In just under a week, hundreds of thousands of lucky people will be heading to Worthy Farm in Pilton for one of the world’s most renowned music festivals – Glastonbury.
But what about those who head to Glasto as a volunteer like me? Next week, I’ll be leaving my warm and dry home at Tonic’s Nottingham PR HQ, to join a crew of 2,000 Oxfam stewards.
This will be my twelfth year of going to Glastonbury Festival. Yes, I was the weird kid at school that tripped off to sleep in a tent in a muddy field for a few days when I was just nine years old alongside my dad.
However, more recently I’ve been attending the festival by stewarding with Oxfam- a good way to support a great charity whilst still being at one of the biggest parties on Earth (I think, anyway). And it’s not just about getting a free pass to the show. In fact, through festival stewarding Oxfam raise £1 million every summer.
This year will be the fourth time I’ve stewarded a festival with Oxfam, and it has really opened my eyes to just how much organisation goes on behind the scenes.
One of the many perks of stewarding Glastonbury is that you’re allowed on site before any of the punters come in – being able to freely walk around the site as the organisers are putting the finishing touches to everything.
It also means you are part of some of the most vital parts of running the festival. Last year, for example, I was stationed on one of the main pedestrian gates letting early arrivers in for the first time on the Wednesday. All spectrums of society passed through the gate, from Geordies in hair rollers to a clearly disabled man pushing his wheelchair full of booze. Stewarding is a mixed bag. 2013I manned a vehicle gate checking passes including those of the rich and famous.
Being a steward has given me a real insight into how one of the most renowned festivals in the world works and enabled me to work with people from all walks of life. I can’t wait to see what this year holds.
Here at The Tonic we love a good festival, no matter how big or small. Check out our consumer PR credentials in this field (no pun intended!) by contacting us or taking a look at our music PR case study here.