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Electronic music festivals: How to save money with reward points

To the point Here's a list of the biggest electronic music festivals in the world and different ways to use points to save money

The biggest electronic music festivals in the world

Audrey and I are passionate about electronic dance music (EDM). For the past few years, we’ve been travelling to music festivals worldwide and trying to cut down on our spending with credit card rewards points.

For example, in March 2020, a few days before the world closed, we attended Ultra Australia in Melbourne during our tour around the world with our kids.

Ultra Australia Audrey Jm
Ultra Australia Audrey Jm

Put on pause during COVID-19 – with more or less successful online versions – the festivals can finally resume! In the summer of 2022, we made up for lost time by attending three of the biggest festivals in the world: Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas, Ultra Europe and Tomorrowland.

By proudly displaying our colors:

Tomorrowland Festival Featured

So here’s our guide to attending the biggest electronic music festivals in the world (and saving with points)! For some festivals, we have provided recommendations for hotels you can book with points.

At the end of the article, you will find the credit cards we recommend to save on:

  • Flights
  • Accommodation (hotels and other types)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Foreign currency fees

Recommended credit card

If you only had one credit card to choose from as an electronic music festival goer, we recommend the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® for all these reasons:

  • No foreign currency transaction fee (2.5% savings on each transaction)
  • 6 points per dollar for travel purchases (i.e. 3% return)
  • 3 points per dollar for all purchases INCLUDING those made in foreign currencies (i.e. 1.5% return)
  • $100 in annual travel credit
  • Points can be used against any travel expense (flights, hotels, Airbnb, and even some festival tickets)
  • Transferable points with several airline programs such as British Airways Executive Club
  • Insurance coverage
  • Mastercard = accepted worldwide
  • World Elite Mastercard = Priceless Mastercard benefits and experiences for multiple festivals
  • Mastercard World Elite = discount on contactless payment for several festivals

In short, the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® checks off many boxes for the electronic music festival fan!

HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® Featured

United States

Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas - USA

Time of the year May
Duration 3 days
Cost of entry From USD 359
Number of festival-goers 150,000 per day
Website Festival website
Festival -25
Festival EDC

EDC Las Vegas is probably the most intense festival on this list. Located at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, it attracts over 150,000 people per night. And this, on 3 days in a row.

Hotels with points

If your goal is only to attend EDC Las Vegas, your best bet is to choose a hotel that is as close as possible to the festival venue. Indeed, you will sleep during the day and live at night and will not see much of Las Vegas.

The nearest hotel is the SpringHill Suites Las Vegas North Speedway. It is available for only 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points on all 3 nights of the Festival. Compare this to the rate of USD 383 + taxes per night!

Springhill Las Vegas Festival

Prefer to be closer to the Las Vegas Strip? I recommend the Las Vegas Marriott for 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy points for the 3 nights of the Festival.

Marriott Las Vegas Festival

Ultra Music Festival Miami - United States

Time of the year March
Duration 3 days
Cost of entry Starting at USD 299
Number of festival-goers 55,000 per day
Website Festival website
Festival -16
Ultra Miami

Ultra Miami is the biggest festival on the American East Coast. Located in the heart of Miami, it gathers more than 55,000 people daily.

Hotels with points

If your goal is only to attend Ultra Miami, it is in your best interest to choose a hotel that is as close as possible to the festival site.

One of the closest hotels is the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay. For the 3 nights of the festival, it will cost you 123,000 Marriott Bonvoy points (compared to the rate of USD 407 + taxes per night).

Marriott Miami Festival

Another option could be the AC Hotel Miami Brickell which costs 90,000 points for the 3 nights (compared to the insane rate of USD 711 + taxes per night)!

Festival Ac Hotel Miami

Coachella - United States

Time of the year April
Duration 2 x 3 days
Cost of entry Starting at USD 449
Number of festival-goers 125,000 per day
Website Festival website
Recreation Ferris Wheel Amusement Park Big Wheel Tourist Attraction 669645 Pxhere.com
Coachella

Coachella is probably the most fashionable festival on the American West Coast. Seats are expensive, but sometimes accessible with points via the Marriott Bonvoy Moments site (with VIP experiences).

Hotels with points

At the time of writing this article, few hotels are available. Here is the only example which is the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa which you could have for 189,000 points for the 3 nights of the first weekend. This compares to the prohibitive rate of $1,045 per night + taxes.

Jw Marriott Coachella Festival

Electric Daisy Carnival Orlando - USA

Time of the year November
Duration 3 days
Cost of entry From USD 190
Number of festival-goers 90,000 per day
Website Festival website
Edc Orlando
EDC Orlando

EDC Orlando is the East Coast counterpart to the Las Vegas version. And it is one of the last big festivals of the year, taking place in November.

Hotels with points

In Orlando, there are a number of hotels available with Marriott Bonvoy points (or even Hilton Honors with the points purchase technique). For the 2022 edition, here is the list of available hotels with points for 3 nights near the festival:

Orlando 2022 Festival

And why not take the opportunity to visit Disney?

