How would you like to pull pints for a day?
Members across Wales may not be aware that branches can apply for volunteer places at UK festivals, working for the Workers Beer Company.
The WBC runs bars at most of the major festivals, including Glastonbury (fallow this year), Reading, Leeds, Latitude, Longtitude, Electric Picnic, Slane Castle and the fleadhs. Operating since 1986, all frontline staff members are volunteers from trade unions and the wider labour movement, grassroots organisations, community groups and charities. As its website describes it – “a pioneering model that both raises funds and inspires people” – and certainly our colleagues who have taken part in this activity have come back inspired by the experience.
Members in Welsh Government have previously obtained free entry to Glastonbury, Leeds, Latitude and Reading, raising funds for their branch and enjoying free entry and a wonderful time. Volunteers have their ‘earnings’ (£7 an hour) paid to the branch fundraising account, but as well as free entry to the festival, they get two meal and drinks vouchers each day. When volunteers are not working they have access to the festival.
The work time and duties (serving behind the bar) aren’t too onerous, and you get a lot of perks. Volunteers will need to provide their own tents but will camp on the workers' site with their own separate facilities such as a café, showers and loos. Volunteers/teams will have to arrange their own transport to and from the festivals, except Glastonbury, and use their annual leave to cover the attendance.
In Cardiff, branch treasurer Adam Wadding has been arranging a team for several years, raising £868 for the branch in 2017. We are awaiting this year’s festival opportunities to be confirmed at the end of February, after which each team can apply for its places. Other branches will need to arrange this themselves (see details below), but if your branch has any questions, please contact Adam, who will be happy to help (firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 03000 25 3827).
Last year, in addition to places at Glastonbury, Latitude and Leeds, we were offered places at the Electric Picnic in Ireland in September, but unfortunately couldn’t raise any interest in attending. Any members interested in getting involved in the more far- flung festivals, such as Latitude, greatly increase the chances of places being secured.
If you are interested and a member of the Cardiff branch, please let Adam know. Other branches will need to agree a contact that runs the activity for the branch, so in the first instance speak to your branch secretary or another branch rep about doing so. Once this is done your branch can apply to become a team and to be considered for places at these festivals visit workersbeer.co.uk/fundraising/