The Internet’s been buzzing with highlights from Coachella, the most California music festival of all music festivals. Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, Lorde, Radiohead, and more took to the desert to share their tunes, and people turned out in flocks to listen.
But even though everyone’s Instagram posts will try to convince you the music festival is priceless, Coachella costs festival-goers a pretty penny. A general admission pass is around $400, VIP passes are close to four digits, and that doesn’t even include transportation, accommodations, food and drink.
Not all music festivals will ring up as steep of a tab, though, and other lesser-known 2017 music festivals offer an appealing variety of acts and destinations. And though a few of the festivals below have already come and gone, they’re all gearing up to be bigger than ever in 2018 — and just as affordable!
Maybe your bank account is feeling tight because you decided Coachella couldn’t be missed, or maybe you’re feeling some FOMO because you couldn’t justify the cost. Either way, this list includes some options that will offer just as much entertainment, but won’t destroy your budget.
1. Bunbury (June 2-4; Cincinnati, OH)
Death Cab for Cutie and G-Eazy are just a couple big name taking the stage at the annual Bunbury music festival this summer in Ohio. Planning ahead would have saved even more money, but this late in the game you can still get a full three-day pass for just $189—less than half the price of a Coachella general admission ticket. This is a great option if you’re not thrilled by the idea of camping (in the desert or otherwise). For that price, spending a couple of nights to stay at a nearby hotel like Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, which includes an indoor swimming pool and locally sourced restaurant, isn’t unreasonable.
2. Beale Street Music Festival (May 5-7; Memphis, TN)
Memphis is one of the nation’s music capitals and the birthplace of rock n’ roll, making it the perfect place to catch back-to-back-to-back days of music—especially since a three-day pass will cost you just $115 (and only because the cheaper tiers are already sold out). This year, Kings of Leon, Soundgarden, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, and others performed at a 25-acre riverfront park by Beale Street. Hotel options abound nearby, too; Springhill Suites is just one option right by Beale Street and Graceland.
3. SunFest (May 3-7; West Palm Beach, FL)
Blink-182, Macklemore, and Weezer are just a few names that headlined this year. If you’re up for a marathon, you can buy a five-day pass for 2018. Despite the duration, the 2017 pass cost just $81—not bad considering a one-day pass cost around half that. In terms of lodging, the Hyatt Place West Palm Beach lies right on the festival’s southern boundary and also offers lodging packages for festival-goers.
4. Westworld Music Showcase (June 24; Denver, CO)
One way to save money on music festivals is to only go for one day. Enter the Westworld Music Showcase, which rounds up Denver’s top local acts for a can’t-miss show in late June. A general admission ticket is $50, while a VIP pass (which includes two free beers in addition to a top-notch viewing area) is just $80. Both will let you see big-time bands like Shakey Graves and Coin. Plus, the Golden Triangle neighborhood that hosts the event is artsy, fun and affordable.
5. Sasquatch! (May 26-28; Quincy, WA)
This is the priciest festival on this list, and it’s still cheaper than Coachella or a three-day pass from Coachella’s cousin Outsidelands. To go all three days in 2017 cost $295, while one-day passes cost just shy of $100. Not too shabby, especially since the headliners this year included modern legends Frank Ocean and Chance the Rapper. If you opted for the full pass, camping rights started at just $99—a good option since most local lodging is currently sold-out for festival weekend. (Hint: Book well ahead for 2018!) If you decide on the one-day pass for next year, you can spend some time in Seattle before and after. It’s just a three-hour drive, and you can find a place to stay for around $100 a night.