Tips to Help You Earn Cash at Music Festivals

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If last year was the worst time for music festivals, this year is said to be the best era for live music.

As the entire world battles the pandemic and businesses reopening, music festivals are slowly coming back.

And if you’re low on cash, you can actually learn how to make money at music festivals.

Attending A Music Festival? Here Are 5 Ways To Make Money At One

Attending a Music Festival? Here Are 5 Ways To Make Money at One

With everything happening in the world right now, it’s not surprising that we all just want to enjoy and de-stress.

The good thing about making money at a music festival is that you earn and have fun at the same time.

Here’s what you can do to make sure you don’t burn a hole in your pocket while at your favorite music festival:

1. Sell Stuff! 

When it comes to figuring out how to make money at music festivals, the simplest and most straightforward method is by selling.

It could be anything, too, from food and drinks to things like merchandise and exclusive VIP access.

The possibilities are endless! As long as you can sell it, you can most likely find someone to buy it there.

That said, before you try selling anything, there are some steps you need to take.

For instance, you must complete the relevant legal documentation required.

In most music festivals, you must fill out an application, obtain permission to sell your items, and maybe acquire vendor insurance.

Usually, the festival’s website will have all the requirements in the FAQs section. If not, you might have to reach out to the organizer.

Vendor insurance is often advised to protect yourself and your staff at any event.

If you sell food and drinks in your state, you may have to acquire a food handler’s license to operate.

Once you’ve been accepted by the festival and completed your paperwork, you’ll need to figure out how to execute your operations.

Other factors, such as schedule, transportation, inventory, staffing, and equipment, should be ready days before the event.

Here are some of the items you can sell at a music festival, their pros and cons, and the potential profits you could make.

food at music festival

Food and Beverages

Even though music festivals will have many food options, the prices might be high. Plus, the people will always want more.

You can capitalize on this fact and try selling food and beverages you know festival-goers will love.

Always go with the classics. Burgers, hotdog sandwiches, fries, beer, and ice cream are all tried-and-tested crowd-pleasers.

That said, keep in mind that managing perishable goods poses a challenge. Hence, we advise selling only a limited set of food.

If your menu is small, it’ll be easier to forecast how much stock you will require, which means you will have a higher chance of generating a profit.

A smaller menu will also reduce service delays and discourage potential consumers from becoming confused and eating somewhere else.

When you choose to sell food and beverages at a music festival, aim for about 30% to 50% net profit.

For example, if your equipment, rent, inventory, staff, and transportation fees cost you $1,000, your gross sales should be around $2,000.

  • High demand
  • Easy to sell
  • Risk of spoilage
  • Possible overstock
Profit Potential
  • Depends on the cost of inventory and price point
  • Likely to be high given the high demand

music festival outfit

Clothing and Merchandise

Merchandise is a good source of money for music events of all kinds. 

As per a 2017 study by Venu, a merch management company, the average expenditure on products at festivals is not one to scoff at.

For a music event with more than 5,000 attendees, sales can reach up to US$421,000, as each customer will spend at least $50.

Given these numbers, there’s no denying that selling merchandise is a significant source of revenue in a music festival.

Here are a couple of items you can sell that will interest festival-goers:

  • Clothing

Create designs for the shirts, hoodies, caps, and other clothing that match the event’s theme.

Thanks to software programs such as Adobe Illustrator, designing something from scratch is possible.

And if you don’t have the time, you can employ a freelance artist to bring your artistic ideas to the shirts.

While selling clothes sounds easy, make sure that your design does not infringe any copyright to avoid legal issues.

  • Accessories

Besides clothing, you can sell keychains, sunglasses, bags, lighters, and similar products at a music festival.

Unlike shirts, it’s not necessary to incorporate a design into the accessories you offer.

Still, if you want them to be more appealing to festival-goers, you might have to consider it.

This is the tricky part, as it’s significantly easier to print a design on clothing compared to accessories.

You might have to look for someone who has the tools or buy equipment such as a laser engraver or a 3D printer.

