Pitman's News: Festival Stewards talk about their experiences

It’s festival season! Each year Pitman’s People supply staff to some of the biggest events in the UK and abroad. But what’s work like for our Festival Stewards? Two festival veterans tells us about their experiences:

“I have worked as a festival steward every year since about 1997 – it’s brilliant! I love it! Are the employment agencies trustworthy? Yes in my experience and far more trustworthy than some of the stewards! You have to attend a training course (usually a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday) which is really useful.

Shifts vary across the site. Last year, we did four shifts, each of 4 hours. Shifts are non-negotiable so be prepared to miss stuff you want to see!

Worst experience? In a busy dance tent we probably get more medical incidents than most other places and I have had to deal and a few severe. Thankfully, such incidents are rare (maybe two or three a year) considering how many people there are and the intense atmosphere at times. Some friends who are also festival stewards have NEVER had an incident in the five festivals they’ve done.

Best experience? A couple of years ago, I helped a young lady on crutches get on the disabled platform (strictly speaking, limited to special badge holders but it wasn’t too busy so I let her on). She came back last year, fully recovered, recognised me and insisted on buying me a drink to say thanks. Made me feel ten feet tall! We still keep in touch.”

Ben, Steward

“The main function of Festival Stewards is to look after the welfare of our visitors and ensure that they are not in any danger. We are also here to enhance our visitors experience and make them feel welcome. We mainly do this by giving them the information they want and helping them around the site.

I love being a steward. I especially enjoy talking and communicating with people, which is a big part of the Steward’s role and helps to enhance the visitors experience. A lot of people that come to festivals are really interesting and we end up talking to them, for 20 or 30 minutes sometimes.
I enjoy everything about my work as a Festival Steward and can’t envisage a time when I won’t be doing this – even if it’s just a few times a year. Of all the jobs I have had this is the one I am most relaxed in and enjoy the most. I go home at night with complete job satisfaction.
If I had to say the one thing that I like the most, I would say the people. Everyone here is very friendly, helpful and sociable and it is great being part of such a brilliant team.”

Louise, Steward