Oxfam is looking to recruit a record number of volunteers for what it has called its "biggest ever year of festivals".

The Oxford-based charity is looking for 8,500 volunteers to work on events such as Glastonbury, Reading, Latitude and Isle of Wight Festival.

They get free entry in exchange for stewarding on three eight-hour shifts.

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Or they could work as part of a campaigns team at the festivals or work in festival shops.

Charlie, 30, who has volunteered for Reading Festival four times, said he "fell in love with the concept".

Oxford Mail: Volunteer campaigners for OxfamIn exchange for three eight-hour shifts, volunteers get to enter the festivals for free

Oxfam said volunteers could apply for as many festivals as they like, for roles involving checking tickets and wristbands at the gates and supporting accessible viewing platforms by the stages.

Last year, volunteers gave over 206,000 hours of their time over the summer and helped to raise £1.5m to support Oxfam's poverty fighting work.

Michael Lever, head of festivals and events, said they had built "a friendly and passionate community of volunteers", some of whom had attended more than 100 festivals.

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All Oxfam volunteers receive training and develop skills such as communication and organisation.

Oxford Mail: WildernessCharlie said his volunteering experience with Oxfam started eight years ago when he and his cousins could not afford tickets for the Isle of Wight Festival.

"Initially for me, it was all about the free ticket," he said.

"But then I fell in love with the concept of it and haven't paid for a festival ticket since."

Shop volunteers are needed for Bearded Theory, Download, Glastonbury, Latitude, WOMAD, Boomtown and Leeds.

And volunteer campaigners are needed for Download, Isle of Wight, Glastonbury, Latitude, Wilderness, Reading and Leeds.

Oxford Mail: Nile Rodgers at CropredyWilderness in Charlbury is one of a number of festival staged in Oxfordshire throughout the summer.

Others include Truck in Steventon, Cropedy festival near Banbury, the Big Feastival in Kingham, and Kite festival at Kirtlington.

Kite is one of Oxfordshire's newest music festivals.

More than 10,000 people descended on Kirtlington Park in the summer for Kite's second year. 

They were treated to sets by indie-rockers Suede and Baxter Dury, soul icon Candi Staton, electro-pop artists Hot Chip and Alison Goldfrapp, and classic rock band The Pretenders.

In contrast to most music festivals, there was also a celebrity-studded line-up of speakers including actor Dame Joan Collins, ex-PM John Major, comic and writer David Baddiel, politicians Rachel Reeves and Michael Gove, and pop star turned novelist Susanna Hoffs.

Information on how to apply to volunteer and the full list of festivals for 2024 can be found on the charity's festivals website

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

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