How to attend your favourite music festivals for free!
by Kelly Henderson (follow Kelly on Twitter: @kellythekiwi)
If you’re hoping to go to more music festivals than pounds in your bank account, why not volunteer and see your favourite artists for free?
Which festivals can I volunteer at?
All of the major (and minor) music festivals in the UK require hundreds of volunteers to make the event possible. This includes Glastonbury, the British Summertime Festival, Download and T in the Park.
How do I sign up?
There are two main ways of volunteering to work at a UK music festival:
In both cases you need to register online and fill in the application form. In the application you will be asked to include your CV, passport photos and a refundable deposit.
The amount the deposit is depends on the festival – it can be up to £200. This is to make sure that you do not abuse your role as a volunteer. If you apply for more than one festival, you only need to pay once and when you have worked all of your shifts; the money will be refunded to you.
What kind of work will I be doing?
There is a whole range of jobs that need doing when it comes to putting on a festival. You can apply for the following positions:
- Litter collection
- Ticket ripper/scanner
- Bar staff
- Sanitation monitors (yep, that’s the toilets)
- And many more…
How many shifts will I be required to work?
The amount of hours you will be required to do depends on the festival and the organisation that you are volunteering through. Generally, you will be required to attend training plus a number of 8 hour shifts (1, 2 or 3 shifts depending on the length of the festival).
You will be told your schedule when you arrive at the site. Normally, there will be an option in the application form for you to choose a friend that you would like to work with. And don’t worry about missing out on your favourite acts – most supervisors will let you swap shifts with somebody who doesn’t want to see that particular performance.
What do I get for my time?
As if the free ticket isn’t enough?! You will also get to camp in a secure area, free water and/or a couple of drinks after your shift, free meals and to be the envy of all your friends who have missed out.
You will need to find your own way to the festival – have a look at car sharing platforms such as GoCarShare or liftshare to find others who are travelling to the same place. You will also need to bring your own tent and camping equipment.
Remember, that you are there to work so you will be expected to turn up on time to your shifts, work hard and be in good health and a fit state to work (I think we know what that means!).
Festival season runs from about June to September but volunteer places are filling up quickly. Register today and have the summer of a lifetime!
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You may also want to check how to get Free Studio Audience Tickets.