  • Toys and Souvenirs

If the music festival you’re participating in has a sizable number of young people, you might get them interested in toys and souvenirs.

You can go about it in two ways: either you resell or make the items yourself.

Thanks to today’s technology, creating a toy or souvenir yourself is possible via a 3D printer.

Of course, you need to learn how to operate the machine correctly before considering this option.

There are plenty of tutorials on video streaming sites on getting started on 3D printing.

If you want to be more on point, consider enrolling in a virtual course on websites like Coursera or Udemy.

Reselling existing toys and souvenir is more straightforward but less profitable.

On the other hand, making your own is more challenging, yet the potential revenue is higher.

  • No risk of expiration/spoilage like food
  • Higher cost of inventory
Profit Potential
  • 30% or more!

Extra Tickets

There will always be those who will try to attend the music festival even if they don’t have any tickets.

Then, some are clumsy or forgetful enough and end up losing their tickets.

That said, if you’ve got extras, selling them can be a super-easy way to make a big profit.

  • Very high demand
  • People willing to pay much more
Profit Potential
  • 100% or more!

2. Doing Body or Tattoo Art

Another way to make money at music festivals is by unleashing your artistic alter ego and doing body or tattoo art.

You can easily do and offer your services to others, especially if you bring some art samples collated in a book or displayed on a board.

On doing body art, use colored inks and glitters especially designed for that purpose.

Moreover, you can use henna ink or actual permanent tattoo ink for tattoo art.

It’s really up to you, but make sure that your work satisfies your customers.

  • Many people would use your services, especially if you are good at it
  • It could take time, depending on the size and design that the customer wants. So, make sure that you accept projects you can finish by the scheduled time.
Profit Potential
  • 60% or more!

3. Becoming an On-Demand Photographer

An easy yet effective way to make money at music festivals is by snapping beautiful photos.

You can bring your tripod, drone, or digital camera, or you can use your iPhone or any well-equipped smartphone to become an on-demand photographer.

Casually offer your photography services to people you notice are having difficulty taking photos of themselves.

Plus, you can include your editing skills as an additional service.

  • Use your talent, skills, and gadgets as your capital
  • Some people might try to haggle your price, so make sure that you talk to them professionally in terms of your services.
Profit Potential
  • 70% or more!

how to make money at music festivals

4. Setting up a Booth or Shop

If you are allowed to, you can set up a booth or shop as another way to make money at music festivals.

Your booth or shop can offer different items, such as bags, accessories, and souvenirs, which many music festival-goers will surely love to buy.

You can make your own items or commission others to produce them.

Make sure to do all preparations beforehand so everything will go smoothly during the event.

Think of a booth design that suits your aesthetic and integrates your items while considering the amount of physical space you’re allowed to use.

With the festival’s vendor guidelines in mind, use bright colors and lights to stand out rather than blend in.

It’s also vital to choose décor that complements the things you’re selling for increased visual appeal.

  • Having an actual booth or shop at the music festival will establish your credibility as a seller and the quality of the items that you will sell.
  • It would take a lot of work during the preparation stage and the event.
Profit Potential
  • 50% or more!

how to make money at music festivals

5. Leasing Your Room’s Extra Bed or Space

Do you have an extra bed in your room? If so, why not lease it to someone who might need it?

You can easily have your extra bed rented out by another music festival-goer.

Just make sure to have it rented by someone trustworthy because, if not, you could endanger yourself and your belongings.

  • You can easily do this as long as you have a room and an extra bed or space.
  • You will be sharing your room with someone who might be a stranger.
Profit Potential
  • 50% or more!

Make Money at Music Festivals

Given these methods of making money at music festivals, it’s fair to conclude that the potential earnings are enticing.

However, factors such as competition, number of people, weather, and quality of goods will ultimately dictate success or failure.

As such, always research everything before choosing which way will give you the most chances of earning a profit.

how to make money at music festivals

Wanna learn how to make money from your workouts? Check out our guide on How to Make Money as a Personal Trainer!

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