Not everyone has hundreds to drop every year on Coachella or Bonnaroo or the now infamous Fyre Festival, which can be a downer if you just love the music festival feel. Not to fret; there are a ton of festivals where you can get that perfect flower crown Instagram without breaking the bank. Not only do smaller festivals have lower ticket prices, but depending on location, you can save on everything from airfare to AirBnB prices.
This year marks the 10 year anniversary of Des Moines Iowa's 80/35 festival. Every year in mid July, 80/35 has everything you would want at a bigger festival. Between crafts, food and drinks, and live performances from The Shins, MGMT, and Action Bronson (performing this year), there is more than enough for the perfect summer weekend. Plus, tickets are only $65 and some stages and live sessions are even free to the public.
Milwaukee isn't just for killers and cows; it is also home to the sprawling Summerfest. This festival impressively spans from late June to mid-July. While tickets can range from $13 to about $100—if you are trying to spend 2 weeks in Milwaukee and do Summerfest to the limit; if not, the more popular 3-day option is $48 and perfect for a long weekend—it will feel more than worth it to see bands like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Zac Brown Band, Future, and of course no fest is complete without the Chaninsmokers.
This Little Rock institution has been around since the 70s. Maybe that's why the festival, in early June, can get big name talent like Wiz Khalifa, Cage the Elephant, Justin Moore, and Cold War Kids while still only charging $40 for admission.
If you couldn't see the Cold War Kids at Riverfest, they will be at Saint Louis' Loufest on September 9th and 10th. While you are there you can catch Weezer and Huey Lewis as well. They are already sold out of their early bird sale, but you can still go to both days for $95. There is always early bird next year!
5. Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
This San Francisco favorite may not have big name talent, but the festival makes up for it in coolness cred. This yearly festival takes place the first weekend in October, is completely free, and is located in the middle of Golden Gate Park in the heart of one of America's hippest cities. Go to a food cart, sit on the grass, stay for as long or as short as you like; perfect for the laid back West Coast fall.
6. Underground Music Showcase
Maybe pop music isn't your thing. You are way more underground. More indie. If so, Denver's UMS is perfect for you. From July 27th to July 30th, this insane festival includes over 400 shows all over the city. And it can all be yours for only $55; more importantly you'll be able to tell your friends that you already know about the band they "just started listening to" in 9 months.
7. Made in America
Sometimes you can splurge a little. At $160 for 2 days in early September, Philadelphia's Made in America is definitely the most expensive festival on this list, but the best part about MIA is that you feel like you are at a much bigger festival than you are. From the amusement park rides to the multiple stage lay out, you would swear you are at some European EDM fest. Headliners like Jay Z, j. Cole, Migos, DMX, and Solange will make you realize that money is well spent.
What are you waiting for? Get your sunscreen and your cut off shorts, nothing goes better with good weather than some great music in the great out doors.