On this page, you will find all the answers to frequently asked questions for all things about being a volunteer at the Woodford Folk Festival.
The Woodford Folk Festival relies heavily on the magnificent support of our volunteers. Many volunteers are veterans of several festivals, however, each year many new people join the team. We welcome all newcomers and returning volunteers and we hope your time as a volunteer this year is both satisfying and rewarding. This page should serve as a basic overview and hopefully will help make your time with us enjoyable.
There are some 155 departments and over 300 different types of positions (for a total of about 2700 volunteers!) Anyone interested in volunteering must apply online (to one position only). You will then hear back from the manager for that position within 2 weeks.
KEY DATES: We begin recruiting 15th September for Returning volunteers and 15th October for New volunteers.
- Only apply for ONE position – wait two weeks for a response before getting in touch.
- You need a current email address to apply for a position.
- Returning Volunteers will have their volunteer codes emailed out to them ahead of the general applications opening. They will have one month priority period for applying.
- Volunteer positions are available during the Festival Period and during the Build Period. There are also a small number of post-festival positions where people will work 7 – 10 full days for a refund on their season camping ticket. These positions are listed in the Build period.
- Volunteers may be asked to help out in other areas of work where necessary.
- Volunteers are able to camp on site the night before their first shift (unless they are festival volunteers starting on the 24th Dec, in which case they can camp from that day).
You can apply to be a volunteer at the Woodford Folk Festival by following the 3-step
Step 1 Choose a Position in either the Festival or Build Period.
Step 2 Complete personal details
Step 3 Read and agree to ‘What you need to know’
Please note that you can only apply for one position at a time and we will do our best to respond to your application within 2 weeks. Please be patient as there are many applications to process. Contact our Volunteers Manager if you have not heard back from your application within two weeks on firstname.lastname@example.org. If your application is not successful in the first instance, you will receive an email with an invitation to reapply or have your application referred to the Volunteers Manager, who will then work to finding a position for you.
If your application is not successful in the first instance, you will, depending on your preference in your application, either receive an email with an invitation to reapply or have your application referred to the Volunteers Manager who will then work to finding a position for you.
If you choose the option “I’m willing to do anything if I can’t have my first choice” it’s recommended that you include all your skills and 2 professional referees – this will make you eligible for a larger number of positions.
If you are applying to any role that involves children, money or alcohol then referees are necessary. For all other positions, it is optional but also preferred.
We do our best to respond within 2 weeks from your application date however we ask that you please be patient as there are many applications to process. You will either be accepted or asked to reapply for another position. Any applications apart from your first application (and your reapplications based on our instructions) will be deleted. If you have not heard within 2 weeks, please contact the Volunteer Manager on email@example.com
You will need a current email address to apply for a position. Please contact our office or
your past supervisor if you do not have an email address.
The application for Returning Volunteers is for people who previously volunteered at any Woodfordia Inc. event, completing all previous volunteer commitments and wish to volunteer again at this year. As a Returning Volunteer, you have the opportunity to apply ahead of the general public and your codes will be emailed to you once the application site is open 1st September.
The invitation with your codes will be sent out to the same email address you used the last time you volunteered.
Once the application site for Returning volunteers opens on the 1st September, please contact our office or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have previously volunteered and have not received your volunteer codes.
If you volunteer during the Festival Period, the dates are from 24th Dec to 2nd Jan. As each position has different date and shift requirements, please check the position description on our application site to see when the position you wish to apply for starts and finishes.
For the most part, volunteers work 30-35 hours, generally six 5-6 hour shifts, from a set roster within that period, and in return you will receive a festival ticket and camping. Although the dates of the festival are the 27th Dec to the 1st Jan, some volunteer positions start a day or two before Season Campers arrive and some rosters include packing up shifts on the 2nd Jan.
If you volunteer during the Build Period, you will be asked to start from the 8th December (depending on the position) to post- festival. There are a few departments that will start before this date, and a few that start later. Please check the position description for exact start and finish dates for each position.
These are not hourly based positions, instead are project-oriented. Volunteers will work as a team to get their department’s job done. Most positions during the Build will require up to 2 weeks prior and 3-7 days after the festival.
Volunteers will work full days during this period, and we try to allow one day off per week – this is negotiated with the department head. The working hours are affected by weather, availability of materials, delivery of hired infrastructure and other factors. In return for these long hours, volunteers receive the satisfaction of creating a great Festival Village and being a foundational part of an historic event. These workers also receive three meals per day when they are working during the Build Period starting from the day they start work. We supply potable water from the taps but all other drinks purchased are at the volunteer’s expense. Volunteers will receive a festival ticket and camping.
Thank you for offering to get involved as a volunteer at our festival this year. We do however have a policy that volunteers must be 18 yrs+ in order to come and be a part of the crew.
There are a small number of exceptions to this rule, for youth members of families that are long-term volunteers or Adult Season Camping ticket holders. In keeping with our Youth Ticket Policy, we need to ensure that any youth coming to the festival has a parent/guardian there as well (for the full duration of the festival), who is willing to take full responsibility for the youth. Youth volunteers need to register and camp together with their parent/guardian but it’s not necessary that they work in the same crew. If a youth wishes to volunteer during the Build period, they will need to have a parent/guardian who is also volunteering during the Build period.
If you do have a parent or guardian coming along to the festival as an Adult Season Camping ticket holder or a volunteer, please go ahead and apply online for a position. Contact the Volunteers team on email@example.com to get a copy of the Youth Volunteer Policy and Letter of Permission form or read and download from here.
We do not allow youth volunteers to work in our bars, so please look at all the other positions available instead.
Department heads make their crew rosters so we recommend you include in your application who you would like to be rostered with. While we try our best to make a roster that pleases everyone, we also hope for some flexibility and understanding that it’s not always possible to offer all shifts together.
The answer is no. If you purchase tickets and then decide to volunteer, we will not refund your tickets – this is considered a ‘change of mind’. You would be responsible for selling it onto someone else.
We have a partnership with Tixel, a verified way to sell your ticket on to someone else if you can’t find anyone in your own networks to buy it off you. In 2019/20 we had an awful lot of surprise refunds that we technically didn’t have to do but we did because we didn’t want those volunteers to have a sour taste in their mouth after they just volunteered for us. It wasn’t great for our bottom line though as we had thought those tickets were sold and that money was to go back to the festival.
If you do buy a ticket and then apply to volunteer, please include this info in your application so we can remind you that it is your responsibility to sell your ticket on and that we won’t do a refund. We’d LOVE to be on the same page as you in understanding the fine print (that no one ever reads).