Want to go to some of the UK’s top festivals, but put off by the price of a ticket? Then apply to be an Oxfam festival volunteer and get in for free.
Oxfam is recruiting volunteers for Leeds, Reading and Shambala Festivals (main image) on August bank holiday weekend, where world-class music acts and jaw-dropping entertainment promise to wow crowds.
In working three shifts over five days, Oxfam volunteers can catch live performances from the likes of Eminem and Korn, the world’s best beat-boxers and circus acts, or get involved in crafts and yoga workshops. What’s more, volunteers camp in a secure designated workers field with clean showers and a 24-hour catering service.
Oxfam is paid by festivals for volunteers’ time, raising essential money for the charity to carry out its work fighting poverty and suffering around the world. Volunteers work as stewards or campaigners, or help staff in an on-site Oxfam shop.
‘Being a volunteer at festivals is a music lover’s dream. You do three shifts at each event, and off duty you’re free to enjoy yourself like any other festival-goer.
‘Oxfam volunteers also get special perks. They camp in a secure field with showers, loos, phone charging, a chill-out marquee, free tea and coffee and meals. We give everyone training including professional skills, like customer relations, which employers value in the real world.
‘Best of all, everyone receives a warm welcome and meets a great bunch of like-minded individuals. Volunteering at a festival either as a campaigner, steward or in an on-site Oxfam shop is the perfect way to have a great time and help Oxfam fight poverty around the world.’
Oxfam’s head of festivals
An Oxfam festival volunteer steward is there to keep people safe and provide information and advice to festival-goers. Typical jobs include welcoming visitors, checking tickets and wristbands, managing access to stages and monitoring crowd levels.
Stewards become the face of the festival and look after all areas, including arenas, gates and campsites.
Other festival volunteers staff on-site Oxfam shops or talk about current Oxfam campaigns like Stand as One with refugees, helping draw attention to urgent issues.
Volunteer steward Tamsin Harding, 26, first volunteered at Camp Bestival a few years ago. She went by herself but said she ‘instantly made friends’ before she’d even set up her tent.
‘The experience made me realise that I’m good at engaging with crowds and lifting the mood of tired festival-goers. It highlighted my administration and organisational skills, which I now use in my job working for a yearly arts fringe event.’
Oxfam festival volunteers are asked to pay a deposit for a ticket, which is fully reimbursed within a month. Volunteers also have the opportunity to transfer their deposit to work at Bestival in Dorset if they would like to volunteer again.
All applicants must be aged 18 or over at the time of the festival.
Click here to apply online to be an Oxfam festival steward.
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