Stewarding FAQs

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How do I apply?

You can sign up right now, in preparation for when applications open in the new year and if you have registered your interest you will receive an email informing you of the exact date.

To apply:

  • Click on the Sign up button on the website or if you have already signed up, the Log in button.
  • When applications open, choose your festival(s) and pay the deposit. Your place is then reserved.
  • Only after completing each section of your profile and attending a training session (if required) is your place confirmed.

Please note, everyone will need a unique email address to sign up.

To sign-up you will need to provide a one-off refundable deposit.

This is equal to the price of the highest festival ticket and is a bond to ensure that volunteers attend and complete their required responsibilities on site.

One deposit carries you across all the festivals under or equal to that deposit price. If you know you want to sign-up to more than one festival, we recommend that you choose the one with the highest deposit first.

Your deposit will be returned to you 4 weeks after your last festival with us. This may be extended up to 6 weeks for the larger festivals such as Glastonbury.

The return of your deposit relies on you having attended all your shifts satisfactorily. This includes being on time and returning your tabard when you have finished your last shift.

Your deposit will be paid directly back to the card you used to pay your deposit. If you change banks or credit card companies – please get in touch in plenty of time before your refund is due, so that we can make alternative arrangements to return your money.

If you have had to cancel your volunteering place early, your deposit will be paid back (minus any fees) within a week of cancelling.

Depending on your bank’s processes it can then take up to 10 working days from the refund being issued, to it showing in your account.

We do hope that you will not need to cancel your place but if you do, you may do so within the 'cooling off' period of seven days at no charge.

Each festival has a 'cancellation deadline' which is 6 weeks, or 8 weeks for Glastonbury, before you are expected on-site. If you cancel a festival after its cancellation deadline, you may forfeit your deposit.

If you do need to cancel your place, the admin fees below will apply:

Cancelling any number of festivals within 7 days of signing up: No admin fee

Cancelling a place at a festival before the cancellation deadline is £20 per festival. (You will not be charged any more than £60 if cancelling more than three)

Cancelling after 6-week deadline but have already successfully attended one or more festivals: Lose half of the deposit.

Cancel after deadline with no valid reason: Lose all the deposit.

Cancel after deadline with a valid reason and you can provide evidence: £20.

To cancel, please email us with 'CANCEL' as the subject heading to festivals@oxfam.org.uk with your details, the festival(s) you wish to cancel and the reason.

You will get a reply within 2 working days confirming that your cancellation has been processed. If you do not receive this confirmation, you should phone us on 0300 200 1266 (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm) to confirm that your cancellation has been completed.

Cancelling your place due to unavoidable circumstances

If you can't make it to a festival at the last minute due to illness, or some other unavoidable complication, please ensure that you call us to let us know as soon as possible.

We do ask for documentary evidence such as a doctor’s note. We fully appreciate that your reason for cancelling may be of a sensitive nature and we hope you understand why we do have to ask for evidence. If we do not hear from you, you may be at risk of losing your deposit.

The quickest and most reliable way to get any evidence to us is to scan the document(s) and email it to festivals@oxfam.org.uk.

Changes to your work schedule, holidays and if your friends are no longer able to make it are not deemed as being unavoidable circumstances so please ensure that any time is booked off and confirmed before applying.

Completing your profile

It is a festival requirement that we ask for specific information for safety reasons. You must complete this information to be granted access onto the festival site.

These details include information such as obtaining a satisfactory reference, an emergency contact, travel information and ensuring that you have selected and have attended a training session.

Not completing this information before the six-week cancellation deadline for your first festival could result in you forfeiting your deposit so do not hesitate and ensure you have green ticks against each section of your profile. Please note, that it can take several days for the training section to receive its green tick after completion of your training session.

Please read the privacy policy for further information on data collection and consent.

We require a passport photo for your ID card. Please read these guidelines on providing an acceptable photograph.

The image needs to be in JPEG format with a maximum file size of 5MB. The photo must be in a portrait format. If your photo is deemed unacceptable, we will need to ask you to provide another one, so no selfies please.

Please note some devices save photos in landscape even though they look correct in portrait when saved. Double check by opening the photo first on your laptop or pc. If the photo is the wrong way around, rotate it and save again and it should then allow you to upload it to your application. If you are still having difficulty, we recommend using an online picture generator to help get it in the correct format.

Yes. We require all volunteers to provide a referee each year they apply. As when applying for a job, we would consider a college lecturer, employer, or someone who knows you in a formal capacity to be appropriate, please do not enter the name of a relative or someone who has known you for a short time. Your referee will be emailed, and they will need to confirm these following statements:

I have known this person for over six months.
I am not related to this person.
I can confirm they will be 18 by the time they are due to arrive onsite.
I know them through a professional capacity and have known them to be punctual and reliable.
I believe this person to be honest, responsible and trustworthy in working-with and looking-after others.

Missed out on getting a place at your favourite festival? Come to two or more other festivals with Oxfam and in return you will have access to the priority window for the following year. This means that you then get the chance to sign-up before we open to the public, increasing your chance of securing the festival(s) you love!

To qualify for priority status for 2020 you must have volunteered at two or more festivals in 2019.

Oxfam campaigning or shop roles can count towards this, providing you were a steward for a least one festival in 2019.

Experienced/long-term returning stewards will qualify for priority status, if one of the following applies:

You have held a supervisor role at festivals for us, for the previous 2 years.
You have volunteered for 4 of the previous 5 years and have stewarded at 8 festivals within that period.
You have stewarded at 10 or more festivals in the previous 10 years*.

* Due to changes in data regulations in May 2018 you will need to ensure that you have opted in to receive communications from us or volunteered in the last three years to remain active on our database.

