Music festivals such as Firefly, Outside Lands, Lollapalooza, Sasquatch and Bonnaroo have become synonymous with summertime. Music fans love festivals because they provide an opportunity to see lots of musical acts for one admission price. "If you think about it in terms of value per concert, you're potentially seeing some of the biggest names in music for under $10 an act," says Wyatt Minami, a 24-year-old New Yorker who's been attending music festivals such as Coachella, Lightning in a Bottle and Ultra Music Festival for five years. "One year I divided my ticket price by how many acts I saw, and I technically saw Paul McCartney -- front row -- for under $7."
Still, travel, lodging and admission costs can add up quickly. Here's a look at strategies for saving money at summer music festivals.
1. Share travel costs with friends. If you're driving to a music festival, gather a group of friends to carpool and split the cost of gas, parking and tolls. "Some festivals even offer carpooling options and can set you up with other like-minded individuals to help cut costs if the festival is quite a distance," says Andrew Zerbo, a musician who's toured music festivals with the band Pulp Culture.
If the festival is closer to home, then Tonya Rapley, founder and editor of the personal finance blog MyFabFinance.com, suggests arranging to get dropped off before and picked up after to avoid hefty parking costs. "Parking is a fee that a lot of people don't factor into going to a concert," she explains.
[Read: How to Split Travel Costs With Friends .]
2. Camp near the festival. Many music festivals give attendees the option to camp overnight at or near the festival. This is often cheaper than a hotel room and gives music fans a more immersive festival experience as they pass around beers, swap stories or sing along to their favorite songs. Zerbo, who's camped at some of the smaller festivals where his band has performed, recommends bringing clothes you don't mind getting dirty. "Going to a thrift store to buy a few articles of clothing for the festival can help you not only get more suitable clothing for the heat," he says, "but can also be way less expensive than replacing clothes that you wish you wouldn't have packed."
3. Bring your own food and supplies. Instead of buying food and supplies from vendors at the festival, bring your own. Depending on the festival, though, you may need to return to your car or campsite if your own food or drinks aren't allowed inside. Minami packs weightlifting protein powder to mix with water instead of buying meals. "It can be an easy way to replenish nutrients without worrying about it going bad," he says.
Ice can be another expense for festival attendees, so Zerbo suggests freezing a pack of water bottles before you leave. "Use them as your ice for keeping your food and beverages cool on the way down and possibly the first day," he says. "Once they thaw, drink them!"
Some festivals charge for shower use. To avoid that cost, Zerbo suggests bringing baby wipes or a portable shower. "They come in giant, 5-gallon bags that cost less than $10 and are available at most retail chains," he says. "Just place them in the sun all day so when you use them, your water is warm." He also recommends storing a toilet paper roll on an empty CD spindle to protect it from water or dirt. "It stays dry and keeps it easily accessible," he adds.
[See: 12 Ways to Save Money on Food .]
4. Volunteer for the festival. Many festivals rely on volunteers to scan tickets, clean up between sets or sell merchandise. When they aren't working the festival, volunteers may have the chance to catch other acts for free or at a steep discount. "Many require a sort of security deposit, but so long as you follow your festival's usually simple guidelines, you'll get it right back," Zerbo says. Skip a volunteer shift, though, and you might be on the hook for the full festival admission.
Your best bet for volunteer opportunities is likely a smaller festival with fewer people competing for spots. As Minami puts it, "everyone and their mother is trying to volunteer at Coachella." Sign up early for volunteering to secure your spot.
5. Buy a single-day pass (or sell tickets to extra days). If you can't stomach the full cost of the festival, consider buying a day pass instead. "You can still experience a taste of the festival," Zerbo says. "Many will argue that you're not getting the full festival effect, but you are likely able to cut your entry costs sometimes into thirds while experiencing a ton of music."
Rapley bought a $115 day pass for the Governors Ball in New York City so she could see Outkast perform. "They were performing at Coachella, so I did a little research to find out when they were coming closer to me so I didn't have to pay to go all the way out to California," she says. Some festivals offer early bird rates if you follow the production company on social media or subscribe to its email list, Rapley adds.
Minami takes the opposite approach by buying tickets for the full festival and reselling tickets to days he doesn't want to attend through Craigslist or Facebook. This isn't feasible for every festival (some issue wristbands that are nontransferable), but in some cases, "if the demand is there, you can get back what you paid for the other days," he says. Keep in mind that some venues will not allow you to resell tickets on the premises (and there could be legal ramifications for doing so), so you may want to conduct business elsewhere if you choose to do this.
Despite the costs, many music fans consider the experience to be well worth it, especially if you get to see your favorite Beatle for less than the cost of an album.