A festival experience unlike others


The sun, as usual, was out and bestowed those under it with a pleasant warmth on the late afternoon. Wonderful moods were all around, people smiling and being goofy. I could hear laughter and many involved in lively conversations. Lots of drinks were being consumed, and with that, inevitably, plenty of other substances. From all over, masses had gathered in cars bearing tents, caravans and some had even managed to carry with whole furniture sets to either upgrade their camping setting or for a more comfortable view of the show that would be near the small town Meredith. Amidst the highlands was the festival of Golden Plains, and I, wearing black on black, was going to be working there. There was a bit of confusion though, as I was channelled through a different agency and I somehow ended up being the only person working alone and doing 12-hour shifts. But, it was what I preferred anyways. Because of this special ordeal, I got to enjoy the pleasures of both conversing with coworkers as well as having my own escape.

When the clock struck six, my shift began. The entirety of the evening and night, I would be scavenging for all garbage amongst the dancing crowds, as well as empty all the bins from the amphitheatre to the food stalls, the outskirts and the beginning of the camping. The thing I must applaud the organisers for, is that together with paid workers were a bunch of volunteers working half a day for a free ticket, which releases any stress from the job and quite frankly, made working a pleasure. I emptied bin after bin, whilst listening to the music and watching people glow with joy. All dressed with their own, at times strange styles, all types of people poured in as the hours passed. The outer parts viewing the stage was now a maze of comfy sofas and chairs, with unopened cans forgotten and lost. A few hours in, I bumped into a volunteer, with whom I joined the dancing cluster and together we picked up rubbish thrown on the ground. Now, here a surprising personality of these folk awaited me. People began thanking me for my service as if I just came back from fighting a war. They shook my hand and helped along. Before we knew it, a bunch of them during their dance moves cleaned up half the area for us. Once the volunteer had done her hours, she was off to join the other side.

Another benefit of being solo, was that I made my own breaks. So, whenever most of the rubbish was dealt with, I would take off my high-vis, open up a found, forgotten can and keep it company as I joined in with the festival-goers. Making friends went easily, both on and off duty. On duty, I eventually got to waste away some hours with two guys who oversaw most of the ground by car, as well as handled diverse smaller tasks. From cleaning up a faeces massacre that had occurred in a shower to assisting a highly buzzed lady from a cold ditch to a warm tent, they managed it. This was on the second day, when they pitied my long, lonesome hours and shoved me inside their jeep. For the better half, we simply drove around searching for anything out of the ordinary. Apart from the mentioned wasted woman, there was little to do.

It was three days of hard work as I cleaned, cleared and partially broke down, and with that, one of the better jobs of my working history. And despite having worked basically the entirety of the festival, with fun coworkers, a job not too stressful nor hard and people on ground helping, I had felt I experienced it all the same except with an impressive pay. My hat goes off to the organisers, as they did, in my opinion a terrific job.