OXFAM IS LOOKING for 7,500 volunteer for some of the UK’s best festivals this summer including Glastonbury, Reading, Latitude, Wilderness and WOMAD.

The public can sign up to volunteer at a festival with Oxfam and gain free entry in exchange for time spent stewarding. Applications opened on Wednesday 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, providing plenty of time off to soak up the atmosphere and catch some 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 a ticket to the festival, Oxfam volunteers enjoy additional cost-saving perks including secure camping in the Oxfam campsite, a free meal voucher per shift, free phone charging, and free tea and coffee.

Each year, Oxfam festival stewards raise around £1 million to support Oxfam’s vital work fighting poverty around the world.

Natalie Heath, Oxfam’s Head of Festivals and Events said: “Oxfam has been providing volunteer stewards to some of the UK’s best festivals for 30 years, taking our first volunteers to Glastonbury in 1993. Volunteering with Oxfam offers a fun and social way to experience festivals. Volunteers are bound to make new friends and have a great time whether volunteering solo or as a group. Many say they return each year because of this community and the friendships they’ve made.”

The full list of festivals Oxfam is supporting this summer include: Bearded Theory, Download, Isle of Wight, Glastonbury, 2000Trees, NASS, 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. 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 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.

Rosie Colton, an Oxfam Festival volunteer, said: “I love that it is a totally different festival experience to going as a ticket holder. I found myself really interested to learn more about the inner workings of such a big event, and I enjoyed the work since everyone, staff and attendee alike, is having so much fun! Everyone is really friendly and the shifts are entertaining. Of course, I love seeing live music too and there is plenty of time between shifts to spend at the stages. The secure campsite, showers and hot drinks don’t hurt either!

“I’ve learnt a lot from stewarding, and especially supervising, at festivals with Oxfam. The roles are incredibly varied and there is the chance to benefit from many learning opportunities! I enjoyed the role of supervisor even more than I expected, and it was rewarding to help other stewards to get the most out of their time with Oxfam as I have.

“I have made so many friends during my time with Oxfam, from the minute I arrived alone at my first festival, and I have met up with many of them in the down season too. It is a tight-knit, welcoming community with volunteers from all walks of life.”

As well as stewarding roles, Oxfam also bring a smaller number of campaigners to some of the festivals. Campaigners speak with festivalgoers about Oxfam’s work and encourage them to take an action such as signing a petition. Campaigning applications open on 8 February and there is a separate application process.

* For more information visit the Oxfam Festival website here.

* Source: Oxfam UK