Why every student should volunteer at a festival

It’s okay, we’re staff


I've always loved festivals; the music, the atmosphere and the food all contribute to an amazing weekend, however, once you add up the ticket, the camping, the food and the booze, it can end up being very pricey! Volunteering at festivals is an amazing way to save a bit of money without missing out on fun.

Free ticket

This is perhaps the most obvious, and the best benefit, you get to see some amazing music acts for free! Whether you're into drum and bass, indie or rock music, all kinds of festivals need volunteers meaning you're guaranteed to get to see an act you love over summer, completely free!

Food

Depending on what company you work for food is nearly always cheaper than your average festival food, or free!

Working for Hotbox you can buy meal vouchers for around £4 for a full meal – which is about the same as a portion of chips at a food stall in the arena!

Other companies, such as Oxfam, will even provide you with free meal vouchers – and I have heard some good reviews about the food!

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Toilets

Perhaps one of my favourite perks, staff have their own toilets. Unlike the toilets at some festivals, which consist of multiple holes in the floor with a large tank underneath, these are porta-potty's which get cleaned regularly. This meant you could always find a clean toilet, in which the smell did not make you gag and there was no waiting in line!

Showers

Another amazing benefit is the hot showers provided for staff. Due to there being less staff than festival-goers, if you timed it right you could walk straight into a cubicle and have a warm shower to freshen up – we all know how muddy festivals get!

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Plugs and kettles

Staff have their own camping area, in which there are tents consisting of free kettles and plugs to charge your phone. This means if you wanted to spend your weekend living off pot noodle, you could – or just not have to pay over £3 for a cofffee.

Friends

For some reason, staff are much friendlier than festival goers and everyone in the campsite seems to want to mingle. It is an amazing way to meet some new people into the same music as you.

Free parking

Driving is easily the most convieniet way to get to a festival – especially when you're carrying enough bags to sink a ship. Therefore, nothing is more helpful than the festival offering free parking to volunteers. They usually make it as easy as possible for staff, meaning our carpark was no more than 50 metres away from where we set up camp!

No long queues

When you enter the festival, there is no waiting in a long queue for everyone's bags to be searched and tickets to be checked. We managed to pitch up our tents as soon as we arrive and pick up our wristbands in a matter on minutes.

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Shifts can be fun

Depending on who you volunteer with, what you are doing will change. I volunteered with Hotbox and was a 'firecat', meaning I was up the firetowers, watching the campsites. Although being up from 1am to 9am watching a campsite sleeping doesn't sound like the most fun, you'll be surprised how entertaining it can be. You'll never be on a shift alone and everyone around you is always super friendly – so even the worst part isn't that bad!

If you're interesting in volunteering in a festival here are a list of companies that offer you the opportunity, along with links to their websites:

Hotbox

Oxfam

War child

Festaff