Student Life: Festivals too expensive? Work at one instead

With Bestival tickets at £170, Reading/Leeds £190, and a Glastonbury ticket coming in at a whopping £200 and harder to find than the lost city of Atlantis, getting to see your favorite bands at our best festivals is becoming harder and harder. If you can’t afford a ticket, why not work at a festival instead?

All of the major festivals hire hundreds of stewards, litter pickers and support staff each year, so get registered and make sure you get to the festivals you want.

How does it work?

Register online with the organization you want to work for (see list below). Usually you have to put down a deposit – the price of a ticket – which is reimbursed after the festival as long as you turn up to your shifts. Most organizations want you to do 3 shifts. If you’re stewarding, these can vary from guarding entrances, giving people information and stewarding concerts/events. Most stewarding jobs are for 5 days (6 in the case of Glastonbury), so it’s still very likely that you’ll have plenty of free time to see the bands you want. In fact, most organizations make an active effort to give you a good spread on your shifts so you shouldn’t end up with Fri/Sat/Sun night and miss all your favorite bands.

Apart from the free ticket, most organizations will provide you with meal tickets for every shift, private camping, private toilets, free tea and coffee, and hot showers, making your festival experience pretty smooth compared to the rest, especially if the rain clouds decide to throw some fun into the mix. You’ll usually also get transport to and from the festival if it’s a big organization.

Stewarding checklist:

  • Good rainproof/poncho – you may be spending a long time outside so in the event that it rains (apparently not unheard of at the good ‘ol British festival) you’ll need to make sure you’ve got a good waterproof.
  • Wellies – clearly a no brainer for any festival, but even more so if you’re working. There’s nothing worse than an 8 hour shift with cold wet feet.
  • Warm set of clothes – running back to your tent for a bit of snuggle time with Mr Blankey is not a luxury you’ll be able to enjoy when on shift, so remember to bring a good set of warm clothes, especially if you get a night shift.
  • Thermos – a hot cup of tea or coffee can be your best friend on a long shift, so make sure yours is hot!
  • Torch
  • Shampoo & Soap – as a coveted member of staff you get the rare festival privilege of hot showers, so make sure you can fully exploit these and be the envy of the 3-day-old smelling crowds by bringing your toiletries

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