To volunteer or not to volunteer at a music festival. 

If festival prices have got you down in the dumps I’ve got your saving grace.

This Splendour marked the third camping music festival I had been to, but the first time I’d ever forked over money for the ticket. Some call me smart, my mother calls me crafty, I call myself broke with a serious high-end skin care addiction.

Volunteering allows us shopaholics to have glitter covered boogie like everyone else on your Facebook by doing jobs designed for toddlers in return for a free ticket and camping at said music festival.

Example 1:

  • At splendour 2015 I gave out plastic bags to campers pre festival (whilst simultaneously eating all of their food – drunk people are great), and spent the actual festival living off vodka and fruit loops.

Example 2:

  • Falls 2015 found me standing next to a sign doing absolutely nothing for 10 hours – and then sleeping in the naughty corner after I turned up 4 hours late (see also: very ill and partially undressed) to my New Year’s Day shift.

Other jobs you may find yourself doing include: wrist banding (the ultimate goal bc seat), rubbish collecting, camping directing, car parking or monitoring gates – all the while having a chat to Jerry from South Australia and getting covered in glitter from any passer-by.

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Going into festival volunteering is always a mixed bag. You don’t know what type of shifts you’ll get or what exactly you’ll be doing – don’t worry the poo patrol are paid workers – or what security is like towards volunteers but here are some things I know to be true about festival volunteering:

  • The “jobs” are so easy I could do them blindfolded and walking on my hands (if I could actually walk on my hands that is)
  • It’s a quick and sure-fire easy way to make friends. The vollie campground is the friendliest and funnest (? Is this a word – it is now) one around so you won’t be left short of any campground shenanigans.
  • The earlier you arrive before patron campers, the less security cares about what you’re bringing into the campsite. At Splendour last year I was actually picked up from the entrance by a buggy and driven to my very own patch of grass.
  • If you have a shift scheduled during one of your favourite bands don’t sweat it, there’s a shift swap board. Unless your favourite band is the main act – then you’re pretty much screwed. Sorry.
  • You get plenty of free food on shift #winning
  • If you look confused enough you’ll definitely have at least five helping hands putting up/down your tent. This may be in any campsite though – sorry I couldn’t test it for you but someone forgot to pack the tent poles this year and my fellow campers just laughed.
  • Free phone charging #doublewinning
  • Vollie HQ is complete with heaters, free hot water, milk, coffee, fridges, toasters so you can eat all the cup noodles you can.

Try a quick google search for volunteering at your next festival and you might be one of the lucky few boogying the night away $500 richer than the person beside you (but probably not because – spending issues).

If you’re looking for any more festival info check out my latest posts on this year’s Splendour in the Grass.

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