Working At Glastonbury? Welcome to The Club

In CategoryVolunteering

Strike a pose!

There is a special club that exists in the world today. It’s fairly limited in its membership and those that are admitted to its collective rarely leave. Non-members tend to be a little mystified, imagining Freemason-type rituals and silly handshakes perhaps. Fellow brethren understand each other in an unspoken way. The name of this club? It doesn’t really have a name, but if it did it would be something like “People Who Have Worked At Glastonbury”. Rubbish, eh? That’s probably why it hasn’t got a name.

I’ve been a member of this clan since 2000. A fairly long time I suppose. Before that I was a fence-jumper. I went through, under, over the thing. I bought dodgy hand stamps from even dodgier security guards. I tried every blag possible to get in. Every year it was a given that I would go, it was assumed I would find a way through. I reconciled this in my head by telling myself that buying from the traders benefitted the festival in some roundabout way. A bit out of order, I know, and not unlike so-called ‘vegetarians’ who still eat fish.

Punter VS Worker

Responding to an advert for the festival’s official website in 2000, I found myself, six weeks later, in the middle of Pyramid backstage feeling more than a little lost and bewildered. Busy isn’t the word. Anybody who thinks that environment is lovely and fluffy and that Sienna Miller is going to come up and ask them if they want a swig of her vodka is living in a fantasy world. It’s business, baby, all the way. Those stood around looking star-struck stick out like sore thumbs. Sienna is there, but she’s not talking to you matey, now for God’s sake stop flashing those wristbands and laminates around, you prize buffoon.

The reality is that doing Glastonbury as a worker will be unlike any festival (or any experience) you’ve ever known, but in a subtle way. Explaining these differences (even though there is NOTHING subtle about this place) is a tricky one. Remember that bit in Pulp Fiction where Samuel L. Jackson’s character Jules is trying to explain Amsterdam? Glastonbury is like that. It’s the real world, not a different planet, so the usual rules apply; you still have to be nice to people and if you want something done you might have to wait a bit for it. The barter culture works well though and it helps to have a good stash of beer to throw around. Instant results, if they’re needed.

You’ll see hardly any bands (though you will hear them). Your mates, if they’re there, will all be off having the most amazing time, drinking cider until it comes out of their ears and you’ll feel jealous. You’ll wish, just for a moment, that you were a punter without responsibilities and that you could just drop it all and hit the Dance tent for a while, except you’ve got work to do….

A Day Job Like No Other

Then again, you’ll find a camaraderie with your co-workers unlike any other. You’ll understand the behemoth that is GFL far better than before, which means you’ll be more tolerant when you’re at a massive event in the future, instead of ripping into the ‘shambles of a production’ when a bar runs out of beer in front of you (cos let’s face it, we’ve all been there). You’ll get meal tickets, hot showers, good toilets, better access to get from A to B. You’ll also get that magical moment when you realise it’s all come together, that you’ve been part responsible for doing something really amazing. Whether that’s feeding thousands of crew members, picking up litter, or keeping the site power up, it’s all Worthy with a capital W.

You’ll also get that bit that sends shivers down your spine, about a week after the festival, usually prompted by something on TV or a song on the radio, that sends you back to the farm, makes your eyes go a bit moist, and makes you realise that you’ll never be able to do Glastonbury as a ‘punter’ ever again. It happens every year for every crew member I know. And that I guess, is the Royale With Cheese.*

This year is an interesting one for me as I will be working alongside the guy who took me to the festival for the first time so many years ago. He’s been more times than I have and has always wondered what it’s about to work here. Now he’s about to find out for himself, which in a rather gooey way is something like seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child. #retches


(*those who haven’t seen Pulp Fiction won’t get that one either)

Celeb Stalking, Worthy FM Style

In CategoryVolunteering

Worthy FM's Guy with the lovely Zoe Ball Guy Lloyd chats to Guy from Elbow Guy Young asks Will Young about cheese Guy grills Noah and The Whale's Charlie Fink Worthy FM's Gez and Guy enjoy a naked sauna in Lost Horizons Guy in the Park

So I’m returning to Glastonbury for 2013 and I couldn’t be happier. This is my fourth festival working with Worthy FM and my sixth in total. I came as a punter in 1990 and 1991 and my only memory of the festival was rolling around in the mud to Adamski’s set. I say it was my only memory but I had NME to thank for this, as my clay covered face was plastered all over page 3 when I got back home. My only memory, in print, along with a wry smile every time ‘Killer’ comes on the radio.

