General information for anyone wishing to volunteer at the festival.
Volunteer Arrival Date: Wednesday 9th August
Volunteer Departure Date: Monday 14th August
Shifts: No more than 3 x 8 hour shifts – one of these shifts could potentially be on Monday, meaning departure may not be until 5pm. Please take this into account when applying & making travel arrangements.
*Decor team shifts are different.
Deposit: £250 (refundable)
Camping: Crew camping available
Catering: one meal token per shift
*Please read the bellow descriptions on the different roles available before applying.
Applications are now closed for 2023
Roles and Responsibilities
Our Festival Stewarding Team are the eyes and ears of the festival, responsible for maintaining the best experience for festival-goers, with a major focus on friendliness and helpfulness.
This role includes
- Arena Stewarding: Positioned across arenas and venues, Stewards will be on hand to answer questions and provide support to festival goers helping to maintain a safe environment.
- Car Park Stewarding: Stewards will be responsible for helping festival-goers find space in the carpark, as well as providing any information regarding the parking system at the festival.
- Information Point: Stewards will be hosting the Info point providing festival-goers with general information regarding the site, along with fielding any queries like directing to lost property, medics etc. Site plans and schedule boards will be shown here also.
- Campsite Stewarding: Stewards will be positioned in the campsites to help maintain a pleasant experience, and ensure festival-goers are able to seek assistance and report any issues in these areas.
Our Gates Teams are the first point of contact for all festival-goers on arrival – it’s up to us to give them a warm welcome and set a positive tone for their day!
This role includes:
- Welcome Team: Stewards will work at the entry points and routes to an event site, ensuring festival-goers know where and how to enter the event safely and quickly.
- Ticket Scanning: Stewards will be responsible for scanning festival-goers’ tickets when they enter the festival, as well as redirecting issues and queries to the relevant location/people.
- Wristbanding: These stewards will work with the ticket scanners to wristband festival-goers.
- Queue Stewarding: Stewards will be responsible for helping to manage queues at points of entry to the festival. This includes directing people to the correct queues for their ticket type, directing the crowd to the designated queuing area and ensuring general welfare is available at the perimeter of the site.
You will be supporting the creative production team, to install the design and decor across the site and stages. Please note this role has different working dates for the build and break of the festival.
- Build dates: Arrive Sunday 6th August to start Monday 7th till Thursday 10th August.
- Friday 11th- Sunday 13th: time off to enjoy the festival
- Break dates: Monday 14th-Wednesday 16th August
*Catering: 3 meal tokens each shift
General store cashiers
Assisting with the running of the general store:
- Stock checks, managing display
- General festival customer service
You will need to be friendly, helpful, approachable and professional.
You will be located at Trevino’s which is our record store where screening, talks and debates take place. You will be supporting in the running of the area along with opening the space for guests, managing queues and queries etc. You will need to be friendly, helpful, approachable and professional.
You will be located at The Orchard – the wellness area of the festival assisting the stage managers in the running of the area, including the wellness schedule, managing guest access to classes, tidying the dome / cleaning equipment used, hosting the sauna desk, tidying the Orchard grounds furniture etc.
*These role profiles are designed to give you a good idea of what it will be like volunteering with us, however due to the ever changing nature of festivals, our team is expected to be flexible and therefore roles are subject to change or adaptation to meet the needs at any time.
Festival volunteering is great fun, but it’s also physically demanding. The majority of our volunteer roles will require you to be on your feet for the duration of your shift.
Accreditation Assistant: To help organise all artists’ accreditation packs including wristbands, car registrations, signing people into the festival, being there to assist with any questions artists have on arrival and being a constant point of contact throughout the festival.
The responsibilities for this role are:
• Correctly organising the wristbands according to the number on the band with the guestlist/artist sheet numbers
• Making sure when updating files on the system you input the information correctly
• Making sure that only people entering the festival have the correct accreditation (e.g. giving an artist the correct artist wristband and not a production band)
• Being firm but friendly
• Listening to the radio and responding accordingly
Artist Liaison Assistant: Based within a team on a stage, you’ll be assisting the Artist Liaison (AL) with tasks they need help with; being helpful behind stage, helping load in/out any equipment for artists arriving to the stage, help to distribute the rider to artists.
The responsibilities for this role are:
• Being reliable as this means with your assistance the AL Manager for your stage can teach you about the running of a stage and managing artists
• Carrying out all reasonable tasks that you have been asked to do (e.g. ordering and collecting food for artists) this is your responsibility to ensure all artists are happy and looked after
• Ensuring your area is tidy and presentable at all times.
• Collecting items from the rider store (e.g. cases of water, crates of beer, snacks etc.)
Logistics Assistant: Working as part of the Logistics team alongside Artist Accreditation. As a Logistics Assistant, you will be required to assist the Logistics Manager in ensuring all artist transport runs smoothly.
The responsibilities for this role are:
• Confidence in using a radio and excellent communication.
• Using your initiative and being trustworthy.
• Being a constant point of call for all artists.
• Problem solving.
• Building rapport with buggy drivers and our on/off site drivers.
