Voluntary work on a shoestring
Though in most cases you won’t be reimbursed in cash, that doesn’t mean you don’t ‘earn’ anything back on the effort invested.
Lots of festivals in the Netherlands and abroad use volunteers for jobs like inspecting tickets, bartending and security during the event. Or to walk around the grounds and keep an eye on all the festival-goers. Though you won’t get paid for these jobs, the perk is that during your off hours you’re already on the festival grounds! In most cases you work in shifts of several hours, with hours off in between. That leaves plenty of time to check out the bands and enjoy the festival scene without buying a ticket.
Anne worked at Lowlands, NL:
‘I got into the environmental brigade at Lowlands through girl scouts. That got me into the festival all weekend for free, with backstage catering and/or tokens to use on the grounds. I worked in two-hour stretches with four hours off in between (during the day and night-time), in a group of three to four people. I got to see all the bands I’d hoped to, as there was always someone from another group willing to trade.’
Nienke volunteered at Glastonbury, UK:
The work was spread across three eight-hour shifts, only one of which was during the concerts :)
‘I inspected people’s tickets and walked around the grounds as a general festival representative. Basically, we just kept a close eye on the visitors and if something went wrong we could call straight to security or first aid on our walkie-talkies. So... if you feel like seeing Jake Bugg, Mumford and Sons, Kenny Rogers, Vampire Weekend, Rolling Stones, the Lumineers, the Vaccines, Editors and Bastille live for free...’