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About jfaragher

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    Festival Freak

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  1. It's great - very different to Glastonbury though, as it's smaller and pretty sedate most of the time. Also, if you've heard of more than 5 of the acts, you're doing better than me. Volunteering wise - you need to keep an eye on the Oxfam website, as places may become available without warning, and will likely get snapped up. It's a pretty easy one to volunteer at, with the caveat that you will do three 8 hour shifts over 4 days (rather than over 5/6 days like Glastonbury) which does impact on the stuff you can see. However, our crew camp is 10 minutes walk from anywhere on site, and getting around generally is pretty easy, so you can easily pop back to your tent / grab a snooze etc without it writing a day off. It's a pretty friendly crew attend from Oxfam, and (shifts permitting) I'm hoping to organise a bit of a bar crawl / social on the Thursday night to help people make new friends.
  2. Most of us are quite reasonable and despite being male, nearly 50 and having a beard and glasses, I try not to be too creepy. But there is some of this, and I would encourage stewards to feed back to the shift leaders - supervisors are told that part of their job is to keep their teams happy and motivated, and the Oxfam management people do care about this stuff. The sitting down thing though... We regularly get "what are we paying you for if your people are sat down" from the festivals, and it does make stewards less approachable / open from a public perspective. You definitely should be joking around and having fun though - that makes you more approachable, represents Oxfam well to the public, and makes the shift pass by. You have to staff for the potential busiest it gets. Ped Gate C is the classic example - Campervans east enters the festival from here. You start your shift at 6 am, see nearly nobody for 3 hours, have queues out the gate for 2 hours, and then tail off to nearly nobody by 2pm. Repeat for those coming on at 2 (loads going back to their camper between 4 and 7 to get sorted for the evening, queues in and out) and then for the overnight, you have a massive rush to leave site between midnight and 2am that has to be managed. You need enough staff to keep all the lanes open when it's busy, but 65% of the time, they'll be pretty much doing nothing.
  3. I'm one of the drivers for Oxfam (though not on any of your shifts). The tea deliveries get worked in around the making sure everyone has batteries for radios, welfare runs for stewards, moving the response team to where they're needed and loads of other little bit and pieces. Never mind that it takes bloody ages to get anywhere on site - the pedestrian gates are a minimum 15 minutes each way to the Oxfield crew camping, Ped D can easily take 30 minutes each way if the traffic is bad. Having said that, you should have got a cup of tea, but sometimes it just doesn't work out... Getting the right shifts does play a big part of how much you get out of the festival - I didn't get great shifts for me, I was on Thursday afternoon/evening, and then early starts (5am) on Saturday and Monday. As someone who likes the late-night stuff, and had to be absolutely sober on shift, heading up the hill at 10pm on Friday and Sunday was pretty harsh. However, I'd still rather be there, and get some of the magic, than not be there at all! It's a bit of a case of making sure people have been told with the briefing - you don't want people to give it "no-one told me I had to..." when they do something that a reasonable person would think was stupid. You'd be astounded how often people get caught drinking whilst on shift (in their high-vis...), or turn up absolutely fucked, or having had no sleep - those reminders are there for a reason. And we do know when you're not quite sober, it's just that the majority of supervisors will let it slide if you're functional, and not a risk to other people or the job - there's always a gap between the policy and the practice; it's just that if you make the practice the policy, then people push even further.
  4. The guy running the road crossing at the top of muddy lane, with his 'happy/sad face' sign. I was driving for my volunteer shifts, and his team were absolutely brilliant at keeping that crossing safe for me and the pedestrians
  5. Crew showers were off as well that day - they made the good decision to make sure they could maintain the water supply on the hottest day of the year.
  6. jfaragher

    EPO bands

    An EPO won't get you into any area that isn't open to all crews. Most of the shortcuts require either specific crew credentials, accessibility passes or AAA or similar.
  7. What this means is the *risk* of a thunderstorm hitting is over a very large area (i.e. anywhere except Cornwall, Scotland and NI...), it doesn't mean that all of those areas will definitely get one. Thunderstorms are usually pretty localised, so the *impact* (i.e. getting the rain and hail and wind) won't cover all those areas.
  8. All good points - I suppose it all relates to my main point, that these conversations don't really happen - all politics at this time is focused on 'the market' and 'maximising return' - some people on the left might be inclined to reach out more if we had more discussions like this in the mainstream political arenas...
  9. You're right, but on the other hand I strongly believe that if you can't run a business that pays your employees properly, then you need to rethink your business model.
  10. Arrive Tuesday latest (aim for lunchtime I would suggest), leave on Monday.
  11. Of course there is - but I think it's somewhere higher than the current £3.90 - £8.30 an hour and lower than £50. Why should companies who return massive profits to shareholders get away with the state topping up their employees wages? Why shouldn't people earn enough to have a dignified life? Why shouldn't we rethink the relationship between corporations and the people who work for them?
  12. Trying to reach across the divide here dude...
  13. Just been sent this by a mate, one of the worst parts of the site apparently!
  14. But this is all just minor tweaks of the current system. I want mass re-nationalisation of critical infrastructure, us to join the Euro, to cap executive pay as a multiplier of the minimum wage, introduce flat rate wealth taxes and punitive taxes for unused land / property, increase inheritance tax, reintroduce the university grant system, sack off the royal family and close Eton. Why won't you reach out to me???
  15. Yeah, that one specific thing totally blows my whole point out of the water... Also current minimum wage is £3.90 to £8.21. I believe that anyone who works (no matter what age) should be able to afford to have a reasonable standard of living. So let's start at £12 per hour, for all ages, with higher minimums for those who have contracts that don't guarantee them regular hours (to make up for the uncertainty). Feel free to reach out.
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