From a rave in a Swedish quarry to bonfires and bunting in the Bulgarian mountains, The Guardian newspaper recently put together a ten strong list of the best music festivals you may never have heard of.
As always when we hear the words music festival we thought of free tickets and how to get some by volunteering. Four of the festivals on their list state that they welcome volunteers:
Meadows in the Mountains (Bulgaria, June 12 to 14, tickets £150)
What The Guardian says: “Set in the lush environment of the Rhodope Mountains, mornings are blessed each day with a mist that glides over the landscape. The discerning line-up will pique the interest of anyone with an eye on the underground scene.”
What we say: This festival is approaching fast but they say their doors are always open to like-minded people who wish to experience the festival as a volunteer, so it might still be worth getting in touch. They’ll cough up a festival ticket and three meals a day per working shift. Positions include build and decor crew, artist liaisons, runners, production office attendants, info point crew and gate stewards. Accommodation is free to campers or help is arranged to stay in a house in the village.
Træna Festival (Norway, July 9 to 11, tickets £110)
What The Guardian says: “The festival may literally be a bit too ‘out there’ for most UK festival goers, but it’s the perfect excuse to explore one of Europe’s most dramatic and wild environments.”
What we say: Registrations close July 1 to become a crewmember. Joining the Smiling Crew might be the pick of the bunch but other jobs that need doing include runners, food service, security, setting up the facilities, and driving. You must work at least two sessions of six to eight hours during the weekend and in return you’ll get a free festival pass, some food and good karma.
Into the Valley (Sweden, July 31 to August 1, tickets £115)
What The Guardian says: “To describe it as a natural ampitheatre doesn’t quite do justice to Dalhalla, a former quarry in Sweden with a bright blue pool at the bottom. The dramatic venue is used as a venue throughout the summer, and will be transformed into an open-air club for Into the Valley, a two-day celebration of cutting-edge electronic music.”
What we say: In exchange for 12 hours’ work they will offer free entrance and food but one drawback is they do not provide free camping or housing during the festival. Stage production, artist hospitality and site décor are some of the departments needing your help.
Mandrea Music Festival (Italy, July 30 to August 2, tickets from £57)
What The Guardian says: “The festival site is by Lake Garda, a turquoise stretch of water that’s the largest lake in Italy. Around it you can hike, mountain bike and rock climb…”
What we say: Volunteers get a full festival pass with food provided for volunteers who work before the festival. Basic English is required.
Image courtesy srfvirus.