Electric Daisy Carnival Mexico - Mexico

Time of the year February
Duration 3 days
Cost of entry From USD 120
Number of festival-goers 60,000 per day
Website Festival website

EDC Mexico starts the season of the first big annual festivals. It’s the opportunity to visit Mexico City at the same time!

Edc Mexico
EDC Mexico

Hotels with points

Here is the list of Marriott Bonvoy hotels available with points for the 3-night festival:

Mexico Festival

Here are our articles and reviews on Mexico City:

Canada

Ile Soniq - Montreal - Canada

Time of the year August
Duration 3 days
Cost of entry Starting at CAD 295
Number of festival-goers 50,000 per day
Website Festival website
FestivFestival 12al 12
Festival ULTRA Miami

Ile Soniq is THE electronic music festival of Montreal. Do you live in Quebec? Be part of it next summer!

Hotels with points

Here is the list of available Marriott Bonvoy hotels with points on both days of the festival:

Montreal Festival

Igloofest - Montreal - Canada

Time of the year January – February
Duration Several evenings
Cost of entry Starting at 35 CAD
Number of festival-goers 10,000 per day
Website Festival website
IglooFest 2014 2

A festival in the heart of winter? Only in Montreal can you see this! To have fun, enjoy Igloofest next winter in Montreal!

Hotels with points

Here is the list of available Marriott Bonvoy hotels with points on a festival weekend:

Montreal Winter Festival

Getaway - Ottawa - Canada

Time of the year June
Duration 3 days
Cost of entry Starting at 299 CAD
Number of festival-goers 30,000 per day
Website Festival website
Escapade Ottawa

Escapade attracts more and more people every year. An opportunity to visit the capital of Canada at the same time!

Hotels with points

Here is the list of available Marriott Bonvoy hotels with points on the festival weekend:

Ottawa Festival

And our articles on the region :

Shambhala - C.B - Canada

Time of the year July
Duration 3 days
Cost of entry Starting at 495 CAD
Number of festival-goers 15,000 per day
Website Festival website
Shambhala music festival
Shambhala music festival 2

Hotels with points

Few hotels are available in the area. You have to drive about 50 km to find this one during the festival weekend:

Bc Festival

Veld - Toronto - Canada

Time of the year July
Duration 3 days
Cost of entry Starting at 299 CAD
Number of festival-goers 30,000 per day
Website Festival website

Another growing festival in Canada: Veld. An opportunity, there too, to visit a Canadian city, Toronto!

Hotels with points

Here are the hotels available in Toronto with Marriott Bonvoy points:

Toronto Festival

And our articles on the region :

Europe

Tomorrowland - Belgium

Time of the year July
Duration Over 2 to 3 weekends
Cost of entry From 260 EUR
Number of festival-goers 125,000 per day
Website Festival website
Festival -52
Tomorrowland

Arguably the largest and most beautiful electronic music festival in the world, Tomorrowland is an experience you have to live at least once!

Amsterdam Music Festival - The Netherlands

Time of the year October
Duration 1 evening
Cost of entry From 69 EUR
Number of festival-goers 40 000
Website Festival website

The Amsterdam Music Festival takes place during the electronic music week: Amsterdam Dance Event. It has become the place where the Best DJ of the year is elected by DJ Mag.

Festival -02
AMF Amsterdam

Creamfields - United Kingdom

Time of the year August
Duration 4 days
Cost of entry From £260
Number of festival-goers 70,000 per day
Website Festival website
Creamfields
Creamfields

Ultra Europe - Croatia

Time of the year July
Duration 3 days
Cost of entry From 149 EUR
Number of festival-goers 40,000 per day
Website Festival website

The Ultra Europe takes place every year in the seaside resort of Split. It is a good starting point to visit the rest of Croatia!

Festival -34
Ultra Europe

And Ultra Europe is partnered with Mastercard and the Priceless program. You can get discounted VIP tickets and no charge for loading your electronic bracelet. We took advantage of that this summer of 2022.

Ultra 2022 Split -3

Here there are few hotels with the points and we recommend you to stay in Airbnb. This is what we did this year, in the heart of the old town (15 minutes walk from the festival located in the north of the old town).

Split –

Untold - Romania

Time of the year August
Duration 4 days
Cost of entry From 159 EUR
Number of festival-goers 70,000 per day
Website Festival website

For the more adventurous, Untold is for you. It is one of the biggest festivals in Europe.

Untold Festival 2020 1579623384.478103
Untold

Asia - Oceania

In Asia-Oceania, it is more rare to find electronic music festivals. There is the Ultra franchise which is expanding in Japan, South Korea and Australia.