I was young back then and cider was heavily involved.Oh how times have changed. Before I head back to Glastonbury this time, my biggest concern won’t be checking how much cider I can pack in to a rucksack, it’ll be making sure I’ve packed my moisturiser and I have a camera. If you’ve seen previous newsletters and pictures, you’ll know why. If you haven’t, let me explain.

I take a lot of photos at Glastonbury. And I’m usually in them, heavily moisturised, alongside some unsuspecting celebrity. I’m Worthy FM’s very own, one-man paparazzi. I’ve spent a lot of time, after doing my Breakfast Show in the morning, watching/following/stalking bands, celebrities and Peaches Geldolf. I’ve papped everyone from Damon Albarn to Russell Grant, Wayne Rooney to Andrew Marr.

Guess who Guy with comedian John Bishop Norman Cook with Guy

Even the heavily disguised celebs (most notably, Will Young and Lily Allen) have been unable to escape my clutches. I’m good at it. I have a gift for spotting these people (and probably spend too much time reading Heat magazine). Doing this and having the honour of presenting the Breakfast Show every morning for Worthy FM, you’d think this would be what I’m most excited about.

Well, it’s not. And you may be surprised to know that it’s not the bands either. I’ll be watching The Rolling Stones and I am very excited about it. But it’s not what I’m most excited about.

The thing I am most excited about is seeing my family; the Worthy FM family. I have to say in all the years I’ve been going, all the bands and celebrities I’ve interviewed, all the great live music I’ve witnessed, all the great radio I’ve made, it’s the people of Worthy FM I’m most excited about seeing.

There’s something quite special about living in a field with people for a week. You’ll know that if you’ve been to a festival before. If that festival happens to be Glastonbury, then it’s very special. If you’re lucky enough to make radio for the people at Glastonbury Festival, with a team of people all pulling in the same direction, then it’s the experience of a lifetime. I’ve shared some great moments with my colleagues at Worthy FM, memories that I’ll have for the rest of my life and in my opinion that is the very essence of Worthy FM. It’s about making great radio, with great people and doing it with a smile on your face, even if your tent is floating down the hill.

I feel very privileged to be going back to see the family again and catching up with friends and I look forward to making new friends, in what will no doubt be a very special year again at Worthy FM. See you at Glasto!

Behind the Scenes of a Radio Family

In CategoryMy First Glastonbury, Volunteering

Worthy FM BBC Introducing party at Glastonbury Festival

Hey, my name’s Adam and I take care of the station sound for Worthy FM – jingles, trails, promos, whatever you want to call them – put simply, the bits that aren’t music, and aren’t presenters, I am responsible for. And for that, I apologise! In this little blog I’m going to tell you what it’s really like to work for Worthy FM, what it has helped me achieve in radio, and how I ended up there in the first place…

So, back to where my love affair began. I’ve never ‘done’ Glastonbury as a member of the public, having won a place at my first Glasto on the Worthy FM crew through an editing competition back in 2009. To say I was excited would be a gross understatement! Following my first year as an editor, I was fortunate enough to be invited back in subsequent years. 2013 will be my 4th Glastonbury, which really does make me feel OLD, but also very proud to have been involved with Worthy FM for so many years.

Adam Venton and Zane Lowe

Since those first days as an editor, the skills I learnt and developed have seen me become an imaging producer professionally in the UK for UKRD Group’s 16 stations, internationally for Benztown AC Format, and also have my work used on Radio One in the UK – a dream come true, plus winning two Gold Station of The Year awards at the Sony Radio Academy Awards. I am certain that none of this would have happened had I not cut my teeth at Worthy FM, and for that I will be forever grateful.

My friends always seem to think that working at Glastonbury for Worthy FM is some sort of jolly, and that all we do is get a free ticket and sit about all day. They couldn’t be more wrong! It’s tough, tiring work and it is relentless – the festival is 24 hours a day, and so are we.

Having said that, it is probably the most rewarding work at the festival (minus Mr Eavis’ position of course!) with the best bunch of people possible. There’s a real team ethic, with everyone pitching in across areas of expertise, from presenting to news, production to management, everyone mucks in with everything – whether that be recording interviews, making features, documenting parts of the festival, or simply washing up the mugs with tea left in them…. but above all, it’s FUN!

The people who work at Worthy FM do not necessarily come to Glastonbury for the music. If that’s all you’re interested in, then the station is not for you. Yes, the music is a big part, but Glastonbury Festival is about so much more than that, and we strive to reach and highlight parts of the festival that may otherwise be considered ‘niche’.

