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BlueDaze

Tips on a positive volunteering experience

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Whilst i may not be volunteering myself, it would be good to hear what top tips folks on here have for making volunteering a positive and rewarding experience...

I always take time out to smile and thank those volunteers i see as they certainly make my festival better.!

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For me, it's all about acceptance and being relentlessly cheerful, even when you don't feel like it!

Acceptance that:

  • You'll miss something that you really wanted to see.  It's taken me a few festivals to get over this, but now I don't even think about trying to swap shifts etc - I let chance / the rota gods decide what I get to watch
  • You won't be able to go as hard.  Actually, for me, this is a positive.  Having some enforced sobriety is not a bad thing for a 5 day festival, especially as I'm there for a couple of days beforehand as well
  • At some point, the work will be boring and suck, or busy and stressful. For this, the relentlessly cheerful is the key.  It's a bit like that laughing therapy thing - at first, you have to fake it, but eventually it becomes real - I play games, sing stupid songs, tell crap jokes.  And it's infectious, it helps your colleagues be less bored and miserable, and time magically passes a bit faster.
  • The public (and other crew, and your colleagues), whilst generally lovely, will occasionally be dicks.  You have to remember that they're tired, hungover etc too, and  this can make small niggles seem a great deal worse.  You can't choose how they act, but you can choose how you react.  Choose patience and cheerfulness.

The good stuff?  New friends, lovely lovely public being lovely, seeing a bit of how the festival works, crew bars, getting on site early, relatively civilised camping, 'free' ticket, supporting a charity.

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Having volunteered 5 times now on the recycling crew and will be 6th this year I think that jfaragher has covered off a lot of it but from a recycling crew perspective I'd say:

  • When you 1st do litter picking you need to think carefully about what you want to see and do as you will need to chose mornings, afternoons or a mixture of both.  If you are wanting to stay up all night then a 6am start ain't going to be the best but if you want to catch bands in the afternoon then being done and dusted by noon is great.  The 1st time I volunteered I could only get afternoons and we did miss a few bands I really wanted to see so went for mornings until I was able to apply for the pre-festival shifts.
  • Be prepared that the work can be mundane- make friends with your co-workers so that you can have a natter while you work but take satisfaction from a great job that you are doing.
  • Make sure that you do all your shifts and try not to get annoyed at those that sag it off as a way to land a ticket to the festival- yes they annoy the heck out of me but at the end of the day just do your job and do it well and get the satisfaction of it.  I was quite sad as I used to take before & after pics to see how clean the fields were.
  • If you can/are allowed get on site before the festival opens to the public- I did that for 1st time in 2016 and although shocking weather was great way to see the site before too rammed and find the crew bars to access when the festival is on
  • Look at the positives you get like nice crew camping with showers and normally decent food and drink and I certainly found with the recycling crew a good sociable space up in Tom's field
Edited by dondo

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I’ve worked there since 2000, you just have to remember that the festival just  wouldn’t be as great as it is without you being there to help make it happen. Plus of course you can enjoy all the perks as well. What’s not to like?

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I'm volunteering with Oxfam this year and wanted to ask a few cheeky questions.

Can you get into areas or use shortcuts around the site that the general public cant if you flash your volunteer band?  I'm sure I heard someone mention that they could skip the queues in the SE corner by doing this.

Also can you get into the non-public crews bars if you are a volunteer?

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6 hours ago, ohmygod said:

I'm volunteering with Oxfam this year and wanted to ask a few cheeky questions.

Can you get into areas or use shortcuts around the site that the general public cant if you flash your volunteer band?  I'm sure I heard someone mention that they could skip the queues in the SE corner by doing this.

Also can you get into the non-public crews bars if you are a volunteer?

Don’t know about queue jumping I think it depends who’s doing the gate, but yes you can get in a lot of crew bars and some backstage bars but not all.

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37 minutes ago, the beadle said:

Don’t know about queue jumping I think it depends who’s doing the gate, but yes you can get in a lot of crew bars and some backstage bars but not all.

Thanks - how do you find out which bars you can get into?   Are there ones that are always available and others only sometimes?     Do you just have to blag at each one?

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Try all the bars in the se corner plus west holts, Avalon and acoustic backstage bars, the theatre don’t let you in theirs neither do the big stages but just ask elsewhere they can only say no and usually apologise. I work for the glade stage so it may be different for you but you should be fine. Enjoy it and turn up early for the Tuesday night roam around the almost empty site where you will find some bars already open, anybody who lets you in then should let you in the rest of the week.

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11 hours ago, ohmygod said:

I'm volunteering with Oxfam this year and wanted to ask a few cheeky questions.

Can you get into areas or use shortcuts around the site that the general public cant if you flash your volunteer band?  I'm sure I heard someone mention that they could skip the queues in the SE corner by doing this.

Also can you get into the non-public crews bars if you are a volunteer?

 

5 hours ago, ohmygod said:

Thanks - how do you find out which bars you can get into?   Are there ones that are always available and others only sometimes?     Do you just have to blag at each one?

as long as your onsite before Wednesday - nearly all the site is open to you - There is still Security ' and they will soon tell you if you cant walk though a gate ' - your crew pass may or may not be asked for - but once though a area there is various Bars - once you walk in - be sure to ask if they are handing out a specific wrist band - now not all bars do this # as it all depends on the location # but some of the bars will issue 'their own wristband' - now on Sunday/Monday/Tuesday they are not important ' but they are from Wednesday when the site gets cut up into specific sections - when you retrace your steps ' Security/stewards or whatever will want to see a specific wrist band for that area.

You can also walk into the backstage compound of the Pyramid - be aware even although your in the Compound you cant get close to the actual Pyramid as there is more Security 

Big Note some Crew sites will not allow in any Crew who are not connected to them - they have their own Security and you can wave your crew pass all day and you wont get in.

You wont find them all and you would be lucky if you will find 20% if you arrive on the Monday and your very keen .

this is the Bread and Roses { near the Meeting Point } on the Tuesday night and the people you see are all camping in different crew camp sites and they would be the best to fill you in as to their local area - saves a lot of walking !!! 

2011-wbc-20.thumb.jpg.8fba3799be7dde3f7b828f22e365c016.jpg

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