14 Ways To Sneak Into Your Favorite Music Festivals

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Ever suffered from festival FOMO? All your friends are heading out to the greatest music festivals ever for days of partying to live music by dozens of your favorite bands. But your bank balance has a little minus symbol right beside that all-important number. Getting into music festivals just isn't in the budget.

So, that puts an end to your fun, huh? Well, think again. Being broke doesn’t mean you can't experience those Coachella hipsters and Bonnaroo hippies in person. You can join them if you're sneaky enough. Some brave music fans have shared the best ways to get into festivals online, and you can follow their lead and try sneaking into live shows yourself - provided you don't mind breaking the rules, that is.

Feeling brave? Here's how you could sneak into music festivals all season long. And, if you're wondering where to test these skills, check out our list of the best US festival lineups of 2020.

  • 1
    295 VOTES

    Slip And Swap A Wristband

    Slip And Swap A Wristband
    Photo: photosam88 / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    If you've got a buddy who managed to nab a wristband, get them to wiggle it off their wrist and throw it over the fence for you. Then, slip that bad boy on and waltz through security like it's no big thing.

    Alternatively, you could hang around the festival site, looking for anyone who's had enough fun for one weekend and is heading home. Hit them up for their wristband - it's only going to waste otherwise.

    295 votes
  • 2
    207 VOTES

    Act Like You're Supposed To Be There

    Act Like You're Supposed To Be There
    Photo: liliane callegari / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Once you've successfully gotten into the festival, it's time to keep your cool. Avoiding getting caught is all about blending in and not attracting unnecessary attention. In other words, now is not the time to go crowd-surfing or ask your favorite band for a selfie.

    207 votes
  • 3
    188 VOTES

    Do It In The Dead Of Night

    Do It In The Dead Of Night
    Photo: Thomas Hawk / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0

    Your chances of a successful sneak-in might increase under cover of darkness. One successful fence-hopper from Australia told Vice that he was able to creep past security guards and spotlights by staying alert and wearing all black.

    188 votes
  • 4
    206 VOTES

    Pile On The Fake Wristbands

    Pile On The Fake Wristbands
    Photo: f_shields / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    You can collect wristbands from just about anywhere. Whether you snag wristbands from a night out at a club, concerts you’ve been to in the past, pride parades, or food festivals, all you have to do is remember to keep stockpiling them. If you're creative, you could even make your own.

    Cover your wrists in them. Stack the wristbands up until they become a kaleidoscopic mass of plastic and paper, and trust that the sheer volume will cause exhausted security to simply wave you on through. As crazy as this technique sounds, it can work - see Marcus Haney's festival-hopping documentary No Cameras Allowed for proof. Sure, at one point he gets caught, but he was scamming the system for some time before that.

    206 votes
  • 5
    160 VOTES

    Scatter Away From Security

    Scatter Away From Security
    Photo: Sam Howzit / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    This tactic requires a bunch of friends who are all equally eager to get in on the free festival action. Let's say you've hopped the fence - but security is right there. Scatter!

    A couple of security guys can't catch you all. Just bolt away from everyone else and dive into the crowds. You can all meet up later to bask in your success.

    160 votes
  • 6
    200 VOTES

    Sneak Through The Gap In The Fence

    Sneak Through The Gap In The Fence
    Photo: hannah.rosen / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Most festivals are cordoned off from the public with fences. You could try scaling them, but if your upper body strength isn’t quite up to par, there are other ways to get around these barriers.

    Writing for xoJane, Lynn-Q-Yu said that she and her friends scoped out the fence at a festival that was manned by guards. Luckily, they found the one section that was unmanned, burned through the zip tie connecting the fence, and piled on through. Consider taking a leaf out of her book if you've got a cigarette lighter and good fence-based reconnaissance skills.

    200 votes