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Shifts

  • Can I steward my shifts with my friends ?

    Yes can add up to 5 shift partners to create a shift partner group of up to 6, including yourself. For operational reasons, we cannot accept any shift partner groups larger than 6 (including yourself). You can have a shift partner group with as little as 2 people.

    You can let us know when you complete the application form who you would like as your shift partners. When we arrange shifts, we try to make sure you are always on shift at the same times as your shift partners, we can't guarantee your duties will be based in the same location. If you arrive onsite and find you are not with your shift partners and have requested it - go to the Adbox/Oxbox and we can check for you what happened and try to help fix it.

    Please arrange your shift partner groups before you apply - make sure you have all your shift partner's names and dates of birth ready for when you fill in the application form.

  • How do I add shift partners ?

    All members of the group must enter all the other members of the group's full names and dates of birth on their application form for the group to be matched. If anyone leaves anyone's details out on the application form, the group will not be matched on our system and you will not be rostered on shift together.

    Please be aware that if one member of your agreed shift partner group decides not to apply, or does not get a place or cancels at a later date, and the rest of the shift partner group has added that person, the whole group will not be matched and you will not be rostered together. In this instance, please ensure that you contact us at stewards@oxfam.org.uk and we can match your group together. Please select one person from your group to email us, and make sure they copy in all the other members of the group to that email.

    It is very important for all of you to decide before you apply who your shift partner group is, and that everyone is definitely applying. You do not need to all apply on the same day, but you do need to all apply for that festival and put down each other's names and dates of birth, for the group to be matched. Please be aware you will need to enter each of your shift partner's details exactly as their names will be entered on their application form, i.e. If your shift partner has put 'Joe Bloggs', do not put Joseph Bloggs, as our system will not recognise it as a shift partner match. Please also ensure sure you enter date of birth's in this format: DD/MM/YYYY.

    If a member of your shift partner groups cancels their place at the festival, or decides to leave the shift partner group after you have all applied, the rest of the shift partner group will still be matched.

    If you are not sure if someone is going to apply to steward, leave them out of the shift partner group for now, and you can contact us up until the cancellation deadline to add them in (as long it does not exceed 6 members) on 0300 200 1266, or email stewards@oxfam.org.uk.

    Shift partner groups are per festival, so you will need to enter all your shift partner details on each festival application you make - as will your shift partners.

    If you are stewarding, we're sorry but it is not possible for a campaigner or shop volunteer to be linked as your shift partner since their shifts operate on different timetables to ours.

    Please note that if you apply to any festival once we have started allocating shifts (usually after the cancellation date), it may not be possible to link you with your shift partner/s.

  • Can I arrive early and start my shifts sooner at festivals ?

    No, however, we may have a small number of early shifts available at some of the larger festivals assisting with registration, meaning you will get your first shift completed at the start of the festival. You will need to arrive before the stewarding on-site date listed. If you wish to be considered, please tick the early shift box on the festival application when choosing your festival(s). If you are successful we will contact you shortly before the festival with the dates you will be required on-site - if you cannot be flexible with transport, please do not select this option on the application form.

  • Can I be a supervisor or shift leader ?

    If you are interested in supervising, please fill out the supervisor page of the application form. There are role profiles available to read that tell you which positions you can apply for and what is involved. Please read these carefully and only choose a role at a level of responsibility you are confident with. We generally select shift leaders/deputy shift leaders from people who have had significant stewarding and supervisory experience, however we are always happy to give people a try at this. The driving positions are very popular, and again we prefer to select these from people who have had a lot of stewarding experience. Drivers need to be over 21, hold a full UK driving license, have a good knowledge of a festival site and ideally have experience of off-road driving. In the event of a mechanical failure, drivers may be required to deliver items on foot.

    We also have some admin roles available at the larger festivals if you are interested then please email us at stewards@oxfam.org.uk but apply for your chosen festivals as you will still need to have a festival place before we can allocate you this role. Likewise if you are interested in a logistics role then please email us with your experience - Please note the roles often include being at the festivals a few days in advance and staying later on the last days. More information.

  • Do I need to wear a specific uniform?

    Stewards will be asked to wear a high-visibility Oxfam tabard, which we will provide. This needs to be worn over your clothes and any bags you are carrying so you are visible at all times. You will sign out your tabard at registration and sign it back in once you have completed all your shifts - Please note this tabard is your responsibility for the duration and if you lose it - you will need to tell us onsite and you may lose some of your deposit to cover the cost of a replacement.

    Apart from that, you will need to bring practical clothes to suit different times of day and weather conditions. Sturdy shoes and a waterproof coat are essential! Please see question 'What do I need to bring?' in the Camping at Festivals FAQ section for more advice on suitable clothing.

  • May I leave the festival site early?

    You must be available until the Monday after the festival, as per the stewarding dates you agree to on the application form when you apply. Your last shift however maybe a Sunday evening or a Sunday overnight shift and you may leave site after this providing there are no restriction on traffic or gates imposed by the festival - you can check this at the Oxbox onsite. You will also need to hand your tabard back in so make sure you do this before you leave.

    If you know you can't work the Monday at the end of the festival (shifts may finish as late as 4pm) please make sure you tick the box to let us know on your Festival application form when applying for specific festivals, we will try to ensure you do not work a Monday shift but it isn't guaranteed. Please note by ticking this box you may have a higher concentration of shifts over the weekend.

    Please note that we can't change your availability for the late shift once the cancellation date has passed and we start allocating shifts. If you change your plans after that, and have been allocated an inconvenient shift, you will need to do a shift swap onsite. Please give us as much notice as possible if your availability for the late shift changes.

  • What if my favourite band is playing and I'm supposed to be on shift ?

    You will find out the times and locations of your shifts when you arrive onsite and register, and if you do not like your shifts, you can try to swap shifts with other willing stewards. If you find someone to swap with, please come to the Oxbox (or Adbox if there is one at your festival) to let us know as we will need to swap the shifts on our records to ensure our roster is accurate. If you do not find anyone to swap with, you will have to complete your allocated shift.

  • When can I find out when my shifts are ?

    All our volunteers are given their shift sheets at registration on site, shift allocations tend to be carried out in the last two weeks before a festival; therefore we can't tell you in advance. Please do not call or email us as we won't be able to tell you. If you are successful in getting an early shift you will be emailed before the pre festival email stating the dates to arrive.

  • Why are the shifts eight hours and 15 minutes long ?

    To ensure comprehensive handovers and briefing at every shift change, we schedule everybody (including shift leaders, supervisors and stewards) to be at their position 15 minutes before the start time on their shift sheet. Stewards should not be expected to wait around after their eight hour shift has officially ended, while new stewards arrive, sign in, hand over radios, put on their tabards etc. Arriving 15 minutes early will ensure you are ready when your shift starts and the previous stewards can leave on time.

    Please note: Failure to arrive at your shift 15 minutes early to do full a handover will count as an incomplete shift and may mean you have to work on to cover this gap.

  • Will I always be on shift in the position allocated to me ?

    Not necessarily. A good supervisor will rotate positions to give variety and relieve boredom and cover breaks. Supervisors also get requests to send stewards to support other positions, so even if you start your shift in a position you like and are on shift with your friends, you should be prepared to move during the shift, so make sure you have everything you need with you. Make sure if you move positions you sign in at your new positions and your supervisor makes a note of the position you moved to.