Cookies on oxfam

We use cookies to ensure that you have the best experience on our website. If you continue browsing, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all our cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more Accept

Cancellations FAQs

  • What is the cancellation deadline ?

    This is the last date you can tell us you need to cancel your place without losing your full deposit. This year it is set to 6 weeks before the festival. You can see a list of our festivals and their cancellation dates here.

    If you make a late application to steward at a festival where the cancellation deadline has passed our cancellation policy still applies unless it is within the 7 days "cooling off" period.

  • Will I get my full deposit back if I cancel ?

    From the date you pay your deposit, a "cooling off" period of seven days applies during which time you may cancel the festivals you have booked without incurring any charges After this period, you will be charged an admin fee, whatever the reason for your cancellation.

    If you cancel before the cancellation date:

    • If you cancel one festival before the cancellation date, a £20 admin fee will be deducted from your deposit, along with any donation you have made.
    • If you cancel two or more festivals on the same occasion before the cancellation date, you will be charged a £40 admin fee.
    • If you cancel on separate occasions before the cancellation date, you'll be charged £20 each time you cancel, up to your full deposit.

    Once the admin fee, plus any donation you have made, has been deducted the remainder of your deposit will be returned within three weeks of your email cancellation, or within 4-6 weeks of your final festival with us if you are attending more festivals.

  • Why do I lose my deposit if I cancel after a certain date ?

    In the event of cancellation after the cancellation date, we incur extra administrative costs to find a replacement at short notice. This could involve re-opening applications and advertising the cancelled place, or even sub-contracting the place to an outside agency who charge us standard industry hourly rates.

    If we are unable to provide the festival with enough stewards to fulfil the roles we have agreed, our income from the festival is reduced and our reputation as a provider of a professional volunteer steward service to festivals is damaged.

    The cancellation policy operates to cover these eventualities, to enable us to work professionally with festival partners and avoid putting our funds at risk.

    The cancellation charges are as follows:

    • £20 = Cancel after deadline with evidence due to bereavement or health issues.
    • ½ your deposit = Cancel after deadline but you have completed one or more festivals with us.
    • All your deposit = Cancel after deadline with no valid reasons (this can include work, social commitments, holidays and illness without evidence and you have not volunteered at any festivals)
    • Charges can also apply to losing items such as:
      • £65 - Your tabard
      • £100 - Radios
      • £65 - Leaving a mess in our campsite

    If extenuating circumstances make cancellation unavoidable, we will consider these on a case by case basis, but otherwise the cancellation policy will apply.

  • How do I cancel my stewarding place ?

    The easiest way is to email us at with your details, the festival(s) you wish to cancel and the reason. You will get a reply email within 3 working days confirming that your cancellation has been processed. If you do not receive this confirmation, you should phone us on 0300 200 1266 (in business hours) to check your cancellation has been noted. 

    If you have to cancel multiple festivals at the same time, you will only pay one admin fee of £40.

    If you are cancelling a few days before the stewarding onsite dates please note we will have left the office and may be onsite at the festival, so please also call the ONSITE MOBILE (DO NOT TEXT) - you will find the onsite mobile number in your pre-festival information.

  • Why is the admin fee £20 ?

    We have calculated how much it costs Oxfam every time someone cancels, in terms of administrating their application, arranging an early refund, and the staff hours and communications involved. This fee covers these costs.

  • If I have to cancel can I get one of my friends to take my place ?

    We are not able to transfer deposits from one steward to another. Therefore, if you are cancelling and your friend wants to steward they will need to apply independently. If there are no places currently available then they will need to add their name to the stewarding waiting list - they cannot take your place.

  • What happens if I cannot attend a festival because I am sick ?

    If you can't make it to a festival at the last minute because of illness, or some other unavoidable complication, you MUST call us to let us know. If you cannot get through to us on the onsite mobile number, which will be on your pre-festival information, then call the Oxfam Stewarding Office on 0300 200 1266. If you do not let us know that you are ill, (or another valid reason), you will be classed as a "No show" and this may affect your deposit and future volunteering with Oxfam. PLEASE DO NOT TEXT the onsite mobile.

    If you get a message to us, you will be charged an admin fee for late cancellation. If you provide a doctor's note or other documentary evidence, you will keep your place at any future festivals you have already successfully applied for this year. If we do not hear from you, you will lose your whole deposit, may be dropped out of any future festival and you may also earn a denied status.

    The quickest and most reliable way to get any evidence to us is to scan the document/s and email it to You can also post them to the Oxfam Oxfam Festivals Team Oxfam House, John Smith Drive (2700) Oxford OX4 2JY. We advise you to send photocopied documents and keep the originals.