Some attempts were made in Thailand with the Maya Music Festival I attended in 2017:

Festival -03

Ultra Music Festival - Australia

Time of the year March
Duration 1 day
Cost of entry From 160 AUD
Number of festival-goers 25,000 per day
Website Festival website
Ultra Australia
Ultra Australia

Full Moon Party - Thailand

Time of the year Each month
Duration 1 day
Cost of entry
Number of festival-goers 20 000
Website Festival website

More a “tradition” than a music festival, I add the Full Moon Party of Koh Phangan in Thailand. A destination where many clubbers have been once in their lives. Which I was able to do in 2017 at a bachelor party.

Full Moon Party
Full Moon Party

Middle East

MDLBEAST - Riyadh - Saudi Arabia

Time of the year December
Duration 4 days
Cost of entry From 149 USD
Number of festival-goers 150 000
Website Festival website

A new and very intriguing festival in Saudi Arabia that attracts hundreds of thousands of people!

View this publication on Instagram

A post shared by MDLBEAST (@mdlbeast)

Recommended credit cards

Here are the credit cards we recommend for various expenses related to your participation in a music festival:

  • Flights
  • Accommodation
  • Conversion fees
  • Insurance

Flights

To get to your music festival, whether it’s in Miami, Las Vegas, British Columbia or Belgium, you will need to fly! Here, several loyalty programs can save you money such as Aeroplan, WestJet Rewards, British Airways Executive Club or Flying Blue.

Or, if you book your flight via a platform such as Expedia, Skyscanner or directly with your airline (such as Air Transat or Corsair), you can use travel points (as indicated in the last section).

Aeroplan

For travel within North America or to other parts of the world, the best known loyalty program is Air Canada’s Aeroplan.

Here are the best Aeroplan credit card offers to book your flight to your music festival:

WestJet Rewards

A competitor to Aeroplan, the WestJet Rewards program is worth watching if your festival is in North America. You can use your WestJet Dollars to travel with WestJet or a partner airline such as Delta Airlines.

Here are the best WestJet credit card offers for booking your flight to your music festival:

British Airways Executive Club

In North America, you can use British Airways Executive Club Avios to travel with American Airlines. In Europe, you will use them to travel with British Airways or Iberia, in Australia with Qantas, in Asia with Japan Airlines or Cathay Pacific.

This is a currency to have in your points portfolio to give you flexibility!

Here are the best credit card offers to get Avios to book your airfare to your music festival:

Flying Blue

Flying Blue, the Air France KLM program, is increasingly present in Canada, notably because of its partnership with American Express Membership Rewards (and the imminent arrival of a Flying Blue credit card).

You can use your Flying Blue Miles on any SkyTeam carrier (or partners such as WestJet). And why not take advantage of Flying Blue’s Promo Rewards?

Here are the best credit card offers that allow you to convert your points into Flying Blue Miles:

Travel Rewards

If you decide to book your flight directly without using airline points, be sure to do so with a credit card that offers travel points applicable against this expense!

Here is our selection of the best travel credit cards to pay for your flight to your music festival. Each of them offers an annual credit that you can apply to your airfare or related fees:

Accommodation

Accommodation is often very expensive when an important event takes place in a city. For a festival, it is necessary to take it as far in advance as possible: the prices only go up.

For some festivals like Tomorrowland in Belgium, one of the only ways to secure seats is by booking the hotel (or campsite) with the festival as a package deal.

For other festivals, you can book any type of accommodation: hotel, Airbnb, VRBO, camping. And this is where points can help you.

Hotels

For hotels near your festival location, you can save with points from several loyalty programs like Marriott Bonvoy, Best Western Rewards, Hilton Honors or World of Hyatt.

Or, if you book your hotel through a platform such as Expedia or Booking.com, you can use travel points (as outlined in the next section).

Here are the best credit card deals to earn points for hotels near the music festival:

Alternative accommodations: Airbnb, VRBO, Camping

If you use an online booking site like Expedia or Booking.com, or decide to stay at an Airbnb or VRBO (or even a hostel or campground), you can save money with travel points.

Here are the best credit card offers with travel points for your accommodation near the music festival:

Foreign currency conversion fees

When you plan to attend a music festival, there is a good chance that the payment for tickets will be in a foreign currency.

And once there, to pay for your various expenses (food, drinks, souvenirs, etc.), most music festivals have implemented cashless payments: everything must be done via a credit card (either directly or via your festival bracelet which will have been linked to your credit card).

Hence the usefulness of having a credit card that does not charge conversion fees for foreign currency transactions! That’s a 2.5% savings compared to most credit cards on the market in Canada.

Here are the best credit cards with no foreign currency conversion fees to pay at your music festival:

Insurance

The costs of travelling to a music festival are high. It is best to have a credit card with good insurance:

  • trip cancellation
  • trip interruption
  • flight and baggage delays
  • Car rentals
  • etc.

Here are the best credit cards with insurance for your trip to your music festival:

Conclusion

Attending a music festival is a unique experience. Don’t hesitate to experience it… and save on that trip with our credit card tips!

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!

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