Oxfam open festival volunteering applications next week

 Oxfam open festival volunteering applications next week

Oxfam will open applications to volunteer at 17 music festivals next week, including Download, Glastonbury, Leeds and Reading.

Oxfam’s volunteer stewards usually work three shifts at each festival, each eight hours long. This could include providing help and information in campsites and the arena, checking wristbands, or watching from fire towers.

In return, volunteers get free access to the festival, and a meal voucher for every shift worked. Volunteers also have their own secure campsite with its own toilets and hot showers, plus tea, coffee, boiling water, and phone charging.

Some existing volunteers have ‘priority access’ and have been able to register since yesterday, but for everyone else, applications will open at 11am on Tuesday 12th February.

Oxfam told TheFestivals they ensure sought-after Glastonbury places are still available when public applications open. Over 2,400 Oxfam volunteers will be on site at Glasto, which in 2017 raised a record £2.35 million for Oxfam, Greenpeace and WaterAid.

Anyone that volunteers at two or more festivals this year will be rewarded with priority access for 2020. The ‘Oxfam Festivals Chat‘ Facebook group boasts over 16,400 members and is monitored by both long-term volunteers and Oxfam staff.

Volunteers are asked to pay a deposit, usually equal to the festival’s ticket price, which is returned after all shifts are completed. Anyone applying for multiple festivals only pays one deposit, matching the ticket price of the most expensive festival selected.

Oxfam stewards can request the same shift patterns as their friends by naming up to five people on their application. Volunteers must be 18 years of age and must complete a training session before their first event, either online or in person.

Michael Green, Oxfam’s Head of Festivals & Events, told TheFestivals: “It may be cold outside but there’s a whole summer of festivals ahead of us.

“Being an Oxfam steward is a fun way to experience festivals all over the country while helping to fight poverty around the world.

“Anyone is welcome and many of our stewards come back year after year. Give it a try!”

#Oxfamily Sign
Image credit: Casey Hemming / Oxfam

Like most festival crew, Oxfam volunteers are usually required to arrive on site the day before the event opens to the public and bring their own tent and camping supplies.

Though the majority of Oxfam roles available at festivals are stewarding roles, Oxfam will also take applications for campaigners and the Oxfam Festival Shop.

Campaigners normally complete four daytime shifts, leaving every evening free, but unlike stewarding a telephone interview is required.

The Oxfam Festival Shop goes on tour each summer, stocked with some of Oxfam’s best clothing gems.

Applications to volunteer in the festival shop are only open to previous festival shop volunteers, or existing Oxfam high-street shop volunteers or staff.

Oxfam at Pedestrian Gate 7
Image credit: May Li Lau / Oxfam

Oxfam will be offering volunteer places at these 17 music festivals in 2019:

  • 2000trees
  • Bearded Theory
  • Beautiful Days
  • Boardmasters
  • Boomtown Fair
  • Download
  • Glastonbury
  • Kendal Calling
  • Isle of Wight
  • Latitude
  • Leeds
  • The Long Road
  • NASS
  • Reading
  • Shambala
  • Wilderness

Oxfam is one of many organisations that offer volunteer places at these festivals, and some, such as Boomtown, also offer volunteer places directly.

Many of these are other charities, such as WaterAid, who are currently offering places at Glastonbury.

Almost every festival will have volunteer places of some sort available, which you’ll usually find listed on the info pages of their website.

Anyone considering volunteering with Oxfam can register their interest on their website ahead of applications opening on 12th February.

For more volunteering opportunities, join the Music Festival Volunteers & Staff Community Facebook group.