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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

I’ve caught festival fever and I’m loving it!

This feature is almost 9 years old

At just 23 years old, Jasmine Fielding already sees herself as a veteran festival goer, most of which she's attended as a volunteer

Lemmy from Motorhead once asked for my autograph. Everyone always thinks I’m making that up but it’s true.

It was at the Download Festival and I was volunteering as a recycler in the catering tent when he gave me a pen and asked me to sign his T-shirt. It was all quite funny, especially as I didn’t know who he was.

For the last five years I’ve applied to volunteer at all the major UK festivals. This year I got lucky and got chosen for Glastonbury (litter picking) and T in the Park.

I’m a full-time carer for Perth and Kinross Council and taking time off can be a struggle. So I have to do a fair bit of horse trading with colleagues when it comes to summer so I can get the dates off for the festivals I’m planning on attending.

For T I’m working for a local charity – Candy’s Choice, one of chosen charities allowed on-site to promote itself.

The charity was founded by Candy Davies’ parents, Rob and Bryn, after she died from a drug overdose in 2007 at the V Festival.

It’s a Perth charity which is also my hometown so I feel quite privileged to be connected with it.

We don’t want to come across as killjoys telling young festival goers about the demon of drugs. Instead we’ve got a really interesting retrospective display on the history of drugs in Scotland, how they came here and why they came to prominence.

It’s all about safety and we’re not going to be prescriptive. It’s not the right environment for that. But there’s a very poignant message contained in it all which we’re hoping will get through to the festival goers.

Festivals have something for all age groups these days but because they contain so many thousands of people, it’s easy for things to go wrong.

Before police started to clamp down on criminality some were quite dangerous. T itself wasn’t without its issues: I’ve seen gang fighting and quite open class A drug taking in the past but that is now, thankfully, a rarity.

My first festival was Reading back in the 1980s. Since then I’ve tried to attend at least four every year. In 2012 I attended seven. It costs me a fortune but two were free as I was enlisted as a volunteer.

Oxfam is one of the biggest organisers of festival volunteers in the UK. I’ve volunteered with them on a number of occasions.

They take charge of everything from stewarding to litter pics and recycling so if you’re looking for a volunteering opportunity at a festival best go to Oxfam first.

You’re best volunteering with a friend. Most of the time you’ll be paired up if you request this. And when it comes to seeing the acts then, yes, there’s a lot of flexibility there too.

First and foremost you are there to volunteer but I’ve always managed to see my favourite acts. You just need to do a bit of haggling with others, swapping shifts or perhaps working a bit later.

I love it, so much so that next year I’ll be taking part in a three day rock festival in Germany. Four of us are going, volunteering for a German international aid charity.

My mum keeps saying I’ll eventually grow out of festivals. But I can’t ever see that happening.