Festaff volunteer requirements
Our volunteers must...
• Act in a friendly manner.
• Deal with the public in a polite and helpful way.
• Act and behave with maturity, honesty and reliability.
• Turn up to the onsite staff meeting in good health annd not intoxicated - this is an important meeting.
• Be (and remain) of good health and state and able to work on their feet carrying out basic manual tasks for much of the day. In particular, being intoxicated means you will be unable to carry out your activities.
• Maintain good standards in all of their activities.
• Work well and properly communicate with other team members.
• Speak fluent English.
• Be legal to work in the UK.
• Be 18 years of age or over.
• Inform us immediately if they become ill or injured.
• Bring a refillable water bottle; let's keep festivals green!
• It is likely that you will need to complete a minimum of 2 x 8 hour shifts or a total of 16 hours per festival. Actual individual requirements may exceed this - individual volunteer activity requirements will be assigned to you, and this is what you must complete.
• It is highly likely that you will need to be on site 1 or 2 days before the paying customer.
• You must reside within the “staff” campsite at the festival.
• You must attend whichever locations you are directed to attend at the times you are directed to attend them, when at the festival.
• You must not cease carrying out your designated activities until directed to do so.
• You must arrive at the festival during the time window stated and follow directions given to access the site correctly.
• You must wear closed toed shoes whilst carrying out activities as a volunteer, i.e. no sandals, flip flops, bare feet, etc.
• You must wear sensible and appropriate clothing for your shift, i.e. no onesies, fancy dress etc.
You will understand that it is important for both you and us, as well as the smooth running of the festival, that these standards and requirements are met.
You must provide and pay for your own travel to and from the festival. Parking will be provided at festivals for volunteers. However, we encourage all of our volunteers to use public transport or car share wherever possible. We've created a lift share comment thread on our Facebook page, this is a one-stop shop for Festaff volunteers looking to share the travel cost. Click HERE to find out more.
Some other useful websites include:
You must provide a CURRENT passport or a FULL British driving licence (photo section) as your form of ID. We will accept a provisional British driving licence or other agreed photo ID with a £100 cash deposit (we can accept cash only, no cheques, bank cards or PayPal transactions). This deposit will be returned to you on site at the end of the festival once shifts have been completed to a good standard. However, if you do not complete your shifts, you forfeit this deposit and it will be withheld by Festaff.
Student/ID cards, citizen cards, overseas driving licences, birth certificates or photocopies of any documentation are not acceptable.
If you do not wish to leave your ID with us then instead a £200 cash deposit will be required (returned to you at the end of the festival), but we still need to verify your ID on arrival at the festival.
Please note, if you wish to buy cigarettes and alcohol you are advised to bring another piece of photographic ID with you.
Shifts are allocated to you upon arrival. We give them out in a fair manner so that nobody gets the short straw. If you want to be able to pick your shifts, we suggest you arrive early for accreditation (you will be told where and when this is nearer to the time of the event). If you arrive late for accreditation you may miss out on the shift you want. You can swap shifts with other volunteers if you wish - but you and the swapee must both come and see us in the on site office to swap them on our rota. You can not just swap without telling anyone.
What to bring
Please bring the following to the festival:
• Tent: in a good condition with all the components.
• Attire and consumables for all weather types: wellies, shorts, waterproof jacket, sturdy footwear, warm top, hat, sun block, etc.
• Food: you may want to bring food with you as food on site can be a little pricey.
• A torch.
• Toilet roll.
• Sufficient money.
• Bin liner for rubbish.
• ID (see above).
What not to bring
Please do not bring any of the following to the festival:
• Any items of significant value.
• Glass of any kind: any items of glass will be confiscated when arriving on site as glass is very dangerous for the many humans at the festival. It is also very unhealthy for the livestock that occupy the land for the other 50 weeks of the year.
• Items which provide naked flames or which can be used for lighting fires.
• Gas stoves.
• Selfie sticks. They obscure peoples' view.
• Flags/poles. These are dangerous around overhead power-lines and block peoples’ view of stages.
• Excessive amounts of alcohol.
• A bad attitude: this will not be tolerated.
• Illegal substances.
