How to get into Glastonbury, Isle of Wight and more free this summer

If you didn't manage to get a festival ticket, all is not lost - you could be at some of the summer's biggest music events without paying a penny.

GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: The crowd gathers to watch Elton John perform on the main Pyramid Stage on Day 5 of the Glastonbury Festival 2023 held at Worthy Farm, Pilton on June 25, 2023 in Glastonbury, England. The festival, founded in 1970, has grown into one of the largest outdoor green field festivals in the world. (Photo by Anna Barclay/Getty Images)
Be at Glastonbury 2024 for free. (Getty Images)

Missed out on the Glastonbury ticket race or wondering how to afford your favourite festival this year?

Music fans need not despair of they haven't already secured a ticket to one of this summer's sought-after events, as there is a canny way to get in free which doesn't involve trying to jump over a fence.

Charity giant Oxfam is behind the army of volunteers at many of the UK's festivals each year, with roles available all around the site and even a priority pass for the 2025 season - here's everything you need to know.

How can I get free festival tickets?

Oxfam is recruiting its 2024 team of festival season volunteers, who will play a vital role at some of the biggest live music events this summer.

Applications opened today (Thursday, 1 February) with a range of roles on offer, from ticket checking to campsite stewarding, campaigning to shop volunteering.

Glastonbury Festival 2015 - Day 2
Oxfam has a long history of providing festival volunteers. (PA/Alamy)

You'll need to pay a deposit, but can use it to apply for as many festivals as you like and if you volunteer at two or more festivals in one season, you'll even get priority status for applying next year. Your deposit is returned after you've completed your shifts.

Volunteers get free festival entry, camping in Oxfam's secure campsite, a meal voucher per shift, free phone charging, and free tea and coffee in exchange for three eight-hour shifts during each festival.

There's also accessibility support, whether there's a particular role you need or permission to bring a personal assistant.

Which festivals are offering volunteer roles?

In 2024, there's an enviable number of festivals that you could get yourself free entry to.

They include Bearded Theory, Download, Isle of Wight, Glastonbury, 2000Trees, Latitude, WOMAD, Wilderness, Boardmasters, Boomtown Fair, ArcTanGent, Beautiful Days, Shambala, and Reading and Leeds.

What do volunteers do at festivals?

Festival-goers arrive on the eve of the Glastonbury Festival, held at Worthy Farm in Pilton, Somerset.
You could be checking tickets or marshalling the site. (PA/Alamy)

Volunteering helps festivals be able to cater for huge numbers of people and keep them safe throughout the event.

You might be checking wristbands, marshalling at campsites, helping people get to an accessible area of the site, or carrying out the charity's campaigning work.

Oxfam's head of festivals and events Michael Lever said: “We have been providing volunteer stewards at the UK’s biggest and best festivals for over 30 years now, after first taking our volunteers to Glastonbury in 1993. We’ve come a long way since then and people can now join us at 15 festivals across the UK and by doing so raise money for Oxfam.

“We’ve built a friendly and passionate community of volunteers and many of them have been coming back year after year with some attending over 100 festivals with Oxfam."

Read more: Festivals 2024