7 Creative (and Legal) Ways to Make Money From Music Festivals

festival goers in crowd at outdoor music festival
Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder
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The clouds are clearing. The temperatures are warming.

That means it’s time for crop tops and cutoff shorts — err, I mean music festival season.

Austin, Texas, always sees big crowds for South by Southwest in March, then Austin City Limits in October. Chicago’s got Lollapalooza in April and Pitchfork in July. Then you’ve got the staples like Coachella and Bonnaroo. And don’t forget about the tours that stop by mid- to small-sized towns. We betcha there’s something coming to your town this year.

(Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Fyre Festival will recover from its incident in 2017…)

But you won’t catch me at any music festivals this year. Or ever, really. I’m not a huge fan of getting thrown into a pit with sweaty bodies, eardrum-bursting music and, um… wafting aromas.

Cut the bright lights. Turn the music down.

I’m being a bit of a curmudgeon here, but music festivals just aren’t my thing. What is my thing, though, is making money.

How to Make Money at Music Festivals (Without a Ticket)

Sure, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to make money inside these festivals. But if that’s not your scene, here are tons of ways to make money without dropping hundreds of dollars for a ticket.

1. Share Your Extra Room With Out-of-Towners

Have a spare room? Might as well try to earn some money by listing it on Airbnb.

If you’re a good host with a desirable space, you could add hundreds — even thousands — of dollars to your savings account with Airbnb.

And there’s no reason you can’t be creative. We found a guy who earns $1,380 a month listing a backyard tent on Airbnb.

A few simple steps can make the difference between a great experience and a less-than-satisfactory one.

Here are some tips:

  • Make your space available during high-demand times in your area.
  • Be a good host, and stock your place with the toiletries you’d expect at a hotel — toilet paper, soap and towels.
  • Be personable. A lot of travelers turn to Airbnb for the personal touch they won’t find at commercial properties.

Here’s the link to sign up as an Airbnb host.

(Hosting laws vary from city to city. Please understand the rules and regulations applicable to your city and listing.)

2. Rent out Your RV or Camper

Happy woman texting in front of the campervan
Martin Dimitrov/Getty Images

How many people do you know who bought an RV for one awesome camping trip or (ahem) music festival… only to look back a few years later and realize they don’t use it as much as they thought they would?

If you’re in that boat (er, camper), you can turn your unused RV into cash.

You can rent your RV to other travelers through RVshare, a peer-to-peer rental marketplace.

How much you’ll earn per day will vary based on your location and the type of vehicle you have. We ran a quick hypothetical and found that Class A models made in the past 15 years range from $185  to $375 a night here in St. Petersburg, Florida!

That’s a smart way to make your pricy RV pay for itself — or to bank some cash for your next big road trip.

To see how much you could earn renting out your RV, enter the specs here.

3. Shuttle Festival-Goers Around Town

Need a fun, flexible way to earn money while also meeting lots of new people?

Try driving with Lyft.

Demand for ride-sharing has been growing like crazy, and it shows no signs of slowing down. To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old with a year of driving experience, pass a background check and own a car made in 2007 or later.

We talked to Paul Pruce, who’s been driving full-time with Lyft for over a year. He earns $750 a week as a driver.

Best of all, he does it on his own time. You can work days, nights or weekends — it’s up to you!

4. Cure the Munchies

Group of friends eating pizza on the roof.
filadendron/Getty Images

Ahhh, the sweet smell of takeout stinking up your car.

OK, it might not be the most appealing thing in the world — you might want to crack a few windows, depending on the type of cuisine you’re delivering — but Uber Eats offers flexible food-delivery opportunities.

Here are more details:

  • The Uber Eats app is available across the US
  • Your earning may include a pick-up fee, a drop-off fee and a per mile earning fee. Uber takes a service fee. Delivery partners can cash out up to five times a day with instant pay.
  • Schedule is flexible.
  • Requirements may vary by location: You must…
    • Be at least 19 years old if delivering by car.
    • Deliver via car (must be a 1999 or newer with at least two doors), bike, scooter or foot depending on your area.
    • Pass a background check.
    • Have a valid driver’s license and insurance (if you deliver by car or scooter).

For all the information you need, head over to the Uber Eats sign-up page.

5. Rent out Your Parking Space

Event parking is never cheap — or even all that close to the venue. If you live nearby, list your parking space or driveway.

Renting out your parking space is an easy way to make a little extra money in a day’s time, and no maintenance is required.

You can list your space through a number of websites. Check out our guide to renting your parking spot.

6. Offer Your Pet Sitting or Babysitting Services

oung man with a guitar lying on the floor with his cat
annebaek/Getty Images

Music festival attendees aren’t always livin’ young, wild and free. Sometimes they’re adults who have responsibilities and who are responsible but might just want a day or weekend to unwind.

That’s where you can help. Offer your pet-sitting or babysitting services. List your availability through a platform like Care.com. There, you can connect with potential clients and help adults get some much-needed time to relax.

7. Work the Festival (If You Dare)

If you’re not allergic to patchouli oil, see if the music festival nearby is hiring. You might be able to make some quick money by working at a concession stand, directing traffic or working security.

Chances are you can search the music festival and it’ll have a jobs page for you to peruse.

Forget the Tunes: Watch That Cash Flow

All right, grumps (read: me).

Before you grab your ear plugs and hibernate all weekend (or week) while those youngins take over your town, set up a way to make money from the situation.

And in the meantime, let’s just observe a moment of silence for Fyre Festival.

Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She prefers sitting inside, sipping some sweet lemonade and reading a book with her cat by her side.