Training

Yes, you will. It is compulsory for all first-time Oxfam stewards and previous Oxfam Stewards who've not attended an Oxfam training session in the last four years to attend one.

These sessions are approximately three hours long.

This is because Festival organisers and several local licensing authorities require us to provide event stewards who are trained to a minimum standard.

Dates for these sessions are available on the festival sign-up form.

After you have booked a training session, you will be contacted around 10 days before your training sessions with specific details of the session you booked onto including the address, directions of how to get there and any other information about the training session. If you have not received this information, do get in touch in plenty of time and we will resend these to you.

We recommend that you attend our face to face session as it is a great way to meet other volunteers and ask any questions you may have.

If, however, you do not live close to a face to face session, we do have limited online training options available.

Please note, if you have only signed up for Trailwalker, steward training is not required. This will happen when you arrive on-site.

If you need to change your training session, please contact us as soon as possible via festivals@oxfam.org.uk with your chosen date and venue. Please note an admin charge of £20 will be applied if the change is within 7 days of your current session.

Supervisors are Oxfam volunteers who look after the Oxfam stewards in a specific area. A supervisor’s role is to ensure the stewards are safe, happy, and fulfilling their roles. They also organise the steward’s breaks and shift changes and use the radio to report any incidents that arise. The area they cover may be a single busy location such as a gate or venue, or it could be a larger area like a campsite or arena. These roles are crucial to the effective running of our operation on site and the role is very rewarding.

If you are interested in supervising, you can tick the ‘interested in supervising’ box when you sign up. You will be asked to provide a little bit of information about your experience, which allows us to allocate roles appropriately.

Please note ticking the box does not guarantee you will be allocated a supervisory role, as we often have more people interested in supervising than we need.

To ensure you are fully equipped to supervise, we run a separate training session for anyone who would like to be a supervisor. This is in addition to the general training which you will still need to attend and is not compulsory, but attendance will improve your chances of obtaining a supervisor role. If you select the supervisor box in your sign-up, we will be in contact to let you know when and where the training is taking place closer to the time.

Arrival and travel information

You can check the arrival dates for our festivals on our website. Please check here rather than the public dates on the festival’s own website!

When you apply, you will be asked to confirm to your availability for these dates, and we will remind you again by email a couple of weeks before the festival.

This email will also let you know the exact times on that day that our arrival and registration will be open.

At some festivals we have a small number of stewarding roles which start earlier than the usual volunteer arrival dates as shown on our website.

If you can arrive early and want to be considered for these roles, tick the ‘pre- festival shift’ box on your application. This box will let you know what date you would need to be available from.

Please note, we get a lot of Early Shift requests for very few roles, so ticking the box is no guarantee you’ll be allocated one!

We select who is on the early shift a few weeks before the festival, and you’ll find out if you’ve been selected when you receive your arrival information email.

This does mean that if you are allocated an early shift, you’ll need to be flexible with your travel arrangements.

Once you arrive you need to find somewhere to pitch your tent, and you need to register with us. Registration usually takes place in our campsite marquee, but instructions will be clearly shown when you arrive.

Our campsite is normally close to our car park, so no more long trips with heavy bags!

The registration location will be clearly marked and usually takes place in the Oxfam marquee.

This is when you will collect your shift times & location(s), tabard, meal tokens, site maps etc.

Onsite briefing times and locations will be confirmed at this time too.

You will need:

  • Accepted Photo ID: Photo card driving license or Provisional Photo driving license, Passport, expired Passport (providing the picture still looks like you!), Student ID card, SIA card, Proof of Age card (issued by the Police), NHS staff card, Emergency Services staff card, Civil Service ID, Military ID, European (government issued) ID card, European photo card Driving License.
  • Your arrival email (printed out or on your phone) – This is usually sent out a week or two before the festival and details when and where you need to arrive at the festival.

On-site briefing sessions ensure you have all the information you need about the festival and your role - they are not a training session. The briefing will cover important specific to that event, such as ticketing systems, lost child procedures and catering arrangements.

It is essential for all stewards to attend an onsite briefing prior to starting your shifts, even if you have stewarded with us before or attended a training session.

Details of your briefing time will be available when you arrive, at Registration.

If you have been allocated a supervisory or shift leading role, you may need to attend extra briefings.

Yes, you can!

There will be a Shift Swap whiteboard in the marquee. You put up what shift(s) you are offering, what you would like, your name and contact number. When you have someone to swap with you both need to bring your shift sheets to the Oxbox or Adbox (depending on the festival) so that the swap can be made official.

Do not swap shifts without confirming them with the Oxbox/Adbox.

It could cause problems with the return of your deposit if the person you swap with does not turn up for shift and it’s your name on the supervisor’s sign in sheet.

Please note, at Glastonbury all three shifts must be swapped.

Yes! You can add up to 5 friends to be shift partners with you when signing up. We will always try our best to make sure you are on shift at the same times as your shift partners, however, we can't guarantee your positions will be based in the same location.

Please arrange your shift partner group when signing up – making sure you have all your shift partner's full names and dates of birth ready for when you complete your sign-up.

Please note, we cannot accept any changes six weeks before your chosen festival so ensure you have your group finalised before this date. If you are applying within this six-week window, you have a 24-hour window where you can submit your shift partners.

You can find out more information about volunteering at Trailwalker on the volunteering section of the Trailwalker website.

You may leave as soon as you have completed your final shift, handed your tabard back in and signed to say you have done so. You may have to work up until 8am on the Monday after the festival, as per the dates you agree to on the application form when you apply; you receive your shifts when you register upon arrival at the festival. If you tick the box to say that you are available for the "late shift" or "Monday shift" you may be required up until 6pm on the Monday after the festival, however this varies between festivals.

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