.01 when attending any major UK music festival.

Here at OnBuy, we wanted to find out how much students would spend on music festivals this summer.


OnBuy surveyed 2,100 students from 12 different university cities to find out how much they spend on music festivals they wish to attend this year. We asked the students about each expense covering transport, food, camping tents and equipment etc.

The Findings

The survey revealed that university students from London will spend the most on music festivals this year, with an average spend of £363.71. London based university students will be closely followed by those in Manchester (£351.46) and then Birmingham (£336.14). On the other end of the scale, university students in Oxford are expected to spend the least on music festivals this year, with an average spend of just £197.34. Slightly above those university students in Oxford were those in Hull, who will on average spend £208.66 this festival season.


Moreover, the survey astonishingly found that 36% of students already have or will use their university loan to fund attending the music festival(s) of their choice. The second most popular method to fund was to ask their parents or family (30%). 18% of students worryingly stated that they would be using an overdraft. 10% of students commendably said that they have already or are going to fund much of the costs from the income they earnt from their term-time job.

Student Perspectives

Music Festival

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"Last summer I went to my very first music festival. Just like my mates, I hugely underestimated the costs of going. Since it was a three day festival, we ended up having to spend a ton of money on camping gear as well as wet-weather clothing. Such expenditure alongside organising our transport arrangements, set us back quite a bit before we even got to the event. Whilst it was a memorable experience and one that I would never discourage, I would advise any students attending this year to plan ahead". - James (2nd Year Undergraduate), The University of Birmingham

"I been to a lot of music festivals each summer over the past three years and thoroughly enjoyed all of them. I would say the most underestimated cost of going to festivals is the food and drinks. Especially when going to three-to-five day festivals, where you become heavily reliant on the hot-food served. I remember one festival where I spent more than £35 on hot dogs alone". - Holly (3rd Year Undergraduate), The University of Leeds

"After going to loads of music festivals over the last few years, I somewhat consider myself a veteran. I have gradually learnt different ways to effectively make the whole experience cheaper. Transport for instance can definitely be a hefty cost and I usually make sure to book trains or coaches in advance to get the best rates. I also take my own snacks, fruits, nibbles and drinks to avoid being entirely dependent on purchasing what's available at the festivals". - Craig (3rd Year Undergraduate), The University of Portsmouth

Expert Perspective

"With small and large music festivals across the country boasting strong lines-ups as well as offering an array of activities to entertain goers - I expect it to be a fruitful season for music festivals this year. As always, music festivals will undoubtedly attract a huge number of university students looking to have a good time after a stressful period of assignments and exams. What's certainly fascinating from this research is the varying amounts that university students from different parts of the country have already or are intending to spend on music festivals this year. It's looking as if students from the biggest university cities are going to be the most lavish spenders. Similarly, with some music festivals being notoriously expensive, it's interesting to see that most students will use their valuable university loan to bankroll their festival adventures". - Craig Benson, Music Industry Analyst from London

Music Festival

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