Volunteering at Cheltenham Literature Festival 2017

Volunteering at Cheltenham Literature Festival 2017

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Application Deadline: 12 noon on Friday 4 August 2017

The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival is looking for friendly, hard-working and enthusiastic volunteers.

Volunteers will be needed from Wednesday 4 October – Monday 16 October to help with all aspects of running a successful Festival. This would be a valuable experience especially for those passionate about arts administration, events management and stage production.

In return for volunteers’ hard work, UK travel expenses are paid and accommodation is provided if not local (in shared rooms), as is a small contribution towards living costs. You will also receive a free Cheltenham Festivals t-shirt to wear during the Festival and to keep. And of course, the opportunity to get behind the scenes at a famous Festival with the chance to see great events for free!

The work involved can be demanding, but the long days involve a lot of variety and hugely enjoyable teamwork along the way. This work includes:

Site Preparation
  • Furniture distribution
  • Venue set-up
  • Backstage/Artist Area set-up
  • Site vibing/ dressing the site
Site Support
  • Keeping the site tidy
  • Checking banners and posters are still secure
  • Maintaining levels of security in No-Access areas
  • Waste/Recycling Management
Site Production
  • Erecting banners
  • Securing posters and publicity
  • Maintaining directional signage
  • Maintaining venue signage
Audience Support
  • Directing audience members to locations and venues
  • Advising audience members of site facilities
  • Supporting less-able audience members to their venue
Front of House
  • Welcome audience to the venue
  • Queue management
  • Tearing tickets and directing audience to their seats
  • Leading an evacuation if necessary
  • Preparing venues for the next event
Office Support
  • Answering telephone or radio calls
  • Typing or other word processing
  • Issuing Radios, stationery, venue kit, etc.
  • Responding to call-outs
Writers Room Assistant
  • Supporting the Artist Manager
  • Maintaining the Writers Room
  • Assisting speakers with their preparations or requests
Stage Assistant
  • Sound and lighting assistance
  • Setting up the stage for rehearsal and performance
  • Assisting artists/performers
  • Drives could include artists/speakers, crew, volunteers, staff or kit
  • Driving our Festival Cars (if applicable)
On Call
  • Responding to any radio calls asking for assistance
Stage Support
  • Preparing the stage for performance – chairs, tables, water, equipment, etc.

Volunteers are asked to commit to full time availability for the duration of the Festival (Wednesday 4 October – Monday 16 October). Working hours during the Festival are long and tiring. Days often start at 8.30am for morning briefing and don’t finish until the last event has finished, sometimes as late as 11pm.

We are looking for highly motivated and reliable volunteers who will be happy to do whatever task is required of them. Volunteers will need to have good teamwork skills, initiative, and the stamina to work long hours. Evidence for a passion for Literature and/or skills in events management would be a plus.

To apply to be a volunteer please fill in our online application form.


To be considered in first round interviews, please submit your application by 12 noon on Friday 4 August. Applications submitted after this date may still be considered if we require more volunteers.

First round interviews will take place in the weeks commencing 14 August and 21 August.

If you have not heard from Cheltenham Festivals by 15 September, unfortunately your application has not been successful.

For more information please contact Aylin Ozkan or Helena Bibby by emailing volunteers@cheltenhamfestivals.com.

Charity No: 251765