Whilst small disposable barbeques are allowed at most festivals if used in open areas, it is important that you consult the strict rules set by the festival itself on what you can/cannot use to hear food. Do NOT use barbecues IN OR AROUND tents under any circumstances. Carbon monoxide poisoning is extremely dangerous and can be fatal. Please see barbecue safety guidelines here:
Leaving the festival site
We ask that you stay on site for the duration of the event. With this in mind, please make sure to bring everything you need with you as supermarket trips can be problematic for everyone, not least of all because traffic can be heavy.
For security reasons volunteers should not leave the festival site with a volunteer wristband without seeking our approval.
You will be given contact details for our supervisors when you arrive at the event.
Cleaning up your campsite
At the end of the festival it is incredibly important we do our bit for the land. Festival sites are usually used for farming over the other 50 weeks of the year, please bear this in mind when you are making your way home. Clean up your area and encourage your neighbours to do the same, it's all part of the festival spirit and helps towards creating the community vibe. Rubbish bags can be picked up from our office if you forget to bring one with you.
At every festival there will be a volunteer meeting in or around the campsite area the evening prior to commencement of public entry to the festival. It is your responsibility to get to this meeting in good time. If you fail to be present at this meeting then we may terminate your involvement as a volunteer at the festival. If you turn up for this meeting under the influence of drugs, alcohol or other intoxicating substances you will be sent home, as this meeting is an essential part of your role on site.
You will be provided with any elements of uniform you are required to wear whilst volunteering on site. This will generally be a hi-vis vest, with maybe one other item. (Please note this does not include footwear, jackets, waterproofs, sunhat - these you must provide yourself). If any element of your uniform is not returned or is damaged in any way, you shall be liable to refund us the cost of the uniform. We may utilise your deposit to meet part of this cost. A lost hi-vis will cost £20, so be sure to take care of it and return it to us after your shifts!
You must provide all your own camping equipment. Please check this before you leave home.
You will be provided with an area to camp within a secure staff campsite. This is so all volunteers are within one area and are easier to contact/manage. It is also a great way to meet and socialise with your fellow volunteers. You may not camp within the public campsite as this area is provided for paying customers only. Please bear in mind that this staff area is for staff and volunteers from all over the festival. These people maybe on differing shifts from you so please have respect for their need for rest.
Please note that most events do not allow live-in vehicles or caravans for staff as there simply is not the room. Please contact Festaff prior to the event for confirmation and do not assume that you can arrive/stay in one.
UK employment legislation
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are legally entitled to volunteer within the UK. It is a criminal offence to take on a role illegally. You could also jeopardise any visa/entry clearance/right or permission to remain requirements if you volunteer in circumstances where you are not permitted to.
We reserve the right to require you to produce such documentation and permissions as we may request from time to time to demonstrate that you are lawfully able to volunteer in the proposed volunteering role.
We are always looking to promote people within our ranks. We all started off wristbanding or stewarding. What we look for in our supervisors is:
• Maturity, honesty, enthusiasm and reliability.
• An ability to deal with staff, volunteers and public in a fair and calm manner.
• Good communication skills.
• Length of service available.
Talk to existing supervisors on site about their role.
Rules and regulations on site
Basically the same rules that govern the paying customer govern you. There are no ‘get out of jail free' cards just because you are a volunteer at the event. Use common sense at all times and you won’t go far wrong. All volunteers will be sent a list of basic rules and regulations before they arrive on site, this must be brought to site with you.
Each festival we work with has its own set of festival rules that take precedence over our arrangements with volunteers. Please see event websites for these. By way of example, the festival FAQs for Kendal Calling 2018: https://www.kendalcalling.co.uk/information/faqs
You will also be required to comply with the ticket terms and conditions for each event. For ticket terms and conditions please see the relevant festival website. By way of example, the ticket terms and conditions for Glastonbury are here: http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/information/tickets/ticket-info
and for Bestival: http://www.bestival.net/tickets
Everybody does the simple tasks that are asked of them, sticks to the hours they are given, doesn’t breach the volunteer notice, turns up for their shifts on time and in good condition, follows the relevant rules, then everybody will be delighted with you and you will be welcomed back next year.