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A Day in the Life of a Boardies Steward...

Posted by Emma Hughes Festivals Marketing and Engagement Intern

14th Jul 2017

Sunset at Boardmasters

With Boardmasters just around the corner, we thought you might like to take a sneak peek into the lives a few of our 'wavy' volunteers and hear about the kinds of things you might get to experience by signing up this year...

Meet Alex. She first started stewarding 5 years ago, signing up to 5 festivals solo in one summer "...being a poor student, I couldn't afford to donate to Oxfam myself, so donated my time instead!" This will be her fifth year stewarding at Boardies.

Having joined Oxfam back in 2015 as a way of gaining experience within the events industry, Jordann first heard of Boardmasters from stewarding at other festivals '" had been told by all the stewards that the best smaller festival Oxfam does is Boardmasters because it's the festival for the oxfamily...I've never felt more welcome anywhere in my life. Oxfam opened its arms to me, warts and all and gave me a place where there was no judgement and nothing that I couldn't do. I was given opportunities to grow and I went from steward to supervisor in one season, to being in the oxbox at Boardmasters and Bestival the following year2.  With 13 festivals under her belt, this will be Jordann's third Boardmasters "I couldn't see a summer without it".

Ieuan was another was another one to join the Oxfam stewarding crew in 2015 "I was sold into it by the thought of being able to do loads of festivals each year, meet loads of amazing new friends and give something back to charity...I'd initially signed up for just the one festival because I was going alone and wasn't sure how I'd get on. From the first night I'd met loads of amazing people, the fun started and the Oxfam bug took over. As soon as I got home from Somersault I signed up for Boardmasters. I'd been to Boardmasters before and knew about everything it had to offer as a punter, but wanted to see the other side of it. I didn't think it could get any better, but I was wrong."

So let's see what our stewards would get up to on a typical day at Boardies...

...getting a team of people together for the beach, with a nominated driver or all getting the provided bus down to Fistral, spending the day on the beach as a massive oxfamily group - people share their surfboards and bodyboards, or hire them out for the day as a group to make it cheaper. Have fish and chips or a picnic from one of the shops in town, spend more time on the beach and then head back to site late afternoon for the festival! (Alex)

...spending lazy mornings in the Oxfam campsite getting ready for the beach and making some breakfast, then you stroll right past the festival which is located on the cliff-side overlooking the sea. You'll spend hours on the beach doing some body-boarding or surfing, followed by a cheeky chip shop dinner with a big group of volunteers you met there and who you'll have as friends for life.

If you're on shift that day you'll head back to camp, grab a shower and get ready to head out, you'll be in the campsites or in the arena, you won't be on your own, you'll be helping the public; from checking wristbands to answering questions and pointing people in the right direction, you'll most likely get some snacks thrust in your direction from fellow stewards and supervisors to keep you going.

Then you'll finish shift and end up partying in the silent disco or drinking in the Oxfam marquee with the rest of the stewards. The best kind of chilled day: a festival, a beach and chilled drinking - heaven (Jordann) could spend all day at Watergate bay listening to a variety of acts or on the fairground rides, a day on the beach having surf lessons or at Fistral beach watching the BMX/Skateboarding competitions and relaxing in the beach bar, so no two days have to be the same (Ieuan)

Sounds pretty sweet to me.

Here's a little more about the site...

There is everything you could want from a festival; big dance tents, small intimate stages, a pop-up pub, an abundance of beaches within walking distance, incredible food stalls and so much more. Boardmasters is so unique because it's split over the two sites & the town centre is so easily accessible, which means a 'Spoons breakfast and proper toilet is only a 10/15 minute bus ride away. (Ieuan)

We have a great campsite, with epic showers and one of the friendliest marquees of all Oxfam festivals. It's not even a five minute walk to the festival site from our campsite! (Alex)

You've also got the bonus of being a 10 minute walk from the porch of your tent to the local beach (Jordann)

Sea, sand, surf and showers still not swaying you?

Here's why Boardies is the boogie boarding best fest around...

It's definitely my favourite festival to steward at because it's so relaxed and chilled, the beach vibes continue within our Oxfam campsite. Going to Boardmasters is literally like going on holiday with a fabulous bunch of volunteers! (Alex)

Catch Alex hanging out at The View, a tiny stage surrounded by hay bales overlooking Watergate Bay - the place to go for catching breath-taking sunsets and listening to fresh new talent.

It's basically just a big chill. Our roles are in campsites and in the arena, right in the thick of it. They're so fun because the public love us, we are the first port of call for everyone and you'll never have a full shift!! This Boardmasters will be my third and I couldn't see a summer without it. (Jordann)

For good vibes and limes you can join Jordann at the Corona Sunset Stage - where the finest funk, house, disco and Balearic beats blast out all day and all night long.*

There's just such a positive, chilled out vibe about the whole festival & everyone from Oxfam was so friendly. The views are incredible, there isn't a backdrop for a stage that can even come close to The Point stage. There is just so much to see and do...I just couldn't recommend the festival enough, doing it with Oxfam just makes things 10x better. Having a great group of like minded people around you to get to know and keep each other entertained during the shifts, then go and party with them after is perfect. (Ieuan) 

Ieuan's favourite thing to do at Boardies is surfing with the Oxfam lot, so if you fancy hitting the waves, you know who to call.

Top tips from our sand and sea-loving stewards

  • Alex's Packing List: Layers, sun cream, flip flops and a bucket and spade because despite being over 18, everyone loves building a sandcastle (and there's an Oxfam sandcastle competition!)
  • Jordann recommends getting involved in everything, being enthusiastic on shift (it makes your shift faster and more fun!) and going to the beach/Newquay town at least once!
  • Ieaun says to anyone thinking about doing it, 'just got for it!' (and bring lots of tent gets a bit breezy) 

See you at the beach....

*check out Jordann's summer of festivals on her gnarly YouTube channel!

Blog post written by Emma Hughes

Festivals Marketing and Engagement Intern

More by Emma Hughes

Emma Hughes