Melbourne is a city of festivals with year round events and celebrations filling the social calendar. Unfortunately, most of these fabulous festivals are not free and feeling the excitement ebb as you find out the extravagant price for tickets is not an uncommon phenomenon. But attending your favourite festival or checking out a fascinating event should not cost an arm and a leg. In fact, you can actually attend several festivals and events for free if you know how.
Here are some less travelled paths for acquiring free entries to some of the best festivals and events in an around Melbourne.
Volunteering Volunteering is an excellent avenue for gaining entrance to various festivals and events. Prominent events like Royal Melbourne Show, Melbourne International Film Festival, Melbourne Fringe Festival rely heavily on volunteers for their roaring success. Apart from getting tickets, volunteering opens up opportunities like meeting like-minded people, gaining experiencing in event management and customer service and even acquiring reference letters should you require one. Other perks include volunteer t-shirts, food, drinks and random freebies.
Usually no experience is required apart from availability during the festival and a contagious enthusiasm. However, some festivals impose requirements like experience in event management, customer service, first aid, hospitality and so forth. Some festivals require you to contribute 4 to 6 hours or half a day for volunteering while other festivals can be more demanding and can necessitate spending a full day or a full weekend volunteering at the festival.
If you are seriously considering volunteering in festivals then you can get started by looking at the websites for Royal Melbourne Show, Melbourne International Film Festival, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Japanese Film Festival and Go Festival for volunteering opportunities. As a rule of thumb, volunteer applications open 4 to 8 months before the actual commencement of the festival. So do not leave doing expressions of interest to the last minute.
Free components of paid festivals Sometimes festivals with paid entry offer one or more free events. A classic example is the annual Australian F1 Grand Prix opening up the Albert park street circuit for one day for free to the public. In 2014, general free admissions were offered for 13 March 2014 for an on-track action with an amazing line-up of entertainment. Another good example is the free Loreal runway show offered by Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival on 23 March 2014. The key is to troll through the website of the numerous festivals and keeping an eye out for free entries to the prominent festivals and events in Melbourne.
Competitions Competitions are another excellent way to land free tickets to festivals. Of course there is no foolproof way of winning competitions but as you partake in more and more competitions you get better at them and also improve your chances at winning.
For instance, Northland Shopping Centre ran a 10 day long competition in Facebook in March 2014 giving away 20 free tickets to the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, official festival websites and newspapers are all great places to locate competitions giving away festival tickets as prizes.
Weekendnotes Weekendnotes provides a wonderful platform for budding writers to tap into their talents and create literary beauties. Writing for Weekendnotes is a fulfilling experience which not only acts as an outlet for your creativity but also gives you the bragging rights for introducing yourself as a freelance writer. There are other perks such as getting invited to festivals, events and eateries to review them and give them delightful publicity.
Once you establish yourself as a Weekendnotes writer, you could easily find yourself getting invited to this food festival you really wanted to go or that comedy festival that struck a chord with you. The opportunities are endless.
Do you have any other tips or ideas for procuring free tickets to festivals and events? If so, please share them with our avid readers.
Although my 'entry' is free, it is bloody hard, exhausting work.
As one who volunteers often, I have never received 'perks' like enjoying the show or exhibition as I have been so busy doing the jobs required, that I see less than anyone else. Helping to put up, operate, and pack up does not, and has not lead to wandering around enjoying the sights or festivities.
Guess I just work too hard - maybe making up for those who volunteer to get the perks who may not be doing the tasks which they were assigned when volunteering. Interesting thoughts - which I had not had until reading your article and the comments.
Dear readers, in this article I have used some examples of events from the past to illustrate how you can use the techniques I have found useful in gaining free tickets to festivals. As mentioned in the article, the past events have been used as examples only. By drawing on past experience we can formulate our future activities.