From pouring pints to collecting litter, cooking to checking tickets, casual labour is the life-blood of festivals and the wisest of us are selling ours for wristbands.
Be a steward
First stop for keen volunteers should be Oxfam, which offers volunteer steward positions at many of the UK’s top festivals, including Glastonbury, Bestival and Download.
Stewards are the ‘eyes and ears’ of the festival, acting as a kind of human CCTV around the fields to make sure that things run smoothly and people behave.
Volunteers get to attend the festival for free, camp in a private campsite and are fed quality food.
To volunteer as a steward, Oxfam ask for a commitment of three eight-and-a-quarter- hour shifts and take a deposit of between 50 and 230 depending on the festival – in case you disappear into the crowds or get pissed and don’t show up.
Applications for the 2017 season with Oxfam open in Spring but you can register your interest here.
Alternatively try Festaff who also provide volunteer staff in exchange for tickets.
Work Behind the Bar
The Workers Beer Co. provide volunteer staff for barwork at festivals and events. They have covered most of the major festivals like Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds and Latitude but be prepared – working the bar at a festival can be very hard work and stressful so your tolerance levels need to be high! workersbeer.co.uk/volunteers
Go Green and Recycle
Clean Vibes take volunteers to festivals to educate and ensure fans recycle and are as green as possible. Like Oxfam, they work on a deposit/refund basis in exchange for 4-10 hours work per day plus meals and camping. They are always looking for volunteers so contact them here.
Work at festivals in Europe
Whatever your dream festie, there’ll be a way to get there for free. Outgoing, an events company responsible for Snowbombing amongst others, recommend searching online – just type in festival volunteering into Google.
For those heading to Europe for their summer fun, there are chances to work for top festivals there, too.
Pamplona Posse are still looking for staff for the 2017 San Fermin Festival on the 7th-14th July. They are needing housekeepers/cleaners in exchange for being members of their tour group – so you get to experience the festival in exchange for a bit of work. So, how about it? Accommodation, booze, bull running – who could say no to that? Contact them here
What you need to know
Plan early: Festival jobs are popular so get your application in early – Anytime from February onwards.
Surf the web: Try general festival information websites, such as efestivals.co.uk/info/working.shtml.
Email: If you want to work at a particular festival it%u2019s worth getting in touch to see what%u2019s available.
Ask people: Find out how people who have worked at festivals got their jobs.
Be friendly: Write a friendly, cover email showing an interest in what you are applying for.
Know your limits: If you want to be drunk around the clock your services may not be welcome.
Know your role: Clarify with your employer exactly what your role and responsibilities are before you go.