Runner: Being there to offer a helping hand in a variation of roles depending on what area or stage needs additional attention.
The responsibilities for this role are:
• Carrying out all tasks efficiently so that you can help in other areas as soon as one task finishes
• Be adaptable, flexible, positive, up for problem solving.
• Good at taking instructions.
Frequently Asked Questions
How old do I need to be?
To volunteer at Houghton Festival you must be 18 on the day you are required to arrive on site for your first festival. We also welcome older and more experienced individuals. It’s great to have a variety of skills and to learn from each other while enjoying the festival together.
Do I pay a deposit?
Yes you need to pay £250 refundable deposit. This is the cost of a festival ticket to act as a bond to ensure that as a volunteer you attend and complete your responsibilities onsite.
Your deposit will be returned to you 4 weeks after the festival. This deposit will be returned depending on you attending all your shifts satisfactorily. Including being on time, turning up to all your shifts and returning any tabards, radios, uniform, and high vis.
I am not from the UK. Can I volunteer?
If you are from the Common Travel Area (UK, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man), are an EU/EEA citizen holding Settled or Pre-Settled Status, have European Temporary Right to Remain, or have a Working Holiday Visa, you have the right to volunteer in the UK. If you hold a different visa or immigration status, you need to check if you have the right to volunteer before applying.
UK immigration rules allow visitors from the EU to undertake volunteering provided it lasts no longer than 30 days in total. We are unable to support volunteer visas.
Why do I need to provide a reference?
Like when applying for any job we review all our volunteers to provide a referee. This can not be a relative but we will consider a college lecturer, employer or someone who knows you in a formal capacity. Your referee will be emailed for a reference.
My friends are camped in the public area. Can I join them?
I am afraid not. Space is limited and allocated based on how many tickets the festivals have sold. In addition, we need to ensure your welfare while volunteering. You can of course go and visit them when you are not on shift.
What happens if I breach the Terms that I have signed up to?
We hope you have an enjoyable and safe time at Houghton Festival. We want you to have fun and fully embrace all that the festival has to offer, however we do ask that you enjoy yourself responsibly to ensure the safety of you, your fellow volunteers and the public and staff while on-site.
Any breach, such as absconding, not turning up to a shift or unruly behaviour will not be tolerated and will mean that you will be evicted from site thus forfeiting your deposit.
Remember the lovely volunteer management team are based in the volunteer hub and are your first point of contact if you are unable to make a shift for whatever reason.
Can I bring a live-in vehicle (motorhome/caravan)?
Yes! But you must tell us on the Transport section of your profile.
Once sited, your live-in must remain static for the duration of the show, to minimise unnecessary vehicle movement in our campsite. If you leave site in your vehicle you may not be allowed back in.
What should I bring
You will need to provide your own camping equipment such as tent, airbed and sleeping bag.
Make sure you have clothes suitable for both extremes of weather. We recommend always bringing a raincoat, wellington boots and a warm jumper as well as a sunhat and sunscreen. We can provide legionnaires caps, emergency ponchos, earplugs and sun cream if needed.
The festival takes place mid August in the UK so expect all weather types and the evenings can be cold so it’s essential to bring layers if you are working into the evening.
Don’t forgot your travel mug and water bottle.
Bring some good footwear. You need good solid shoes, boots or wellies to wear on shift.
What Facilities are there?
The volunteer hub is where you go to check in each day along with it being a place to chill out before or after your shift. There is a tea and coffee station, phone charging points and a chill out area of sofas.
You have access to crew toilets & facilities in your volunteer campsite.
How do I cancel my places if I cant make it?
There is a cancellation deadline of 6 weeks before the festival
If you need to cancel your place before the cancellation deadline you won’t be charged a fee, but after the deadline with no valid reason you will lose all the deposit. If you have valid reason and can provide evidence it will just be an admin fee of £20.
To cancel, please email us with ‘CANCEL’ as the subject heading to firstname.lastname@example.org with your details, and the reason.
*Changes to your work schedule, holidays and if your friends are no longer able to make it, are not accepted as valid reasons to cancel, so please ensure that any time is booked off and confirmed before applying to avoid disappointment.
How to I get into the festival?
When you arrive you need to follow the signs to the Volunteer gate where you will check in to receive your wristband and shown where the volunteer hub and your campsite is.
Once you have pitched your tent make your way to the volunteer hub to collect your shift times & locations, tabard, site maps, meal tokens etc.
Onsite briefing & locations will be confirmed at this time as well.
What is an onsite-briefing?
This is where you will be given all the information you need about the festival and your role, and covers specific things to your role such as ticketing systems, locations of welfare & medical, how to check in people to wellness classes etc.
It’s essential for all volunteers to attend an onsite H&S briefing prior to starting your shift.
If you have been allocated a supervisory or shift leading role you make need to attend extra briefings.
Can I volunteer the same shifts with my friend?
We do our very best to make sure you are on the same shift, but it cant be guaranteed. Make sure you arrange your shift partner before signing up, and have their full name, and date of birth.
When can I leave?
As soon as you have completed your final shift and handed back your tabard or uniform.