Volunteering at Festivals with Oxfam

Hi guys! Today I’m talking about volunteering with Oxfam at Glastonbury and Latitude and how you can get involved.

This time three years ago, my friend and I decided we’d love to go to a few festivals but didn’t have the money. We volunteered with Hotbox events the year before at Latitude and Leeds and had a great time, but wanted to do something a bit more worthwhile.

Volunteering in the woods at Latitude as a ‘pixie’

If you don’t fancy Glastonbury or Latitude, they have an amazing list of festivals, including Kendal Calling and Leeds which I wrote about here. So it definitely isn’t hard to pick one, or several!

When we saw Oxfam applications go live, we knew we had to go for it! An online form and a short video filmed in Sheffield’s Weston Park later (and a lot of takes… pigeons are surprisingly loud!) and we were in to be Campaigners for the Stand As One campaign.

You have to pay a deposit which is the price of a festival ticket, to make sure you actually turn up to your volunteer shifts, and you’ll get this back after the festival. You also have to organise your own transport, though Oxfam will usually put on a shuttle bus from the nearest train station. And you’ll probably meet other volunteers on the way which is always nice.

Glastonbury

The best part of Campaigning, as opposed to Stewarding, is that despite still having shifts you get to campaign wherever you want around the festival. Provided you get enough signatures, you can have breaks when you want – perfect if there’s a band during the day that you really want to see! We found that campaigning near the main stage during the day is such a nice way to hear the music and be part of the atmosphere.

One of the areas we campaigned in at Glastonbury

Most people you talk to will be interested in getting involved – the campaign changes every year, but we took photos of people in a certain pose – so it’s super easy and fun. The year before they painted festival goer’s lips green and got them to sing!

Evenings are all your own so after around 5-6pm you’re free to enjoy the festival – this is the time most things start anyway! You also get a free meal token for every shift. The vegan option in the volunteer tent wasn’t great (think gnocci and chips i.e. potato overload) but have hopefully improved somewhat.

Glastonbury main stage

The only downside is that you have separate camping which tends to be a bit further away than the usual camping. Our Glastonbury one was certainly a bit of a trek, especially in all the mud. But it does tend to be nicer and there’s free showers!

Overall I think this is such a perfect way to go to a festival, save money and do something worthwhile for charity! Have you volunteered before? Would you! let me know in the comments!

Hazel x

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6 Comments

  1. April 3, 2019 / 4:34 pm

    I always wanted to volunteer at a festival but it never went well with my actual work schedule. it sounds like fun though, hopefully one day I can experience it.

    • hazellillianmckenna@gmail.com
      Author
      April 7, 2019 / 3:18 pm

      It was definitely easier as a student! So worth trying to fit in though.

  2. April 4, 2019 / 12:22 am

    What a fun idea! I don’t live in the UK, but there are plenty of opportunities here in the states. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • hazellillianmckenna@gmail.com
      Author
      April 7, 2019 / 3:17 pm

      There’s so many opportunities everywhere, definitely worth looking into.

  3. April 4, 2019 / 8:25 pm

    This is a great way to combine some fun with an important cause. Thank you for sharing your experience, I hope that it will encourage some others to look into giving it a try.

    • hazellillianmckenna@gmail.com
      Author
      April 7, 2019 / 3:16 pm

      Thank you! I hope so, really fun and worthwhile.

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