If you are at University and are desperate to explore and meet new people but you can’t quite make your student loan and weekend wages stretch (lets face it it is almost impossible) then I cannot stress how amazing volunteering at festivals is. It mildly indulges the cravings of the travel bug whilst being low cost, incredibly fun and in the same country!
Recently I volunteered at the funkiest festival I have ever been too, Latitude, with Hotbox Events. My weekend consisted of drinking a bit too much (as per), making new friends, listening to insane music and dressing up as a Pixie. Over the course of the weekend I completed three six hour shifts in the woods arena and faraway forest dressed as a Pixie. Our shifts of getting glittered up, wearing tutus and refining our bubble blowing skills. Whilst it was all bubbles and laughs there were some more serious aspects of our role including watching out for fires, potentially helping lost children and ensuring there was no trouble. Fortunately, we had none of the latter. Our shift pattern was 9am until 3pm on Friday, 3pm until 9pm on Saturday and 9pm until 3am on Sunday.
Whilst we weren’t on shift we were able to explore and get drunk, basically just laugh and party (maybe sometimes a little to hard eh Molly;) ). I got to relive my Isle of Wight experience by seeing the likes of George Ezra and Sigrid again whilst adding to my live music resume with the likes of Big Moon, Pale Waves and Loyal Carner. We had arguably the best shift spot being in the arenas as we got to listen to all of the DJ sets and groove whilst attempting to be super heros (we wish!). However, I did miss my absolute favourites the Magic Gang, but who needs to see them for the fifteenth time anyway *eye roll*.
Of course Latitude festival would not have been complete without the pink sheep, exhibitions in the forest and lake swimming. Although I am unable to say I actually swam in the lake, courtesy of a combination of working, seeing music and being slightly too hungover, I definitely wish I had. It was a weird and wonderful festival that was genuinely filled with people of all ages. I absoulutely loved watching in awe as glittery mums and dads had matching exotic festival outfits with their tiny tots that they hauled along in personalised festival carts.
There were a million different stages with a millon different genres of Acts for everyone to go and see. We would spend the daytime in the BBC Sounds stage, the evening by the Obelisk stage (main stage) and the night/early morning in the woods raving, singing and dancing to the DJs in the woods. We even broke Massaoke by singing to loud! There was comedy, poetry, music, drama and dance just to name a few with masses of huge names including Lena Dunham.
Although I volunteered with a friend from uni almost everyone we encountered were volunteering on their own. The idea of doing something like this on my own, without knowing anyone there is both terrifying and liberating. It is an experience I would definitely like to try, especially if everyone I met would be there too! There was a variety of ages from fresh out of schoolers to uni goers, parents and grandparents which enabled us to meet people from every walk of life.
Volunteering meant we had discounted food and I actually ate something more than just a burger all weekend (however that really wouldn’t have been too bad)! I branched out to chilli and chips and chicken and chorizo paella. We had our own staff toilets and showers meaning we were always able to go about our business without the worry of catching some form of disease from even just looking at the lock in the toilet and it was the first festival where I did not have to keep loo roll in my bumbag. I even showered and washed my hair everyday, basically making festival history!
Whilst I am undeniably glad to be back in my own bed and preparing to go on holiday tomorrow I cannot wait to get back to dancing in a muddy field with strangers at Reading. Camping and wellies will forever have a special place in my heart, even if the wellies didn’t make an appearance this time.
This is where you will find me until I am flush enough to get my butt to the other side of the world.
Lots of love,