The People Who Make Your Festival Experience Possible
And we don’t blame you! Festivals are a fantastic experience and an opportunity to let your hair down and forget all about the outside world for a couple of days.
However, there is a whole load of work that goes into creating that experience for you, and planning them is a year round job.
We’re taking a look at some of the unsung heroes and what they do to give you that festival experience.
The real unsung heroes at any festival are the stewards. This army of volunteers are the heart and soul of keeping everything ticking over and running smoothly, and most importantly of all they do it all for free.
On the plus side, stewards obviously don’t have to pay for entry to the festival, and are free to go and do as they please on their time off.
Sound great doesn’t it? Turn up for free, give out a few directions, and then head to the dance tent and rave till the early hours?
Well, while that can be the case sometimes, until you turn up at the festival you have no idea what roles you’ll be given or at what times, so don’t sign up for a volunteer scheme expecting a free pass to the festival with no work!
If you are interested in helping out and perhaps getting to catch some of your favourite bands, Oxfam and Festaff are two of the biggest organizations for festival volunteering.
Sure, you’ll take along the camping stove your mum bought you, but are you really going to hike across to the other side of the campsite for water to boil your own brand noodles?
More than likely, you and your friends will wind up frequenting one of the many fast food outlets available at a festival.
However, you may not be aware just how big the festival catering industry is. Glastonbury festival plays host to 500 traders covering every type of food available and pitches can cost upward of £10,000 at the biggest festivals.
While that may seem like an incredible amount for a business to dish out for a weekend pitch, the traders can afford to set fairly high prices for their good (after all, it’s not like you can just pop down to Tesco’s for anything cheaper) and stalls usually end up making a fairly tidy profit out of their weekend.
When you consider how many stages and bars there are at a festival, that’s a whole lot of lighting, speakers, and all sorts of other tech.
This all requires a small army of roadies and technicians who work around the clock making sure everything runs smoothly.
All those speakers, monitors, mixers and microphones require a load of electricity, and behind the scenes, companies such as Event Electrix are secretly and silently maintaining a collection of huge generators.
So next time you’re stumbling back to your tent at three in the morning, remember to spare a thought for these guys who are providing the lighting that means you aren’t falling flat on on your face in the dark (as much)!
The most important thing at a festival is keeping yourself safe, and there’s a whole host of people on hand to make sure you do just that.
For better or for worse, festivals are a place where we like to lose some of our inhibitions, and its good to know that when somebody overdoes it, the medical professionals and St Johns medics are on hand to look after everyone!
A word must also go out to the security staff at festivals. They can sometimes get a bit of a bad rep but they like to have a bit of fun just as much as the rest of us, as we saw during Lionel Richie’s incredible set at Glastonbury last year!
It’s not pretty, but with that many people crammed into one place, somebody has to put in place some sort of toilet logistics!
As you may know from your own festival experiences, this can be really hard to keep on top of and things can get pretty unhygienic pretty quickly.
But nowadays things have moved on from the lines and lines of portable toilets, with lots of different options such as the wonderfully named “long drops,” the eco-friendly compost toilets and, for those of you lucky enough to wangle yourself a spot into the VIP area, a fantastic range of luxury toilets.
So next time you’re on your mates shoulders screaming along the lyrics to your favourite band, or tucking into a festival kebab, remember just how much hard work has gone into giving you the best weekend possible!