I volunteered for Oxfam and really enjoyed it. Me and my friends completely lucked out with shifts. I worked Weds 5.45am - 2pm, Thurs 1.45pm - 10pm and Saturday 5.45am - 2pm, so missed very little music and saw all three headliners. Others definitely not so lucky. Might have completely changed my experience had I got different shifts.
Got to go for free!
Got to arrive Monday - missed all the traffic coming in, saw an incredible sunset from the top of park, and felt like a real privilege to see the site empty of the masses and still being built.
Secure campsite with clean compost toilets, showers, phone charging, and a meal token per shift. Round the clock catering team and could buy cold soft and alcoholic drinks. Car was one minute walk from tent.
Oxfam team were really friendly and helpful. Was very professionally organised. On shift, the supervisors and rest of the team were great too. Made some new friends and met lots of cool people.
Access to crew bars and some of the shortcuts.
Scannable EPO wristbands meant we could bypass the queues of normal punters at the ped gates during busy times.
Definitely changes how you experience the festival. Shifts are taxing and long with the vast majority of time spent on your feet. Sometimes felt like a bit of a spare part on shift too (think they pad the numbers for no-shows). Add another hour either side of your shift if you’re working on the other side of site. Definitely meant we had to pace ourselves better, miss out on some of the fun, and chose early nights rather than hitting the SE corner. We were absolutely spent by Sunday evening.
Walk to campsite could be seen as a con but I didn’t find it too bad at all. Can imagine it wouldn’t be much fun in bad weather though.
Can’t really party in the campsite as some people may be sleeping off night shift. Meant it was easier to get to sleep though.
All in all was a great way to do the festival though I probably will be trying in the main sale next year, just to avoid the fear of having to miss any music and to let my hair down a bit more. It’s definitely a great back up option to have.