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Festival shop FAQs

Essential information about festival shop volunteering with Oxfam.

  • Do I need Oxfam shop experience?

    Yes - you have to be a current Oxfam shop volunteer/intern/employee with at least 3 months experience to apply to the Festival Shop. Your reference details should be that of your shop manager. If you have attended three festivals with the Festival Shop, you do not need to enter these details. If you apply without any Oxfam experience, your application will not be accepted. The stewarding applications are open to the public with a deposit.

  • Do I have to pay a deposit?

    The Festival Shop team believe we can trust experienced Oxfam shop volunteers to represent Oxfam in a professional manner whilst onsite at festivals and therefore a deposit is no longer requested. However, if volunteers do compromise this relationship - e.g. by not turning up to festivals or shifts - Oxfam can be heavily fined by the festival organisers, which means less money for Oxfam's work fighting poverty. If this occurs during the 2017 festival season, the Festival Shop team will review the deposit policy and may have to reinstate deposits for all volunteers next year.

  • How old do I have to be to volunteer in the Oxfam Festival Shop?

    You can apply to the festivals aged 17 but you must be 18 on the day you arrive on site for your first festival. The application form will not allow you to apply if you are not 18 for the first festival you apply for. You will need to bring valid ID to every festival to prove your age (includes driving license, a passport, other proof of age card) There is no upper age limit!

  • How long are the shifts?

    The shifts depend on the festival length and size of team but it can be up to 6 hours each day. On the first day of arrival, we meet up and set up camp and share a picnic followed by pudding club (bring a homemade/shop treat to share). The second day we transform an empty marquee into an exciting and inviting colourful shop with stock, bunting, merchandising and pricing. When the festival is open we run a 3 shift system of 6 hours, alternating between morning, afternoon and evening. On Monday we pack down the shop and your tent, organise the wagon and van before leaving site.

  • What shall I bring?

    Tent (not single skinned), sleeping bag, wellies, comfortable shoes, flip-flops, clothes suitable for warm/cold/wet weather/thermal layers, torch, suncream/glasses, bin-bags, wet wipes, some money, snacks. There will be mobile charging available once the festival is open. There are showers either in the campsite or nearby. Please see our packing list for more details or give us a call. It is not safe to leave valuables in your tent.

  • How many meals will be provided?

    As an Oxfam shop volunteer you will get two meal vouchers a day once the festival is open. We try to find food vendors that will provide meat/vegetarian/vegan/gluten free options. Please state any other eating requirements on your application form. We will also provide tea and coffee behind the shops. We recommend that you bring food for breakfasts/snacks etc. Hot water will be available once the festival has begun.

  • How do I get there?

    We are based in Batley, so if you are local, we may be able to give you a lift. Otherwise you have to make your own way there. Volunteers often meet up at train stations or offer liftshare via our Facebook group. Unfortunately we are unable to cover travel expenses.

  • How many festivals can I apply for?

    As many as you like, as long as they don't clash. If you apply for lots of festivals, please make sure you have enough time/annual leave to attend them.

  • I have never been to a festival before, what can I expect?

    It is like nothing else! Every festival is different but expect large fields, thousands of people, questionable toilets, dressing up, live music and entertainment, long days, extreme weather, friends for life and lots of fun. Find out more from previous volunteers (PDF).

  • Why do I have to put in my medical condition - will it affect my application?

    It is for health and safety - just knowing that you have asthma or your allergies is important, we will be able to reduce risks and act quickly if anything does happen. If you have any medical conditions we can discuss it in the informal interview - there maybe things we can provide to help or take into consideration to make the festival easier for you. It will not affect your application.

  • Why are you asking for my National Insurance number??

    Certain festivals are being spot-checked by the Department of Work and Pensions for people volunteering and working without the valid permissions to do so. We are now being required to provide National Insurance numbers for all our volunteers attending these festivals in order for pre-checks to be conducted. Your details will not be passed to any third parties apart from our Festival clients. If you do not have a national insurance number (which will only be the case if you are from outside the UK) then enter AB123456C on the form and we will contact you for further information if we need to.

  • I have applied – now what?

    Great! You will get an email with information on an informal telephone interview. This will happen a few weeks after your application, we do not recruit by a first come bases. This is your opportunity to ask any questions, find out more about the Festival Shop and tell us all about your experience as an Oxfam volunteer in your local shop. If one of the festivals you apply for is full, we may ask you if you want to be on the waiting list - please let us know if you no longer want to be on the list.

  • What if I want to cancel?

    If you want to cancel your place at a festival shop, please let us know as soon as possible. We are always contactable on our phones or email. Do check the cancellation dates - the sooner you let us know, the quicker we may be able to fill your place. If you are later than the cancellation deadline, we won't be able to replace you and it will have a negative effect on the rest of the team, the shop and may affect your future applications.

  • Can I apply to be a steward too?

    Yes but not for the same festival. Stewarding with Oxfam FAQs

  • Can I come on a different day or camp with my friends?

    No - it is important that you are there for the duration of the festival, to be part of the set up of the shop and team bonding. The festival will have allocated public camping space for ticket holders only. We will be camped with other staff or Oxfam stewarding volunteers.

  • Can I come on my own?

    Absolutely! We have a diverse range of ages and backgrounds, many new volunteers each year and lots of returning team members to buddy up with. There is always someone off-shift to see bands with and if you are worried about putting up your tent, plenty of experienced helping hands will appear.

  • Contact details

    Fran:
    07789 944 406
    ftutt@oxfam.org.uk

    Charles:
    07818 690 258
    cprice1@oxfam.org.uk