The thing about the UK is that it's expensive. Even when I'm not in London, which is ridiculously expensive, my budget is being stretched.
And when attending a literary festival, sessions range in price from 5 to 13 pounds, which initially doesn't sound like a lot for somebody like myself who deals mostly in dollars and euros... But (a) it adds up when I want to attend a couple of dozen sessions, and (b) when I actually convert prices, I feel poor.
And so, I've one again signed up as a volunteer, which means I have to be friendly, wear a hi-vis vest, wrangle queues, check tickets, and give directions. In return, I get to see a bunch of sessions for free, 20% of book purchases, and 3 hot meals a day - which pretty much accounts for all my expenses other than travel and accommodation. And I still get plenty of time to wander around and appreciate the town.
It's a pretty good deal, actually.