Festival culture is by no means a new phenomenon but it is certainly on the rise. If film is today's version of some good old fashioned story telling, the festival is the modern answer to the great carnivals of yesteryear. Here we take a look at some of the most exciting festivals to be involved with over the course of the summer.
Festival Bestival | bestival.net
About: Starting the list off is the fabulously multifaceted Bestival. It combines artistic exhibitions, an eclectic range of music and something for the kids to stellar effect! The whole thing just exudes fun. From the world’s largest bouncy castle to the infamous Bestival Ryde Slide, there is always a sense of inherent playfulness that just about guarantees a good time.
Experience: Training and somewhere in the region of 16 to 24 hours work over the course of 5 days essentially pays for your pass to the rest of the festival. When you aren’t working you can enjoy the madness and the avant-garde goings-on.
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Festival Fun Fun Fun | funfunfunfest.com
About: Deep in the heart of Texas there is a festival of beer, comedy, punk and leather. Every year, state capital, Austin hosts Fun Fun Fun Festival. It has recently developed a reputation for being something of a hidden gem. With an exemplary array of live acts, sun and food to boot there aren’t many better ways to spend a November afternoon in Texas.
Experience: There are a range of departments to work for with reasonably flexible hours. BMX and Skateboard fans will have the chance to see their favourite athletes use the fabled Volcom Super Collider.
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Lodestar Festival | lodestarfestival.com
About: Taking its title from one of the many names of the North Star, Lodestar Festival started out as a vision. 200 Acres of land in the heartland of East Anglia was envisioned as the perfect back drop to a series of musical performances and Lodestar was born.
Experience: Volunteering at Lodestar offers an unforgettable experience whether it is stewardship or bar work there will always be something for you to do. The festival organisers are very keen on preserving the environment so by contributing to leaving the site as you found it you are helping the event and the planet at the same time.
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Green Man Fest | greenman.net
About: "Green man is the Lord of Misrule after all” This festival, tucked away in Wales’ Brecon Beacons, offers a magical and liberating experience. Music is a primordial driving force to the event’s proceedings providing a spellbinding accompaniment to the mystic atmosphere and decor.
Experience: There are a range of roles available; some are paid, others that operate on a voluntary basis. You will be required to work 22 hours over the 4 days and, although there is no guarantee that you will be free to watch your favourite acts, you will be enjoying the company of new friends and likeminded individuals whether you’re working or not.
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No 6 Festival | festivalnumber6.com
About: The picturesque Italiante village of Portmeirion sets the scene for Festival No 6. Looking out across the harbour of Porthmadog onto a backdrop of the Snowdonia National Park, the location is truly captivating. Intending to appeal to the more refined end of the boutique festival spectrum, here you can catch your favourite bands but you can also enjoy screenings, readings, and art exhibitions. You can even stay in castles or cottages if the more traditional tent setup is not completely to your liking.
Experience: There is both voluntary and paid work available and meals are provided. It is a chance to sample some stunning theatrical exhibits, take in the breath taking scenery and get paid for it.
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End Of The Road Festival | endoftheroadfestival.com
About: End of the road festival specialises in, but is not by any means limited to, country and Americana genres. You could say it is our own slice of American pie in the lush green pastures of Dorset. Of course this is not all that is on offer; there is an established plethora of literary acts to be enjoyed as well as a substantial helping of comedy too.
Experience: You will be allowed access to the staff car park and staff camping areas. Staff only toilets and showers will also be provided.
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Bloodstock | bloodstock.uk.com
About: Bloodstock is for people who find Download Festival too mainstream. Metal-heads, Demons, devils, Vikings, Succubae and other such fiends will be in heaven here in the meadows of Walton on Trent. With metal so heavy it is at risk of becoming radioactive, Bloodstock offers a real treat for those of us who know the difference between Djent, Djont and everything in between.
Experience: Time between shifts can be spent partaking in a ‘wall of death’, ‘circle pit’ and other such delights. Alternatively you could channel your inner dark lord by cavorting in the mud and chanting forbidden incantations to one of the most metal music experiences available.
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Kendal Calling | kendalcalling.co.uk
About: If you take the time to venture to one of the UK’s most northern counties, you might just encounter Cumbria’s answer to Glastonbury in Kendal Calling. Situated in the heart of the Lake District, Abbot Hall Park has a penchant for attracting some of the UK’s most established acts. The festival also set a world record for the world’s largest mint cake in 2011; expect similar levels of pioneering brilliance.
