Volunteering at festivals in the UK is the best way to get your festival fix without having to pay for a ticket. Every festival has some sort of volunteering scheme where in exchange for a certain amount of hours of work you’ll get a free ticket to the festival to enjoy your time off.
Volunteer at UK festivals and not only do you get your free ticket, you can also feel good about giving back to the world with your gift of time. It’s also a great opportunity to casually stalk some of the biggest names in music. There are a few festivals that will even throw you an extra freebie if you’ve dedicated enough time to a good cause beforehand.
Volunteer at Glastonbury
– Pic from the Glastonbury Facebook page
Glastonbury has a load of ways you can work for your ticket.
Option 1 is wrist banding and recycling. You can volunteer to work around 3 x 8-hour shifts beforehand and you’re free to fest away for the main event. One of my friends even spent a month before Glasto painting bins in return for her ticket and a bit of extra cash – she loved it.
Option 2 is volunteering through a charity affiliated with the event. Oxfam recruits volunteers for stewarding while tent monitors and campsite wardens are selected from other organisations as well as community clubs and PTAs.
For those with medical skills, Glastonbury always need first aiders and you can apply directly through the website.
Click to find out more about volunteering at Glastonbury.
Volunteer at Latitude
– Photo from the Latitude Facebook page
Fancy being a cat, hat or pixie? These are the weird but wonderful names Latitude has given their collection of volunteer stewards who help out in exchange for a ticket. The job is basically giving out the directions while staying super cheery and spreading the Latitude love.
Another option is to become a Green Messenger. That means helping to keep the event channel its eco-friendliness protecting Henham Park.
Click to find out more about volunteering at Latitude.
Volunteer at Wilderness
– Pic from Wilderness Facebook page
In this case, Wilderness requires you to buy your ticket first. If you complete the volunteering you’ll then receive a reimbursement. They have various roles you can take your pick from including serving at the lavish banquets the festival is so well known for, or helping to run the adventure activities (sounds awesome!).
Click to find out more about volunteering at Wilderness.
Volunteer at Shambala
– Pic from Shambala Facebook page
In this case the Northumberland fest requires a crew deposit. This will be returned once the voluntary work is completed. Recycling staff and bartenders are generally what they’re looking for.
Not only does Shambala waive fest fees but they also provide a crew camping area, vehicle pass and facilities for volunteers. On top of this you get to feel like a part of the Shambala family and embrace all things wild and free.
Click to find out more about volunteering at Shambala
Volunteer at V Festival
Volunteering at V means doing many things and you can pick depending on your skill set. Through a variety of hiring firms, V recruits for bar staff, stewards, litter pickers and marshalling. Simply apply online and keep those fingers crossed however, previous experience helps.
Another option is to check whether any organisation you’re already volunteering with, such as Oxfam, have an affiliation with V and blag your ticket that way.
Click to find out more about volunteering at V Festival.
Volunteer at Bestival
– Pic from the Bestival Facebook page
Bestival also gathers in volunteers for various roles from different companies.
Oxfam is the big name when it comes to stewarding while those wanting to bartend should apply through Peppermint Bars, that’s a paid position I’ve done myself at Lovebox Festival in London. For all other positions apply through Festaff.
Click to find out more about volunteering at Bestival.
Secret Garden Party
– Pic from Secret Garden Party Facebook page
For your best chance at getting in to one of the coolest UK arts and music festivals, you’ll need to sign up with various companies
Greenstewards and Peppermint Bars are just two of the hiring agencies the Secret Garden Party uses to help bring in the best when it comes to stewarding and bar tending.
You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and they’ll give you any other info you’ll need for a ticket in return for volunteering.
Click to find out more about volunteering at Secret Garden Party.
Volunteering at festivals
Volunteering at festivals is a great idea to save money on the ticket and to have a unique experience along the way. I know people who’ve volunteered at Glastonbury for years, preferring the people they meet that way and the community they’ve built to going as a ‘normal’ person.
Let me know if you do get to volunteer anywhere – might see you there…