Volunteering at Music Festivals

First of all, thank you to all of those that came to the “Volunteering at festivals” event. Seeing that so many people are interested and hoping to live up to your expectations and answering all your doubts, this article will sumarise my presentation and will contenta ll the links to the festivals page, volunteering questionares and videos of the festivals.

So these are the most frequent questions:

Do I need experience?

In most cases no experience is necessary but training will sometimes be provided.

What will I do?

Most festivals get their volunteers to help out with tasks such as giving out wristbands, car parking, monitoring gates, litter picking or just keeping an eye on things. If you already have experience in things like first aid or stewarding you could end up taking on a role with more responsibility, such as managing a team of stewards. Depending on the role you take on you will be expected to work a series of shifts over the course of the festival.

In the UK, Oxfam organizes most of the music festivals, and they expect volunteers to do three 8 hours shift. My advice is that you sign up to be a volunteer with a friend, cause you will be paired up if you ask for it.

How much does it cost?

It’s free. However, if you volunteer through Oxfam, Hotbox and Festaff you´ll need top ay a year subscription (20 euros).

Where can I do it?

Lots of places! Countless music and arts festivals around the world rely on volunteers so it’s worth checking websites or contacting organisers directly if there’s a particular festival you want to get involved with.

Where do I sign up?

U.K- Oxfam Stewards  

If you want to get yourself to any of the big-hitting British festivals (think Glastonbury, Bestival, Reading and Leeds), as well as a bunch of great smaller ones, such as Shambala and Boomtown, then you need to apply through Oxfam. The money Oxfam generates by running the service goes back into its charity work and it raises £1m each summer through festival work. Applications to steward open in spring but you should register your interest now in order to get a reminder. You will need to provide details of a referee and pay a deposit in order to apply. You only need to pay one deposit even if you plan to volunteer at several festivals.

  • For information and to register your interest visit oxfam.org.uk/stewarding or contact the Oxfam festival team on 0300 200 1266 or email stewards@oxfam.org.uk


Hotbox Events recruits and manages staff and volunteers for UK festivals and events. Big festivals like Leeds, Reading and Donwload.

All staff working with them are under contract for the event, each is provided with a wealth of briefing and safety information pre-event, and full onsite training.

When applying to join them, the volunteers agree to their standard terms of application, and each is required to pay a security deposit to confirm their application and attendance before a position is offered.




Festaff founder Sandy Reid started supplying a small number of casual staff to T in the Park over 15 years ago. Since then, the client list has grown and Festaff is now involved with some of the biggest events in the U.K.

If you decide to join the Festaff team, you will be given a wristband entitling you to access the festival site for your volunteer role and a secure place to camp with basic facilities. You will not be required to leave the festival site whilst not volunteering. The positions we offer are enjoyable and make you part of the group involved in staging some of the UK’s premier musical events.



CROATIA – Outlook festival

FORT PUNTA CHRISTO Pula – 7 sept. – 11 sept. 2017

If you want to combine amazing music with a beach holiday, electronic bass-fest Outlook, is one of several in Croatia that takes volunteers. Roles include everything from box office to decor, and applications open in the spring.

  • Visit outlookfestival.com/get-involved or contact volunteers@outlookfestival.com for more details


IRELAND – Electric Picnic

Loais, Ireland. Sept 3 to 5

Festival volunteers can see Leftfield play at Electric Picnic in IrelandVolunteer positions are awarded on a first come first serve basis and a limited number of ‘Advancer’ and ‘Weekender’ positions have become available to replace cancellations. Advancer and Weekender volunteers work 4 x 6 hour or 3 x 8 hour shifts. Comprehensive details and application forms are available online. The festival line up has included artista such us Leftfield, The Horrors, Massive Attack, LCD Soundsystem, Eels, Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip, Fight Like Apes, Mumford & Sons, Seasick Steve and The Fall.

Visit electricpicnic.ie/volunteers12 for updates or contact volunteers@electricpicnic.ie



FERROPOLIS – 14-16 JULY open-air museum, near Gräfenhainichen.

This rapidly expanding rock and electronic music festival in Germany relies on volunteers to help its 20,000-capacity event run smoothly. Volunteers must be able to speak German but the work providies an insight into the backstage workings of a large event and the organisers give out certificates for anyone using the experience as a step into the music industry.

