Thrifty festival living is my speciality'

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The Independent Online

So it's that time of year again. When tent shopping suddenly becomes a priority. When you think it sensible to start the day with a plate of chips and a pint of cider. Oh yes, it's festival season.

I suppose it began last week with the Isle of Wight – though next weekend is the big daddy. It's Glastonbury, an event I've never actually managed to attend. Too expensive. Too difficult to get tickets. Too long (five days in a tent? No thanks.)

And yet I can't help feeling a twinge of regret about not making the effort, particularly seeing as next year there will be no Glasto (Worthy Farm needs to rest the soil every now and then). Will I have outgrown festival-going by 2013? My bones already creak at the thought of a night in a sleeping bag.

And so I plan to compensate. There are, as they say, plenty more fish in the sea. There's the Big Chill, Latitude and Reading, the first festival I ever went to and, for my money, still the best. I've got the whole thrifty festival thing down to a fine art, packing my own food, my own alcohol and my own wellies.

But I've got another plan too. I'm going to embrace the Urban Festival. Over the years, festivals have been popping up in parks across London. Day tickets are a fraction of the price, there are no transport costs and – best of all – I don't need to stay in a tent. So this year I plan to go to as many as possible: Wireless, Lovebox, the lot.

They may not be Glastonbury, but they're something. And they're something I can afford.