Summer Sundae Festival and Oxfam Stewarding


11 août 2008, 16h30m

Last weekend I had a wonderful time at the Summer Sundae Weekender festival in Leicester (official page). Most performances and the atmosphere were great. We had plenty of sun as well as some rain and mud. My favourite part of the program was Phrased & Confused, with highlights such as Aoife Mannix & Janie Armour (who don’t even have a page yet!) and Essie Jain (to name an example of someone who does have a page).

The festival organizers donated about 15,000£ to Oxfam, and Oxfam organized about 80 volunteer stewards. My wife and I were two of those volunteers.

One of the nice things about Oxfam stewarding is free entry, free camping, and some free meals. The first task I did was to welcome artists at the VIP area: smiling, making sure they had the right wrist bands, opening a tent door, and if necessary I’d point out that lunch wouldn’t be served before 1pm (btw, all the artist I met, and whose names I don’t know, were really nice people). Another interesting shift I did was to help “wristbanding” visitors at the entrance during the peak queue time. The professional staff and the Oxfam stewards tried their best to keep the long queue as short as possible but the new electronic ticketing system and the validation machines were a major bottleneck (at some point it was longer than 40 minutes).

The most interesting shift I did was a nightshift at the entrance to one of the camping sites together with some other stewards and professional festival security. I learned about how to (not) measure how good an artist is, why certain artists are complete idiots (because of how they risk the safety of their fans), which gigs were complete rip offs, and which ones are really good. And at Sunday around 7am I even had the opportunity to do some plumbing: making sure early birds wouldn’t run out of water while taking their showers.
Overall, I had the pleasure to work together with very fine people while enjoying great music. It was a wonderful experience. Oxfam already started drafting volunteers for next year’s festivals. I highly recommend participating! :-)


  • eddb

    Elias I started volunteering this year! I got to go to Glasto for the first time (had an amazing time) and i am volunteering at Reading from Weds onwards.I was meant to do Summer Sundae but pulled out because of a holiday clash. Cool to know that someone else from does it!

    18 août 2008, 15h55m
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