Festival jobs

  • Student Guide
  • 15 September 2008

Fancy being a roadie for a rock band or selling tickets to your favourite author? The festival season comes rife with possibilities to fill up your CV and your life.

Whether you are a music lover, dance buff or book worm, the festival season is never short of opportunity, for those hoping to find gainful employment. From bar worker and front of house to book seller and litter picker, year-round festivals needs literally thousands of paid and unpaid staff to help make their events a success.

DC Site Services help run many of the major festivals, so keep a close eye on their website www.dcsiteservices.co.uk for any opportunities.

Jobs such as stage management, rigging and staging, sound, lighting, electrics and event security tend to be run by experienced crew who return year on year, but there are often some opportunities for runners or assistant trainees. Check out their website and contact your festival of choice direct as far in advance as possible.

Many festival organisers will try to entice festival-goers with free tickets and minimum pay packages and in some cases you may be required to pay for the ticket in advance, and be reimbursed after completing your hours, if this is the case, make sure you sign a contract and know your rights.

Elsewhere, qualified medical staff can join a team of volunteers by applying (normally) directly through any festival website; tent stewards and campsite wardens are often recruited from local clubs, parent teachers associations, sports clubs and voluntary groups, so keep an eye on the local pin boards.

In the case of somewhere like Glastonbury, a company called Oasis Carnival recruit workers for stewarding. See www.oasiscarnival.co.uk for more details.

In the case of arts, books and food festivals, front of house staff are normally several months in advance, so contact any companies directly before the event.

Always remember to be prepared and flexible and don’t expect to be paid a small fortune: working any festival is largely about the experience.


1. Standon Calling. Bar Staff Volunteers Required26 May 2011, 1:18am Report

We are recruiting for volunteer bar staff to work at this Standon Calling Festival 11th – 14th August 2011 (www.standon-calling.com). This is a fantastic opportunity to be part one of the UK's best small, boutique festivals. We offer a relaxed fun environment where you will receive a free ticket worth £120 and two drinks tokens for each shift worked. You will be required to work for 2 x 8 hour shifts over the weekend.

All our bars have character and serve a wide variety of drinks, therefore bar experience would be beneficial.
If you would like to be part of this amazing festival experience, contact alex@manila-bars.com.
Alex x

The Standon Story

Standon Calling started as a birthday party in 2001 with just 25 friends, a swimming pool, a set of decks and a BBQ. Having grown by word-of- mouth, we’ve got a bit bigger since those days, but retained our homegrown ethos and commitment to championing new artists.
Whilst many festivals lay claim to being a destination for discovering up and coming bands, we can concretely support this. More than half of last year’s Mercury Awards nominees played Standon Calling. Florence and the Machine, Friendly Fires, Mumford and Sons and The Noisettes all played Standon before enjoying the profiles they do today. Similarly, we’ve had The Maccabees, Mr Hudson, Glasvegas, Micachu and the Shapes, Delphic and Paloma Faith. Our booking policy also extends to high profile and leftfield musical heavyweights such as Hawkwind, Femi Kuti and the Positive Force, Gilles Peterson, Sun Ra Arkestra and Buena Vista Social Club. We pride ourselves on the quality of our lineups and solid working relationships in the music industry.
Standon Calling also actively supports artists in other fields making the festival about more than music alone. Over the years this has incorporated sculptors, painters, martial art displays, calligraphy lessons, interactive theatre and science lecturers.
Standon Calling is themed every year, playing out not only in a fancy dress competition but also interactive theatre, set design, line up and creative theming of the entire site.
Previous themes have included Space, Japan and Crime. Through all of these components we aim to create a totally unique, creative and independent festival experience that you won’t find anywhere else and strongly believe that we deliver this each year to the highest quality.
Situated just 40 minutes away from London, 2011 promises to be our best and most innovative party yet.

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