9 reasons to volunteer for a Summer festival

If you are thinking about volunteering for a festival this Summer, we thought we would help by giving you a few reasons why you should pick up a pen and fill in that volunteer application form…

Festivals continue to pop up all over the country, mostly out of nowhere, miraculous events that rise up out of the ground for a few days, showcasing music, art and theatre.

But, how do these phenomenons happen? Is it just by some strange twist of fate that they appear to spread joy and happiness to the masses? Do festival directors have a magic wand in which they wave ‘Harry Potter style’ to allow their event to run effortlessly? (Yeah right, we wish!!!)

Well… we’ll let you into a little… actually… a fairly large secret. Here at UTSf HQ, we may not have magical powers, but, each year, we have enchanting people who work on our festival that are so awesome in making sure our event runs as seamlessly as possible, we have all come to the conclusion that they are the ones that have the magical powers!

We are of course talking about our incredible volunteers to which our festival could not run without.

We decided to have a chat to our wonderful STAR HELPERS who work at Underneath the Stars to find out why they volunteer for festivals – we say this in a plural sense as lots of them volunteer for other events during the year, which must mean there is definitely something in this volunteering lark! Read on to find out more…

1. Free Ticket – Probably one of the best reasons for volunteering for a festival, yep, a free ticket. Of course, nothing in life is for free, but for a few hours of work a day, you still get plenty of time to explore a festival and see bands. Freeing up this money allows you to have more budget for other things at a festival.

2. Make friends – Another great reason, to meet a diverse bunch of people that you probably wouldn’t get chance to encounter. Whether you go as part of a group or fancy venturing out on your own, the remarkable community that you will become part of will inevitably be the reason you keep volunteering year after year.

3. Learn new skills – Boost your CV and learn a variety of new skills. Please don’t think that what you do in your day job will reflect on what you do at a festival. Oh no, volunteering is about learning completely new skills that can benefit you in all walks of life, from first response to teamwork, organisation, problem solving and logistics. Also, fab to add to your CV and a great talking point at interviews!

4. Gain understanding – Whether you are volunteering over the weekend, or during the build week before the festival opens, you will inevitably see behind the scenes. This really gives you a great insight into the infrastructure and components that make up an event such as a festival.

5. Avoid the chaos – Most festivals will let you set up before the event opens, which is far less chaotic and allows you to see the site before anyone else.

6. Feel part of something bigger – It is immensely rewarding to know that you have been part of a successful event that has helped thousands of people to have a memorable time. It gives you a sense of pride, knowing you have made a positive impact. It is a weekend of soul fulfilling fun, where culture thrives and you are hugely appreciated.

7. Share skills – At some festivals, they look for people with specific skills. This could be your chance to share your talents with others. Whether this is in woodwork, painting, or something completely different like putting your obsessively organisational skills to work as artist liaison.

8. Gain in confidence- Volunteering at a festival can help build confidence. Gaining an understanding for how vital volunteers are at a festival and how admired and appreciated you are can very much help build self-esteem.

9. Get a free t-shirt – OK, we can’t speak for every festival, but certainly at ours, people get to keep their ‘star-helper’ T-shirt as a keepsake, which people collect through the years of volunteering with us. You also get a free programme! #justsaying

So there it is, 9 fab reasons to get involved with a festival this Summer.

If you feel that a festival is too big to start with, why not check out some smaller local events like park runs, village fetes, or ‘music in the park’ style day gigs, which might be beneficial and help you see if you like the overall interaction you get with them.

At Underneath the Stars, all volunteers get the training required to fulfil their duties.

Our volunteers get up to a whole host of things:

– Working in the campsites, arenas, on gates, and wristband exchanges.

– Providing info such as directions, facilities, and info about performances.

– Staying alert to any potential problems e.g. faulty facilities or build-up of litter.

– Being proactive to crime and promoting crime prevention to festival-goers.

– Assisting to prevent overcrowding and monitoring crowd safety.

– Helping to assist the public so they can feel safe.

Sooooooo, if you have the reliable, enthusiastic and flexible qualities a volunteer requires, with the ability to listen and share whilst being a team player, you really should consider applying to volunteer at a festival this Summer.

Go on and try out new skills, gain experience, face fresh challenges, make friends, enjoy being part of a team and, most of all, have fun making a great festival happen. Start your own adventure and feel part of a ‘festival family’ today, you won’t regret it!

If you need any more convincing, here are some testimonials from our wonderful UTSf volunteers below…

“A free ticket for being allowed to be part of a great team that delivers a fantastic festival year on year. I love the camaraderie, getting completely immersed in the weekend, chatting to people, helping people, being a representative of the festival and ensuring people get the best out of it. I consider it a real privilege.” – Rosemary Gowers

“It’s rewarding to know that you’ve helped thousands of festival-goers have a memorable time. I’ve pulled pints, checked tickets, eased car parking, lowered fire risks, kept crowds back from performers and never once have I thought, “why on earth am I doing this?!” Great fun!”Andy Pearson

“You make so many friends and gain a much better understanding of all the work and effort put into a festival. It’s like a little family you see every year for a fab weekend with great music and food!” – Martha Holland

“One of the big things for me is it’s totally different from my day job. Instead of spending all day sitting in an office, I get to play games and get messy doing crafts with a load of kids as I volunteer in the children’s area. We keep coming back because it’s our favourite weekend of the year. We’ve made amazing friends, we feel part of the UTSf family and feel privileged to be allowed to join in with such a brilliant festival.” – Celeste Pettifer

“It builds esteem by helping others. But it’s also rewarding in that you get to meet others you wouldn’t otherwise (you don’t interact with others in the same way when you are a punter). You get to try new things, see new music and feel part of a community. In other words, it’s fabulous. And I’d agree it helps that you don’t have to pay to get in as you can pay to go to another festival and do much more ‘festivalling’!” – Sheila Brett

“If this is your first UTS festival, you’ll feel it from the greetings you get from the stewards on you way in, then at the briefing you’ll realise what an amazing dedicated and passionate bunch the directors and core team are. They’ll inspire you to have fun, work hard and help the festival to be a huge success. It continues to be my favourite weekend of the whole year!” – Amanda Cheetham

“Volunteering is a ‘safe’ way to get involved, both financially and personally. In no time at all we felt part of the whole team and made friends who we now look forward to seeing every year. As my children grow up and leave home, we’ve already vowed this will be an annual get together! I cannot recommend getting involved as a steward more highly. Your time and effort is so greatly appreciated by everyone and you get to enjoy the festival!” – Nicola Purdy


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