How to work and volunteer at festivals and who to contact
Working at a music festival is great fun, you get to meet loads of new people and watch some of your favourite bands at the same time. What could be better! If you're thinking about working at a festival this summer, there's a variety of different organisations you can contact and submit your details to. The options really vary which is great as it means you can choose who to apply to depending on what you fancy doing, if you'd prefer to work longer hours but get paid or work less hours and volunteer your time, if you're after free food, want to work by yourself or in a team... To help you decide how to get into working at festivals have a read of the PAAM festival software guide below which includes many of the best companies and organisations to work and volunteer with at UK Festivals and Events.
Hotbox Events recruits and manages event stewards and at some of the UK's best festivals. If you volunteer at festivals with Hotbox Events as a festival volunteer you'll be asked to work three eight hour shifts spread over the time that the festival is open to the public. In return for your work you'll receive a free festival ticket, camping in a secure crew campsite dedicated to the Hotbox team - close to crew toilets and showers! Because you only work three shifts, you’ll have plenty of time left to enjoy the festival too! Hotbox Events also has a paid event staff team on-site at each festival they work with - between 20 and 50 event staff, so if you're looking to volunteer or for paid event jobs Hotbox Events is a great place to start! Festivals you can work at: Download Festival, V Festival, Latitude Festival, Reading Festival, Leeds Festival.
DC Site Services (DCSS)
DC Site Services provides a range of staff to a large range of events and festivals throughout the whole summer. Jobs available include anything from supervising fire towers to managing traffic in the car parks. Shift lengths vary but are typically 8-10 hours in length. DCSS is one of the very few stewarding companies that pays its staff and provides meal vouchers for the staff café. All staff also have access to crew camping, staff toilets and staff showers. Festivals you can work at (including): Glastonbury, Latitude, Golf Live, Big Chill, Reading, Leeds, Download, Taste Food Festivals, T in The Park, NASS, Rockness, Sonisphere, Red Bull Air Race, Proms in the Park...
Workers Beer Company (WBC)
Workers Beer Company is the company behind many of the bars at the UK’s major summer events and festivals. Interestingly, they are also a non for profit organisation and have helped raise over £5,000,000 for good causes since they started in 1986. As a volunteer you’ll typically work a six hour shift everyday in return for free entry, free beer and meal vouchers. Festivals you can work at (including): Glastonbury, Hop Farm, Latitude, Reading, Leeds, BBC Proms in The Park, Womad...
Nu Kleen Services
Nu Kleen provides cleaning staff and services such as toilet cleaning and litter picking to some of the UK’s largest music festivals. Nu Kleen don’t just provide staff for music festivals but also events such as trade shows, pub, restaurant and club based events, sporting events and seminars. Additional to their events arm Nu Kleen provides commercial office cleaning - this was actually where they started! So if you’re looking at cleaning as a career or would just like to earn some money and get into some festivals for free this summer Nu Kleen is a great place to start!
BrisFest (Bristol Festival) recruits hundreds of volunteers each year to help with managing the festival. The volunteers get involved with all sorts including building the festival site, working as stewards looking after the public when the event is on and clearing the festival site after the event has finished. Every volunteer receives a free ticket to the festival, a free t-shirt and access to the festivals VIP areas. BrisFest also offers the opportunity to join their Core Team which meets regularly throughout the year; planning and organising everything from artists and décor to roadways and cabins! If its experience you’re after BrisFest also offers internships and work placements. Festivals you can work at: BrisFest (Bristol Festival).
Oxfam’s stewarding arm provides over 5,000 stewards each year to festivals all over the UK. The festivals donate to Oxfam in return for the stewarding services and through this relationship every year Oxfam stewarding raises around a million pounds to help those living in poverty around the world. Oxfam provides its stewards with hot food, warm showers and crew camping. Festivals you can work at (including): Rockness, Download, Glastonbury, Latitude, WOMAD, Camp Bestival, Big Chill, Reading, Leeds...
Festival Republic - Environmental Health Monitors (EHOs)
Festival Republic’s EHO volunteers monitor the sanitation on Festival Republic’s festival sites. The EHO posts are particularly suitable for students studying for qualifications in Environmental Studies or Environmental Health. Volunteers are responsible for inspecting campsites, guest and production areas for a build-up of litter, inspecting toilet blocks to make sure that toilet roll, signage and lighting is functional, inspecting hand-washing facilities and water points. Volunteers work three eight hour shifts or four six hour shifts during the festival. More info and details of how to apply can be found on the festival websites (rather than the main Festival Republic website). Festivals you can volunteer at: Latitude, Reading, Leeds, Big Chill.
Festival Republic - Green Messengers
Festival Republic’s Green Messengers do exactly that – promote the green message to festival goers at Festival Republic’s festivals! The Green Messengers responsibilities include handing out bin bags to festival goers on arrival, informing the campers about the recycling initiatives – in particular asking people to take their gear home with them. The Green Messengers also manage the recycling bins throughout the festival sites – making sure the right stuff goes in the right bin! Volunteers give twenty four hours of their time during the festival for free entry, access to staff camping, showers and toilets! Again more info and details of how to apply to be a Green Messenger can be found on the festival websites (rather than the main Festival Republic website). Festivals you can volunteer at: Latitude, Reading, Leeds, Big Chill.
