This month we asked our festival volunteers on Facebook “What has been your motivation for volunteering at festivals with us at Oxfam?”
You can see the answers below. In our experience, while lots of volunteering originally sign up as a way to experience the music whilst giving their time, they meet like-minded people in the Oxfamily, and end up coming back year on year to see their friends. If you are new to Oxfam, we hope you are excited about joining us as a steward, shop volunteer or campaigner at festivals next summer.
We also asked our volunteers what their personal stories and motivations are! See some lovely quotes below from some of our long term volunteers.
“As a student I don’t have any money to donate (haha) but I have time to give and so I’m able to make a difference in the world whilst getting to enjoy my favourite music, discover more artists, and meet new people at the same time!”
“Also for me it’s experiencing how festivals work behind the scenes, both logistically and creatively.”
“I wanted to find a way to get into volunteering to help raise money for an excellent cause. So I figured, if I could do that, doing something I love, like going to festivals, it was a bit of a no brainer. It was a little daunting going to my first festival (on my own), but it was ok. I wouldn’t say I loved that first one (Bestival 2012) but [it] did lay the foundations for the years to follow.
On arriving at my second festival, I bumped into someone I’d met at Bestival and the rest as they say, is history!! I’ve not volunteered at a festival since where I’ve not been surrounded by familiar faces and
I’ve now been to 45 festivals with Oxfam and can’t wait to get back in a field in 2020”
“For me it enables me to attend festivals as I would otherwise have to go on my own (which I wouldn’t be keen on) [and] as a result I’ve met some great folk, some of whom I am still in touch with. So as well as doing something useful and positive (as [I’m] now retired), I get to check out new bands and keep young at heart”
“When I started in 2006, it was about getting to a festival. What keeps me coming back every year is the Oxfamily, and the wonderful people you meet every year”
“For me it’s the whole package. Access to festivals, good camping facilities, working for a great cause, the Oxfamily, work that’s fun to do, meeting lovely people, helping others to enjoy the experience, seeing behind the scenes, etc, etc.
We’re older stewards and really enjoy working with and meeting people from all ages and all backgrounds. Can’t recommend it enough!!”
“I wanted to go to Glastonbury before I reached 50. [a friend] I worked with had been volunteering for Oxfam for years and suggested that I should give it a go, so I dipped my toe into Boardmasters in 2015. None of my other friends were interested in festivals at all so I figured Oxfam was a good way to do it solo. Like [another steward] I was a bit unsure and I wouldn’t say it was the best experience ever, but it was plenty good enough to give it another go. After getting lucky in the 2016 fastest finger first I headed off to the wettest Glastonbury in years, bumped into a few people who I’d met at Boardies the previous year and had a great time. I’ve been to all the Glastonbury and Boardmasters since – it’d be great to do more but that’s probably a thing for retirement.”
Want to share your story about how you got involved in volunteering at festivals with Oxfam and motivations to come back each year? Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org