  • For information visit meltfestival.de/en/meco/volunteers



Tavernes de la valldigna – 25-29 July

Iboga Summer Festival is a Balkan, Swing, Ska, Gypsy, Reggae and Punk festival in the east coast of Spain in the beach of Tavernes de la Valldigna, Valencia. It started 5 years ago in 2012.

It is a festival that not only focuses on music but also in culture, arts and enviromental care.  They are a international sustainable and concious festival. They work on the following axis:

–              Promoting carpooling to reach the festival by oferring on their Facebook page the possibility to connect drivers and festival goers. And also they have and agreement with bus companys to get cheaper bus tickets so more people opt for public transportation instead of going by car.

–              Recycling : there are containers and volunteers in charge of recycling points. Also they don´t use disposable plastic cups. Ypu must buy one recycle plastic cup and keep it for the whole festival. Afterwards you can keep it as a souvenir or give it back for reuse in next editions.

–              The energy the use for the generators for the concerts and camping área is 100% Green, and the security car that checks up the camping area is 100% electrical.

–              Social inclusión, kids under 12 and and adults over 65 can get for free.

–              They use volunteers for the shifts or you can also offer to teach an ability of yours or offer a cultural, sports workshop. As a volunteer they provide you with tents.

–              They donate part of their benefits to NGOS

–              Local economy

Visit: http://www.ibogasummerfestival.com/



Benicàssim 16-22 August

The Rototom collective was founded by four people 1991. Since then the entity has managed two discotheques, organized hundreds of concerts, occupied an abandoned factory to create a cultural centre, organised protests for peace and created the biggest reggae festival in the world, the Rototom Sunsplash.

In addition to promoting music in its different forms, throughout our history they have made a special effort to raise awareness about the values that enables a society to advance in the most just and equitable way possible. They do so by building within the small micro cosmos, that the festival venue becomes each year during the Rototom Sunsplash, a different place where Other World really is Possible.

In this regard, they have had the honor to be recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as an Exemplary Event for the decade 2001-2010 for their work promoting Culture of Peace and Nonviolence.

Also, each year Rototom Sunsplash gets greener, always caring for the environment.

One clear example of this has been the progressive introduction of LED lighting in spaces such as the Social Forum and the Reggae University, the African Village, Pachamama, MagicoMundo, the backstage, press tent and the Rotobars that has allowed us to reduce the festival’s daily energy consumption by 84% without counting the stages. They have also installed solar panels in the merchandise shops thereby making them energetically self-sufficient.

In the toilet areas we reuse shower water that is stored after filtering in two deposits to later be used in the cisterns of the toilets. They have also extended the vegetation coverage in the venue by planting trees in the campsite areas, so as to provide more shade and help reduce CO2 emissions.

Furthermore, in the Rotobars they especially insist on the sale of drinks and food from ethical brands. The use of disposable plastic glasses has been eliminated completely in all the bars, where they have been substituted by reusable glasses than can be obtained by leaving a deposit. In recent years they have extended the use of bio-compostable plates and cutlery, made out of biodegradable materials such as sugar cane, corn starch or wood, to all of the catering services at the festival. The recycling of the plates and cutlery together with the organic waste allow them to be reused to make compost.

Foro ver 20 years the line up has included artists such as: Manu Chao, The Skatalites, Damien Marley, Peter Tosh, Alborosie, Lauryn Hill, Dub INC, Grounation, Major Lazer, Anthony B, The Original Wailers…etc.

Visit: https://rototomsunsplash.com/




It focuses mainly on pop, rock and electronica artists, as well as having other elements including short films, fashion shows and art. Benicàssim has a reputation as being among the best on the international festival circuit.

Since the first festival in 1995, some of the most notable artists who have played the festival include Primal Scream, Paul Weller, Depeche Mode, Beck, Radiohead, Kraftwerk, The Stone Roses, Brian Wilson, Blur, Lou Reed, Oasis, Placebo, The Chemical Brothers, Franz Ferdinand, The Killers, Morrissey, Sigur Rós, Ride, Teenage Fanclub, The Strokes and Ladytron.

Visit: http://fiberfib.com/



Ortigueira, Spain – July

Ortigueira, a seaport and borough in County Ferrolterra (A Coruña) in Galicia, celebrates its patron saint day -Saint Martha of Ortigueira’s Day- on 29 July.

Held during Saint Martha’s day, Ortigueira’s Festival of Celtic World (Festival Internacional do Mundo Celta de Ortigueira) is the highlight of the borough’s summertime festival calendar. The festival lasts for four days, Thursday to Sunday, and is free.

