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Volunteering at Cheltenham Music Festival 2021

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Cheltenham Music Festival, 2 – 9 July

Cheltenham Music Festival is looking for friendly, hard-working and enthusiastic volunteers. Volunteers will be needed from Thursday 1 July to Saturday 10 July 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 music management. The application deadline is Monday 10 May. If you have missed the deadline, please contact louise.carles@cheltenhamfestivals.com.

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We try to give our volunteers the best experience possible and we are so grateful for the time and effort that is given. So, whether you have a bit of free time, are looking to gain some experience in the events industry, or, acquire new skills and knowledge on how to run a festival, this is for you! This is also a very good opportunity to give something back to the community, and whether you’re a fan of Music or simply looking to get into it, this is a great opportunity to discover more about the scene.
Above all, being a volunteer is also being part of a family, getting to know new people and have a great time all together.

In order to assure everyone’s safety, Cheltenham Festivals follows the government’s coronavirus guidelines which you will be asked to comply with. If you have any queries regarding Cheltenham Festivals Covid-19 Policy, please feel free to contact louise.carles@cheltenhamfestivals.com. In return for volunteers’ hard work, accommodation is provided* (limited spaces), 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

Front of House

  • Welcoming the audience to the venue
  • Queue management
  • Stewarding and directing the audience to their seats
  • Selling Programme Books, CDs and other merchandise
  • Assisting audience members with enquiries

Stage Support and Venue Preparation

  • Preparing the stage for performance – laying out chairs for an orchestra, moving pianos, or setting up for talks.
  • Assisting with get-ins and load-outs
  • Changing over music stands or chairs during the intervals or between pieces
  • Page Turning
  • Liaise with external people such as venue staff, piano tuners, and the BBC to help events run smoothly

Artist Liaison / Dressing Room Assistant

  • Maintaining the dressing rooms/ artist space
  • Helping to distribute welcome packs
  • Attending rehearsals and being on hand for any questions or requests

Driving (OPTIONAL)

Some of our artists might need a lift to the station or to the airport. Volunteers who are willing to drive for us carry out this task and are called ‘Festival Drivers’ as well as ‘Volunteers’. Festival Drivers must have a valid driving licence and provide a DVLA check code before each festival.

  • Drives could include artists/speakers, crew, volunteers, staff or kit
  • Driving our Festival Cars (if applicable)

Volunteers are asked to commit to full time for the duration of the Festival. Working hours during the festival are long and tiring. Days can start at 8am 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 music, experience with ensembles and/or skills in events management would be a plus.

Being a ‘runner’ at Cheltenham Music Festival is a good place to start for anyone considering a career in arts administration or events management—and it’s a great thing to have on your CV. Past volunteers have gone on to work in all sectors of the arts, including classical music agencies, Wigmore Hall, the BBC Proms and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

[*Please note that due to Covid-19, we are only offering single rooms.]