What is Oxfam Festival Volunteering?
Oxfam Festival volunteering is a fantastic way to attend your favourite festivals, see some amazing acts, make new friends all whilst supporting Oxfam's work to end extreme poverty around the world.
You can choose to be a steward providing directions to the festival-going public, checking wristbands, or patrolling campsites and arenas. A campaigner engaging with the public about Oxfam’s work or volunteering in one of our shops providing festival-goers with the latest fashions donated by our amazing supporters.
You will be provided with training, a dedicated campsite ‘the Oxfield’ with showers and toilets, 24/7 hot water and meal tickets.
You are supporting the festival with the smooth running of the event. In return for providing volunteers to a festival, Oxfam receives funds which help us in our work fighting against poverty.
How old do I need to be?
To volunteer at a festival with Oxfam you must be 18 on the day you are required to arrive on site for your first festival. We also welcome older and more experienced individuals. It’s great to have a variety of skills and to learn from each other while enjoying the festival together.
Do you cater for medical and accessibility requirements?
Oxfam festival volunteering opportunities are open to everyone. We aim to create an environment that realises, challenges and utilises everyone's skills.
More information on medical and accessibility requirements.
I am not from the UK. Can I still volunteer?
If you are from the Common Travel Area (UK, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man), are an EU/EEA citizen holding Settled or Pre-Settled Status, have European Temporary Right to Remain, or have a Working Holiday Visa, you have the right to volunteer in the UK. If you hold a different visa or immigration status, you need to check if you have the right to volunteer before applying.
UK immigration rules allow visitors from the EU to undertake volunteering provided it lasts no longer than 30 days in total. We are unable to support volunteer visas.
Can I bring my children with me?
Some of our family-friendly festivals will allow children to attend. However, the rules for bringing children while you volunteer may differ to the festival’s rules for the public so please do check our festival specific pages first to see if we can accept children onsite.
In most cases a child ticket is required, you will need to confirm this yourself, and if required, purchase the ticket via the festival's website directly.
Each adult volunteer steward can bring two children under the age of 13, but you need to ensure there is a designated adult to supervise them when you are on shift.
In addition, you can bring up to two children between the ages of 13-18 to camp in the volunteers' area with you.
If you have purchased the relevant tickets and would like to bring your children, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide you with the child form to complete.
Information required includes a photo for their ID card, an emergency contact number and the name of the individual who will be looking after the children while you are on shift. A new form will need to be completed for each additional festival you apply for.
What kit do I need to bring with me?
You will need to provide your own camping equipment such as tent, airbed and sleeping bag.
At festivals where we have our own caterers you will also need to bring a plate and eating utensils.
Always bring a mug (if you don’t have one you won’t get a hot drink from the tea buggy whilst on shift) and a reusable water bottle to keep yourself hydrated.
Make sure you have clothes suitable for both extremes of weather. We recommend always bringing a raincoat, wellington boots and a warm jumper as well as a sunhat and sunscreen. We can provide legionnaires caps, emergency ponchos, earplugs and sun cream if needed.
Essentially, be prepared for the best and the worst weather during the same shift. And bring spare socks! Remember if you're on a shift that starts at 2pm, it may be very cold by 10pm when it finishes.
Bring some good footwear. You need good solid shoes, boots or wellies to wear on shift, as flip flops, open toed shoes and high heels are prohibited.
Please check the individual festival's website for detailed information regarding restricted items, fires and BBQ’s. The use of gazebos is usually permitted but we do sometimes have limited space in our campsite so please be prepared to take it down if asked.
Caterers may not be open when you arrive on site, bring food and drink to keep you going before the festival starts and you are able to use your meal vouchers. Noodles, and cereal bars are ideal.
There is a suggested packing list in the “files” area of the Facebook Oxfam Festivals Chat group.
My friends are camped in the public area. Can I join them?
I am afraid not. Space is limited at all festivals and allocated based on how many tickets the festivals have sold. In addition, we need to ensure your welfare while volunteering. Our insurance does not cover you staying outside the designated Oxfam area. So, if anything were to happen to you, we wouldn’t be able to help! You can of course go and visit them when you are not on shift.
Can I bring a live-in vehicle (motorhome/caravan)?
Yes, but places are limited. You must tell us on the Transport section of your profile, and your vehicle must meet a certain standard to be allowed in. To count as a live-in, your vehicle must have purpose-built sleeping facilities, and either fitted cooking or washing facilities. Any converted vehicles must clearly be live-in vehicles. A van with a mattress in the back, or any setup based on a normal car will not be considered a live-in and will have to stay in the carpark, and cannot be used to sleep in. Once sited, your live-in must remain static for the duration of the show, to minimise unnecessary vehicle movement in our campsite. If you leave site in your vehicle you may not be allowed back in.
If I bring a live-in vehicle, how much space do I get?
As more and more people bring vans, space is getting very tight. It is unlikely that you will be able to pitch an awning, so please pack accordingly. If it is possible to put an awning out, it must be purpose-made for use with a vehicle. Setting up regular tents of any kind in the live-in area is not permitted, due to fire safety regulations.
If I bring a live-in vehicle, can I camp with my friends?
If your friends are in tents, then no. To comply with fire regulations, we have separate areas in our campsite for live-ins and tents, divided by fire lanes. If your friends are also bringing live-in vehicles, then you should aim to arrive together (driving in convoy is fun!) because we site live-in vehicles in the order they arrive (spaces will not be saved).
Do you provide transport to the festival?
Usually no, you will need to arrange your own travel to the festival.
It is important to tell us during sign-up how you intend to travel as some festivals will require you to be sent a car, caravan or campervan pass in advance.
We do run buses to Glastonbury which run from Temple Meads Train Station in Bristol. The cost of using these is £33 (for arrival and return journey), which is deducted from your deposit. You can choose which bus you would like to use via the application form.
Please note, if you only wish to use the bus one way, the charge remains the same.
We also run a free shuttle car to WOMAD which runs from Kemble Railway Station.
For the Isle of Wight Festival we offer a free Foot Passenger only ferry, and shuttle, from Southampton to the festival site, which can be booked on your application when you apply. These can be subject to delays so we recommend booking an open return railway ticket if you are travelling by train.
Need a lift? We encourage the use of the liftshare scheme which enables you to search for and offer lifts exclusively to other Oxfam volunteers.
Travelling alone? Don’t worry – making new friends is easy and you’ll be joining a friendly team who will welcome you into the ‘Oxfamily’.
What happens if I breach the Terms of Reference that I have signed up to?
We hope you have an enjoyable and safe time at your chosen festival. We want you to have fun and fully embrace all that the festival has to offer, however we do ask that you party responsibly and abide by our terms of reference to ensure the safety of you, your fellow volunteers and the public and staff while on-site. You are representing Oxfam and as such, need to behave in an appropriate manner.
Any breach, such as absconding, not turning up to a shift or unruly behaviour will not be tolerated and will mean that you will be evicted from site. You will forfeit your deposit and will be banned from volunteering at festivals again so please do be aware of your responsibilities while volunteering with Oxfam.
ALL FESTIVALS ENFORCE A NO DRUGS POLICY. Anyone caught with illegal or banned substances will be dealt with in line with our terms of reference and drugs policy.
Your safety and welfare while on-site are paramount to us. If you are unable to turn up for your shifts for whatever reason, please do come and speak to us. We are there to help and can often rearrange your shifts for you so that you do not risk losing your deposit.
Which festivals can I volunteer at?
What form of photo ID is accepted on site?
When registering with us on-site, we ask for one of the following forms of 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.