Alice-Azania Jarvis: I have a bad case of Glasto envy

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The Independent Online

It's official. I have Glastonbury envy. I know tickets cost as much as a week abroad, but I still wish I'd experienced it. Every year, I decide it's too expensive – and now I won't go for at least another two, as Worthy Farm must lie fallow in 2012. Will I still be willing to camp, come 2013? Or will I, at the grand old age of 28, have decided such things are behind me?

It's a familiar feeling. Every year Glastonbury reminds me to pull up my festival socks and get organised. There's a string of reasonably priced urban festivals which I plan to take advantage of – it's perfectly possible to find a park in London with a decent line-up selling tickets for under £50. This weekend's Wireless, for instance, sees pretty much my favourite band ever, Pulp, play alongside other great bands like Yuck and The Horrors. Or there is July's Lovebox (think The Drums, Snoop Dogg and Blondie). I'll definitely patronise a few of these. But I'm determined to get one "proper" experience in too.

Reading is my absolute favourite, and possibly the best if you want to festival on a budget. Last year I got away with spending a lot less than my £100 budget. The only things I bought all weekend were a few drinks and one £7.50 grilled halloumi salad.

The thing about Reading is that it's many a music-lover's first festival. Only a short train ride from London, it's seen by parents as a not-too-dramatic introduction to the world of camping and warm beer. The result? There are plenty of affordable food stalls (halloumi salad excepted), and it's fine to bring your own supplies.

With a bit of clever footwork, anything can be done on the cheap. It's about planning and discipline. Take as much as you possibly can (it's only a weekend, after all). This is true of food, drink – alcoholic or otherwise – and clothes. If there's one thing you learn sitting at home looking at photos of Glasto it's this: things get muddy – and tie-dye's not a good look.