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Oxfam is looking for 8,500 volunteers for festival stewarding

Lifestyle

Oxfam is looking for 8,500 volunteers for festival stewarding

More people than ever will get the chance to volunteer with Oxfam at some of the UK’s biggest festivals this summer…

Oxfam is looking for 8,500 volunteers for its biggest ever year of festivals – allowing them free entry in exchange for their time spent stewarding – including Glastonbury, Reading, Latitude, Isle of White and Boardmasters.

Michael Lever, Head of Festivals and Events:

“We are so excited to welcome more volunteers than ever this year to join Oxfam at some of the UK’s best festivals across the summer. We have been providing volunteer stewards at the UK’s biggest and best festivals for over 30 years now, after first taking our volunteers to Glastonbury in 1993. We’ve come a long way since then and people can now join us at 15 festivals across the UK and by doing so raise money for Oxfam.”

Applications open on Thursday 1 February with places given on a first-come first-served basis. Oxfam volunteers are required to work three eight-hour shifts during the festival period, leaving them with plenty of time to revel in the atmosphere and enjoy the live acts.

Roles vary across events but can involve checking tickets and wristbands at the gates, patrolling the arenas and campsites, or supporting accessible viewing platforms by the stages. As well as free entry to the festival, the volunteers will have access to secure camping in the Oxfam campsite, a free meal voucher per shift, free phone charging, and free tea and coffee.

Last year, their volunteers gave over 206,000 hours of their time over the summer and helped raise an incredible £1.5 million to support Oxfam’s poverty-fighting work.

Michael Lever, Head of Festivals and Events:

“We’ve built a friendly and passionate community of volunteers and many of them have been coming back year after year with some attending over 100 festivals with Oxfam. We’ll also continue to have volunteers to support our campaigning and last year we provided an opportunity for tens of thousands of people to sign our Climate Justice campaign and join in Oxfam’s collective activism.”

The full list of festivals for 2024 includes: Bearded Theory, Download, Isle of Wight, Glastonbury, 2000Trees, Latitude, WOMAD, Wilderness, Boardmasters, Boomtown Fair, ArcTanGent, Beautiful Days, Shambala, Reading and Leeds.

Volunteers can apply for as many festivals as they like with one deposit which will be returned to them once they have completed their shifts. The price of the deposit varies depending on the festival. By volunteering at two or more festivals in one season, volunteers are awarded priority status for the following year and able to sign up before applications open to the general public.

This gives applicants a better chance at securing a role at their festival of choice or more popular festivals such as Glastonbury. All volunteers receive training and develop skills such as communication and organisation.

Oxfam Steward, Desmond Fitzgerald, who has volunteered for 19 years at 104 festivals, said: “Once you do it once or twice, you really appreciate all of the benefits and the fun that you can have. After the festival when I go back into my own community, it makes me feel more empowered to be able to help people. We call ourselves the Oxfamily – everybody’s welcome, everybody’s included.”

Oxfam is also dedicated to making festival volunteering as accessible as possible and can offer support, such as allocating volunteers to specific accessible roles, providing a closer parking space, or bringing a Personal Assistant on-site.

Visit the Oxfam Festivals website or join the Facebook community to find out more.

Oxfam steward, Julie Atkinson, said: “This is free, it’s friendly, it’s fun and you get access to lots of different areas you wouldn’t usually go. And its charity work, which is great, so your raising money for Oxfam which is the best thing really.”

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