Seed Staff recruits university students and young people looking to gain experience in the event industry. Working with event experts Seed Staff provides training and support for its staff, thus offering both enjoyable and valuable event experience. The positions offered by Seed Staff include crowd and traffic safety, artist liaison, production staff, stage crew, hospitality and promotional staff. Seed Staff’s event positions are both paid and voluntary depending on the role and event. You can find further information via the Seed Staff website. Festivals you can work at include: Beachbreak Live, Relentless Boardmasters, Lounge on the Farm, LolliBop, Festival No. 6, Relentless NASS, Hevy Music Festival, Hop Farm Festival, Snowbombing, Magic Loungeabout, Relentless Freeze...
Peppermint Bars and Citrus Event Staffing
Peppermint Bars provide both the bars and bar staff for events of all sizes from one day music concerts and boutique festivals to full-on weekend long camping festivals. Bar staff are paid and recruited via Citrus Event Staffing. Citrus Event Staffing not only provides bar staff but entertainers including stilt walkers, fire eaters, jugglers, burlesque dancers, face painters, acrobats, stewards, promotional staff and more! Festivals you can work at (including): Bestival, Secret Garden Party, Field Day, Polo in the Park, Beach Break Live, Glade Festival, Rockness Festival, Camp Bestival, T4 on the Beach, Henley Regatta...
Midland Fire Protection Services
Midland Fire Protection Services provide fire protection and safety services for all sorts of outdoor events including many of the UK’s largest music festivals. Midland provides a wealth of services including consultancy and training to onsite standby and helicopter cover! Additional to their events arm Midland Fire works with the film and TV industries providing film set, studio and location cover, in shot and action vehicles, training and first aid. Festivals you can work at (including): Party in the Park, Reading Festival, Leeds Festival, V Festival, WOMAD Festival...
ActionAid works to tackle the effects of poverty across the globe. With more than two thousand civil society partners worldwide ActionAid works with and supports the poorest and most vulnerable people; fighting for and gaining their rights to food, shelter, work, basic healthcare and a voice in the decisions that affect their lives. You can volunteer with ActionAid to take the ‘Bollocks to Poverty’ message to festival and event goers; getting them interested in what ActionAid does. Festivals you can volunteer at (include): Beach Break Live Festival, Underage Festival...
Orange Festival Foods
Orange Festival Foods is a family run business that supplies catering services for event staff working at music festivals. Orange Festival Foods supplies everything from the chefs and serving staff to the kitchens, marquees, tables and chairs! Orange Festival Foods offers both paid staff and voluntary positions in the crew kitchens. The hours vary depending on the role and festival but all of Orange’s staff and volunteers receive free food whilst they are working and a free ticket to the festival. Festivals you can work at include: Glastonbury Festival, Latitude Festival and Leeds Festival.
Event Medical Services (EMS)
Event Medical Services (EMS) provides medical staff and support services to a wealth of music festivals and music events in the UK. EMS’ services include first aid, ambulance supply and staffing, trained medics, doctors and nurses, response vehicles and staffing, onsite treatment centres and first aid point supply and staffing. Additional to EMS’ festival arm the company provides medical staff and services to sporting events including track and field and extreme sports, exhibitions, motorsport, film and TV and air shows.
Specialized Security supplies security stewarding staff and crowd management services to a diverse array of UK festivals and events. Specialized Security are well known for providing security staff across festivals from campsites to the main stage pit areas. Through Specialized Security’s training arm (Specialized Training) the company provides both SIA and sector specific training. Additional to their festival arm Specialized Security train and provide staff for exhibitions, conferences, sporting events, the retail sector, community and door supervision. Festivals you can work at (include): Glastonbury Festival, Reading Festival and The Royal Highland Show...
Cash and Traffic Management (CTM)
Cash and Traffic Management (CTM) provides and manages traffic admission stewards at numerous UK festivals and events. CTM’s traffic services include traffic planning, car parking, plus dealing with road closures and park and ride services. CTM’s admission control services are focused around programme sales, box office management, ticket sales and ticket checking and wristbanding. Festivals you can work at (include): Glastonbury Festival, Glade Festival, Burghley Horse Trials, Reading Festival, Leeds Festival and Latitude Festival...
Gainsborough Security is an ACS, SIA approved contractor which supplies security and stewarding services to festivals and events all over the UK and Ireland and has been doing so for more than twenty years. Additional to their festival arm Gainsborough provides staff and services to the Earls Court, Olympia and ExCel London venues, offers front of house and reception security, valet parking and traffic management, door supervisors, promotional staff, CCTV monitoring and control room staff. Festivals you can work at (include): Glastonbury Festival, Latitude Festival, The Big Chill Festival, Leeds Festival, Electric Picnic...
Festival Medical Services (FMS)
Festival Medical Services (FMS) is a charitable trust that provides trained medical and administrative personnel including doctors, nurses, paramedics and first responders to some of the UK’s largest festivals and events. Festivals you can volunteer at (include): Glastonbury Festival, Reading Festival, The Royal Bath and West Show, Glastonbury Extravaganza, The Pilton Party...