Volunteering at the Science Festival

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Volunteering at Cheltenham Science Festival 2020

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The Cheltenham Science Festival is looking for friendly, hard-working and enthusiastic volunteers. Volunteers will be needed from Monday 1 June – Monday 8 June 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.

We try to give our volunteers the best experience possible and we are so grateful for the time and effort 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 Science or simply looking to get into it, this is a great opportunity to discover more about this world.
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 return for volunteers’ hard work, UK travel expenses are paid and accommodation is provided if not local, as is a small contribution towards living costs (please note that we are unfortunately unable to offer single rooms and the accommodation is in shared apartments). 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!

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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 (mainly on the day before the Festivals starts)
  • 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 the venue for the next event
Supporting FameLab events and masterclasses
  • Assisting with stage set-up and supporting participants
  • Helping with the masterclasses, handing out finalist packs and setting the room
  • Live tweeting and supporting the audience voting
Office Support
  • Answering telephone or radio calls
  • Typing or other word processing
  • Issuing Radios, stationery, venue kit, etc.
  • Responding to call-outs
VIP Room Assistant
  • Supporting the VIP Manager
  • Maintaining the VIP/artist space
  • Assisting artists with their preparations or requests
Stage Assistant
  • Sound and lighting assistance
  • Setting up the stage for rehearsal and performance
  • Assisting artists / performers
On Call
  • Responding to any radio calls asking for assistance
Stage Support
  • Preparing the stage for performance – chairs, tables, water, equipment, etc.
Driving (OPTIONAL)

Some of our speakers 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 often start at 8.30am for morning briefing and don’t finish until the last event has finishes, sometimes as late as 11pm. We do accept part time volunteers from the local area as part of our Welcome Team – for details click here.

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 Science and/or skills in events management would be a plus.


Apply now to volunteer at Cheltenham Science Festival 2020. The deadline for applications is March 23 2020. Cheltenham Festivals will review all applications after this date. If you have not heard from Cheltenham Festivals by the end of April 24, please consider your application to be unsuccessful.

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Charity No: 251765