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Work at a festival

Be prepared to graft, as the hours can be long.
Find a job at a festival.

Not got a ticket for Glastonbury? T In the Park sold out? Well, how about watching your favourite acts with free entry to the UK’s festivals while getting paid? And it’s not too good to be true. At every music event an army of staff works around the clock to ensure the production runs smoothly.

Some do it for the music, others for money – it’s also a great way to meet people. If you want a temporary job and don’t mind crowds, this could be for you.

Find a festival job

Festaff (festaff.co.uk) recruits workers for festivals including T In The Park, Bestival, Wickerman, Isle Of Wight Festival, Rockness, Creamfields, Sonisphere and Camp Bestival. They pay in tickets and minimum wage, but this varies between jobs and responsibilities. Staff are required to work at least two shifts per event (one usually during a headline act), but there’ll be plenty of time to enjoy the atmosphere.

Festaff welcomes group applications, so apply with your mates.

“We get people from all over the world returning year after year to work, it’s a real community,” says staff co-ordinator Sandy Reid. He adds that it does get busy, but in the downtime, you simply enjoy the bands.

Roles with Festaff include bar work, providing information, collecting recyclables and manning ticket collection points. Plus, you’re fed and watered for your efforts and get to camp on a staff site.

You must be at least 18 and able to deal with the public politely, maturely and helpfully. Be prepared to graft, too as the hours can be long.

Festival websites will tell you which recruitment companies they use (noticeboard, right), so get in touch and you can spend a whole summer travelling from show to show.

Use your talent

Specialised skills, such as forklift driving, are also handy. For jobs in security, you will be required to hold a Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence.

If you’ve always fancied yourself a bit of a market trader, look on Gumtree for positions on food or fashion stalls. Although traders have a limited number of passes for staff, so get in quick.

If you’ve already bought your festival ticket, it’s always worth approaching them on the day as some traders will employ extra staff when they are busy, so try the ones that look rushed off their feet.
Other roles such as runners are normally dished out by the production company.

Do it for a good cause

Most festival groundstaff work for their ticket rather than money. With Oxfam (oxfam.org.uk) and the labour movement organisation Workers Beer Company (workersbeer.co.uk), your wages will go to charity.

Oxfam provides 5000 stewards to 14 major festivals, including Glastonbury, Womad, Camp Bestival and Beautiful Days. At Glastonbury, stewards are required to work three eight-hour shifts.

Laura Murphy, 29, who worked for Oxfam at Glastonbury in 2009 and 2010 says: “I met some great people, helped out a worthwhile charity and got to go to Glastonbury for free. I raved about it so much after my first year that lots of my friends came with me the second year.”

The Workers Beer Company is also recruiting volunteers for Glastonbury, Latitude, Hop Farm, Uprise, Reading and Leeds. In exchange you will work a bar shift (6-8 hours) for which the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign will receive £6.50 per hour. Contact the VSC by phone, 0207 420 8963.

Festival jobs

Cash and Traffic Management Cashandtrafficmanagement.com requires car park stewards and ticket sellers for Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds Festivals, Global Gathering and The Glade, plus other outdoor events including motorsports for
paid work.

Work at V Festival, Aug 20-21 - jobs

• For bar work at Staffordshire and Chelmsford, see eventstaffing.co.uk
• For security work at Staffordshire visit g4s.uk.com and for cleaning and litter-picking at Staffordshire, go to ryanscleanup.ie
• To work in security and stewarding at Chelmsford, visit showandevent.com; for cleaning and litter  collection visit nukleen.com; for traffic marshalling visit cashandtrafficmanagement.com

Work at Glastonbury Jun 22-26 - jobs

Cashandtrafficmanagement.com offers work as a car parking steward from Sunday, June 19 to until Monday, June 27 (minimum of four 12-hour shifts)
• To work in running the campervan and caravan fields, see dcsiteservices.com
• Apply at (glastonburyfestivals.co.uk) to work as a litter collector
• Oasis Carnival (oasiscarnival.co.uk) needs stewards to work outside the festival grounds. Work is provided in exchange for a ticket
• If you have medical/first aid experience, Festival Medical Services needs volunteers for all festivals. Go to festival-medical.co.uk


• Boutique Babysitting (boutiquebabysitting.com) provides childcare at Camp Bestival, Wilderness, Green Man, Harvest at Jimmy’s, Alex’s Harvest and the End of the Road. It needs childcare professionals with a minimum NVQ level 2 equivalent or above, childcare administration workers, and those wishing to do work experience in childcare, to work for 25 hours in exchange for a festival ticket.
Dinner, breakfast and travel is covered, and each applicant must commit to at least  two festivals and must pay a £150 bond to secure their position at each festival

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