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Volunteer Accommodation on Music Festivals Sites.

Andy Robertson

Recruiting and training hundreds of volunteers for music festivals can be challenging in so many ways for festival organisers. In an increasingly competitive environment for experienced volunteers can organisers leverage their accommodation options to attract the best volunteers available.  

For multi-day remote site music festivals, the accommodation options can be limited for volunteers. Traditionally festival organisers almost always state that travel and accommodation is not included in their volunteer packages. In exchange for free access to the festival organisers expect a certain commitment from their volunteers to complete a minimum of 3 x 8 hour shifts over 5 days and attend pre-event training too.

Benefits of Volunteering at a Music Festival. 
Besides the obvious free event access some organisers make additional provisions to look after their volunteers. This may include access to areas that are off limits to the general public allowing them to experience the behind the scenes work that makes festivals happen. Most organisers provide volunteer only rest areas and bathroom facilities along with phone charging and regular meals to keep them sufficiently fed over their volunteering period. Most volunteers claim that their prime motivation is to meet and network with like-minded people.

Current Accommodation Offerings. 
If the volunteers are lucky they made get access to a volunteer only campsite with an allocated pitch which they don’t have to pay for, they will still have to bring their own tent. Some organisers make arrangements with local residents to accommodate selected volunteers but they will be expected to contribute financially to these bed and breakfast arrangements.

Future Provisions for Volunteer Accommodation.
A common gripe from festival volunteers is the lack of accommodation provided by the organisers with difficulty in finding camping pitch space even in volunteer only allocated areas. Some of the smaller music festivals are now including accommodation for their volunteers mostly in pre-pitched tents which save volunteers from carrying and pitching their own tent. Other festival organisers even go as far as providing a dedicated volunteer marquee that includes dormitory type accommodation.

For many festival organisers the provision of accommodation for volunteers is just too much effort and they feel that volunteers already receive numerous benefits. Providing pre-pitched tents is a relatively small cost and can help keep volunteers fresh and stress free potentially reducing the chances of them going AWOL during the event. Volunteers looking for opportunities next year will always compare the benefits each festival can offer and whilst most are very similar those that can offer no cost accommodation will be more attractive. Early applications from volunteers can be a significant benefit to festival organisers and will be one less issue to worry about in the lead up to the event dates.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics including a specific volunteer management module. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by Lukas via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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