14 Ways To Sneak Into Your Favorite Music Festivals

Voting Rules
Vote up the best ways to get into festivals for free.

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.

Photo: Thomas Hawk / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0

  • 1
    296 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.

    296 votes
  • 2
    197 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.

    197 votes
  • 3
    183 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.

    183 votes
  • 4
    157 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.

    157 votes
  • 5
    158 VOTES

    Climb A Wall

    Climb A Wall
    Photo: Tortuga Music Festival / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0

    This takes a little bit of ingenuity and a lot of upper body strength. But there's no more straightforward way of getting into a festival than climbing. Sometimes its walls, sometimes its fences, and it's always pretty conspicuous. It doesn't always work, but when it does, it's worth it. 

    158 votes
  • 6
    194 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.

    194 votes