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- Nearly one-third of millennials who have attended a music festival in the past year have gone into debt to do so, according to a new report from CompareCards by Lending Tree.
- Music festivals can be expensive: General tickets for Coachella cost $429, plus there’s food, travel, clothes, and accommodation to pay for.
- The trend stands as further testament to millennials‘ preference for spending on experiences over material items.
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Millennials love music festivals, but their bank accounts don’t.
Nearly one-third (32%) of millennials who attended a music festival in the past year took on debt to do so, according to a new report from CompareCards by Lending Tree. It commissioned Qualtrics to survey 1,019 Americans in July 2019 — a sample base proportional to the general population.
Overall, nearly one-fourth (23%) of survey respondents, regardless of age, said they are in festival-related debt.
According to the survey, 53% of millennials attended at least one music festival in the past 12 months. Of those who attended at least one, 28% spent at least $500 on music festivals. More than half of the surveyed millennials — 68% — said they spent more on festivals in the past year than they did in previous years.
That’s no surprise considering the price to attend some of the biggest festivals in the US, like Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and Coachella. The latter cost $429 for general admission in 2019, but the total cost to attend really depends on the experience one wants.
After all, there’s more than just the price of tickets to consider: There’s also accommodation, transportation, food, and "festival fashion" —which can include anything from fringe boots, bikini tops, and sequined jackets to colored hair, glitter make-up, and flash tattoos — to consider. On a luxury level, a safari camping experience at Coachella can cost almost $10,000.
Former Business Insider correspondent Harrison Jacobs went to Coachella this year, and it cost him more than $2,000 to attend between airfare and tickets.
Millennials love experiences
Festival-related debt is just more evidence of millennials’ preference for the experience economy.
They pay more for travel, entertainment, and dining than their parents and grandparents do, according to findings by JPMorgan. And in Fidelity Investments’ 2018 Millennial Money Study, more than a quarter of respondents said that after a rough week, the thing that would bring them the most joy is some form of entertainment, such as going to the movies, happy hour, or a concert.
And spending money on experiences comes with some positive side effects. It can create a longer-lasting, more substantial payoff, according to financial expert Jean Chatzky in her latest of 11 books, "Women with Money." Experiences not only create memories and anticipation, but they can involve other people and exercise — all of which can boost happiness, Chatzky said.
Millennials just might want to think twice before going into debt for it. After all, most millennials define financial success as being debt-free, according to a recent Merrill Lynch Wealth Management report.
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