Experience: With a range of steward roles available you will be frequently interacting with festival goers for the duration of your shifts. Socialites rejoice as you will be in the thick of the bustling atmosphere with creative endeavours all around.
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Vertex | vertexfestival.com
About: Set amongst the idyllic landscapes of Buena Vista, Colorado, Vertex festival combines an appreciation of natural beauty and the enjoyment of a staggering range of live music acts. Cotton Meadows, the venue site, is a disused ranch that has been converted to an area of festivities and merriment.
Experience: Aside from the obvious aesthetic pros, there are a whole plethora of roles on offer, from joining the garden community to working at the festival bars.
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Imagine Festival | imaginefestival.com
About: Billed as an ‘aquatic fairy-tale’ U.S based Festival Imagine certainly has a unique and refreshing aesthetic. Clearly a hotspot for EDM (electronic dance music), you can expect stunts; tricks and spectacles left right and centre. DJ sets and live electronic acts play out to psychedelic, kaleidoscopic lights all along the Atlanta Speedway.
Experience: There is both paid and volunteer and paid work on offer here. The list of roles is extensive so it can very much suit your own needs. They will take into account your preferred shifts so hopefully you will be allowed time to see your favourite artists. However, like so many festival positions no guarantees can be made.
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XPoNential Festival | xpnfest.org
About: The Camden Waterfront, New Jersey sets the scene for the festival coming into its 12th year. Boasting a line up of both upcoming and established acts, a visit to XPoNential Festival will be remembered fondly for years to come.
Experience: You have the option to buy extra uniform t-shirts to keep as souvenirs. It is a nice touch and at $5 per item you will have yourself a bargain. There are a variety of working roles available and in between shifts you will be able to enjoy sets from many of the quality artists on the bill.
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ArcTanGent Festival | arctangent.co.uk
About: ArcTanGent is the biggest UK festival for Post-rock, math-rock and shoe-gaze style genres available. It is also the only gig that American Football will be playing on British shores this year. Many other bands with slightly strange names and a complete disregard for the ‘mainstream’ will join the US based headliners. It is a throw-down for those who are obsessed with polyrhythms, ambient reverbs and unconventional time signatures.
Experience: Much of the appeal of this particular festival comes from having an interest in technically minded music. If you are a big fan, like myself, being able to listen to music that appears quite niche but is actually on the rise is appealing in itself. To be able to be involved with such an arrangement from a professional standpoint is a bonus.
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Peach Festival | thepeachmusicfestival.com
About: Complete with a fully fledged water park, a vast array of vibrant talented acts and a distinctive bohemian atmosphere, The Peach Festival is on the to-visit list of many a festival-goer in the US. With sets and performances that carry on way past midnight the revelry knows no bounds.
Experience: As we have already established arranging to see your favourite acts around scheduled shifts can be a problem for festival volunteers. The water park presence changes things a little. You cannot miss it. Enjoy it in your spare time but make sure you fit in an audience with your favourite bands as well though!
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Cambridge Rock Festival | cambridgerockfestival.co.uk
About: With a great selection of rock bands on show this festival in the heart of Cambridgeshire is a must for air (and perfectly real wooden) guitar junkies. Add to that a beer and cider festival and you have a recipe for endless beery cheer and rock-god worship.
Experience: Voluntary work provides a festival pass, camping pass, a festival programme, a steward t-shirt, 2 refreshment tokens (2 per each day worked) and a continental style breakfast. They certainly do make sure you are well catered for at Cambridge Rock Festival.
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V Festival | vfestival.com
About: With an all-star cast from Bieber to Rhianna this Staffordshire get together is a landmark event of the English summer. Admittedly it might get a little muddy, but the sheer volume of attendees and the top of the range pop acts on offer make for a unique and remarkable experience.
Experience: Working the bars at V festival allows for access to one of the most star studded festival events of the summer. They do admit that the roster cannot necessarily let you see all of your favourite acts, you will be able to sample the festival spirit and, with such a breadth of established acts on offer, you will surely see at least some of your favourite artists.
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And don't forget, if you're applying for a job at a festival you're going to need a standout CV. Try our free CV Builder.
Will is a 22 year old graduate from the University of Warwick. He likes expensive coffee, Mexican food and David Attenborough documentaries. You can often find Will on a train somewhere but he is at his happiest pretending to be a rock star or watching football at a bar.