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Is it Time to Try a two-tone Tabard?

Posted by Clare Williamson Marketing & Engagement Executive, Oxfam Festivals Team

15th May 2014

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Have you been stewarding with us for a while?
Do you manage people in your daily working life? 
Do you manage people in a team or club environment?
Do you want to get experience of managing a team to add to your CV? 

We find that quite often people who would make excellent supervisors don't put themselves forward for it, because they think there is some sort of rule about how long they must have been a steward first, or that they need to have been recommended for it by a supervisor at a festival.

While it is great to have experience of what we do first, there is no fixed rule about how much you must have - so if you think you've got what it takes, you need to tell us so we can give you the opportunity to have a go! Ticking the supervisor box on your application doesn't guarantee that you will be rostered as one at every festival, but it does mean that when we allocate positions we can add you in that role if there's an opportunity to do so. And we are always looking to develop new Steward Supervisors.

"It's a brilliant life experience, you don't know what's going to come up next. It teaches you how to deal with people, how to get results from people and different ways of running teams and inspiring people and motivating people, and so on... And you can take all of that into everything else you do"   ~ John Spilsbury

If you have already applied, you can't go back into the form to tick the supervisor box, but if you drop us an email to to let us know you're interested, we'll tick the box for you.


This year we're excited to be providing Supervisor Training sessions again, which have been very popular in previous years. They are optional, but we recommend that all new supervisors, or people interested in becoming a supervisor, attend these sessions if they can as they will be full of useful information and insight. The training dates are:

Saturday 12 July 2014   Nottingham - YMCA International Community Centre (ICC)    13:00-16:00

Saturday 19 July 2014   Reading      - Reading International Solidarity Centre             13:00-16:00

To book on a Supervisor Training session, you'll need to contact the Stewarding Team on 0300 200 1266 or email  Please note this can not be booked online, as the online system only deals with the standard stewards training sessions.

So what is a Steward Supervisor and how is it different from being a steward?

As a steward supervisor you will be responsible for a group of stewards during a shift. Supervisory shifts are varied - you might be in a static position with your stewarding team or you might be responsible for a wider area with your stewards at multiple locations. You'll oversee key areas of the festival including campsites, gates, music tents and stages. As a supervisor you are the first port of call for questions from your stewarding team, you make sure they get their breaks, know what they are doing and are happy in their position - as supervisors you also help keep up team morale! Supervisors are radio holders and are in constant communication with Steward Control (Oxbox) to report issues or receive instructions. Being a supervisor immerses you further in the festival experience, giving you more responsibility but, we hope, an even greater reward.

So if you're still reading, and think this might be for you, why not give supervising a go in 2014?
You [very probably] won't look back. And if you want to talk to someone about it in more detail, why not speak to a supervisor on site or give the stewarding team a call on 0300 200 1266, we'd be happy to hear from you!

Blog post written by Clare Williamson

Marketing & Engagement Executive, Oxfam Festivals Team

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Clare Williamson