The main stage is located in the port, and it has hosted performances by Celtic music groups of great level and international fame, such as Alan Stivell or The Chieftains, among many others. Since the 2000 edition in the surroundings of the port rises a smaller stage, the Runas stage, where a jury competition is held between new groups. The prize to the winner is the performance in the main stage in the edition of the following year. Free campsites are available on the beach of Morouzos and in the pine grove for people who go to the festival.

It is considered a Festival of International Tourist Interest and is one of the largest folk festivals in terms of number of attendees from all over Europe, having occasionally surpassed 100,000 attendees per edition.

Ortigueira doesn´t recruit volunteers but you can attend for free!

Visit: http://festivaldeortigueira.com/


FRANCE – Lorient Interceltic Festival

Lorient – August 6 to 15

Cities and towns in Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, Brittany, Galicia and Asturias take turns to host this festival celebrating music from the Celtic fringes of Europe. Volunteers are needed for ten days and housing is provided. Along with other jobs, fluent English and Spanish speakers are wanted as interpreters.

Visit: http://www.festival-interceltique.bzh/


Norway- Oya Festival

August 11 to 14

The requirements for volunteers are: Distribution and working the bar. Acts include The xx, MIA, Miike Snow, La Roux, Casiokids, Yeasayer, Marina & the Diamonds, The Gaslight Anthem, Air, Paul Weller, Iggy and the Stooges.

Visit: http://oyafestivalen.no/en/


BULGARIA – Spirit of Burgas

Burgas, Bulgaria. August 13 to 15

This festival is set on the beach. Acts include The Prodigy, Unkle and pioneering DJ, Grandmaster Flash. Volunteers should be over 18 and speak English to work as stewards, receptionists, campsite assistants, back-stage assistants and artists hosts.

U.S.A – Work Exchange Team

In the States, the Work Exchange Team does a similar job to Oxfam, organising festival volunteering opportunities for music fans across a large number of American festivals, including the Californian music and arts festival Coachella and magical dance rave-up Electric Forest in Michigan. Again, you earn your ticket through shifts and the roles you take on will vary from festival to festival.

  • For more information and to sign up visit workexchangeteam.com


SXSW festival


The week long “music, film and interactive” festival and conference in Austin, Texas, has become the darling of the hip, tech-savvy, entrepreneurial start-up world. It’s a huge event that runs each year thanks to 3,000 volunteers. The festival welcomes out-of-town volunteers, making it a great way for a newcomer to dive into one of America’s great modern cultural events. Out-of-town volunteers need to work a minimum of 30 hours throughout the festival as part of the conference crew or complete a minimum number of shifts with the production teams, with roles involving everything from technical support to registering visitors. Depending on the hours you work, you will earn wristbands giving you access to various parts of the festival. Limited hotel discounts are also available for volunteers.

  • For information and to register visit volunteer.sxsw.com


Suwannee Hulaween

26 oct. – 29 oct FLORIDA, USA

Suwannee Hulaween, an annual music and camping festival over Halloween weekend, features the Spirit Lake® visual arts extravaganza, takes place at The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL and is hosted by The String Cheese Incident.

The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park campground is over 800 acres and offers a wide range of options for camping, RV with full hook ups to cabin rentals to primitive camping. The crowd can be considered a mix of young dance enthusiasts, older jam fans, Dead Heads and those in between. Attendees are encouraged to dress in costume befitting a Halloween dance party.

In addition to the headliners The String Cheese Incident , the festival has featured performances by past headliners EOTO, Dumpstaphunk, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Primus, Pretty Lights, STS9, Umphrey’s McGee, GRiZ, Big Gigantic, Thievery Corporation, and Slightly Stoopid.

Visit: https://www.suwanneehulaween.com/


Again thank you all for coming, to those that were interested but couldn´t come yesterday or couldn´t enter the club, we will held the presentation again. Stay tuned to get all the info!


This article is part of “Cro – EU – Planet Earth” project which is funded by the European Union. Objective of our project is to inform Croatian youth and involve them in various educational, work related, volunteering and traveling opportunities. If you want to be updated on various opportunities “Cro – EU – Planet Earth”, please subscribe to our mailing list by sending us email on urbanamladez@gmail.com with title “Subscribe” and put in your name and surname and year of birth.