It’s a great platform for new, aspiring radio talent to gain experience working under pressure. It’s an information service and form of entertainment for all the festival goers, and those listening from home. It shows the real side of Glastonbury, away from headliners, glitz and glamour. It’s a chance to be a part of the greatest festival in the world. And, for that one week in a field in Somerset, it’s a chance to be part of a radio family.

Worthy FM’s First Podcast – Competition Winners

In Category2013 plans, Podcasts, Volunteering
ByGez Smith

A while ago, we got thinking. We record hundreds of hours of audio at every Glastonbury Festival, and most of it goes out on air during the festival itself. After that though, it just sits on our hard discs, unheard and unloved. So, last year, we started putting some ‘Listen Again‘ content on this website, to let people listen to us all year round.

Still though, we could do more. We get loads of news about what’s going on about each year’s Glastonbury Festival in the months before it happens, so why not combine our audio from previous festivals with up to date news about what’s happening at the next one?

Well, that’s exactly what we’re doing.

Every month between now and next June, we’re going to be putting out our own podcast, looking back at previous Glastonburys, and talking about what’s going to be happening at Glastonbury 2013.

There’s a lot of new stuff at this year’s festival to get excited about, and as soon as we can tell you about it, we will.

So, below is our first podcast. For those of you who entered our crew competition, the two winners are announced in there. We’ve also got news about how you can get involved with the Shangri-La area this year, and a new chance for each and every one of you to be heard on air across the Glastonbury Festival site at Worthy FM this June.

There are also interviews with Lady Gaga, Fatboy Slim and Nick Clegg, as well as live music from the Levellers and Stornoway.

You can subscribe to our podcasts on iTunes if you want, just search for us in the iTunes store. Otherwise, we’ll be posting them on here every month between now and next June.

This is our first podcast, so it would be great to hear from you about what you like about it, what you don’t like, and what you’d like to hear more of. Leave us a comment below, or on the Worthy FM Facebook page, or tweet us @worthyfm, or just email

Use the player below to listen to the podcast now, or click ‘download’ then listen to it later…

Worthy FM’s Glastonbury 2013 Competition – Next Steps

In Category2013 plans, Volunteering
ByGez Smith
worthy fm crew glastonbury festival 2011

Could you be in this photo next June?

The competition to win a place on the Worthy FM crew for Glastonbury Festival 2013 ended last Sunday, and we just wanted to give you an update on what happens from here.

First of all though, genuine thanks to each and every one of you for all your lovely entries. You’re definitely an inventive bunch out there, and the standard was once again really high. We won’t be able to give you all individual feedback due to the sheer number of entries we’ve received, but it definitely sounds like many of you have promising futures in radio.

All of your audio submissions are being listened to right now, and your 50 word statements are being read, but the judging process with this many entries will take some time. We want to give each of you careful consideration after all. So our plan is to have the decision made over the next couple of weeks, with the announcement of the two winners being made on the 1st of February.

So, good luck one and all, we’ll let you know the result at the end of the month!

Worthy FM’s crew competition – Frequently Asked Questions

In CategoryVolunteering
ByGez Smith

The competition to join the Worthy FM crew at Glastonbury Festival 2013 has been open about a week now, and some people have been getting in touch with us to ask questions about it.

To give everyone an equal chance in the competition, and to help you submit the best entry you possibly can, we’re going to publish the questions and their answers below.

Q. When you write ‘you need to record and produce 30 seconds of audio that demonstrates your presenting style’ do you mean we should create a new specialised piece of audio for the competition, or would you prefer a montage of catalogued moments?

A. Either a montage of existing links or a specially created piece is acceptable, whichever you feel best represents your style. Whilst quality is important, as long as your entry is clearly audible, you won’t be penalised for limited access to recording equipment.

Q. If I win, will I be camping on-site?

A. Yes, all Worthy FM crew camp next to the station in a secure area up by Worthy Farm. If you’re part of the crew, you have to camp with us, so you can’t go and camp out in the festival instead.

Q. How can I get to the site on the Sunday before the festival opens?

A. Competition winners will be expected to make their own way to Bristol, where they will meet up with the rest of the crew, then travel to the festival site via car pooling or mini bus.

Q. Can I do a different job for you on site?

A. No, sorry, we’re only looking for volunteers to help us with radio broadcasting, and the only way to join our crew is through the competition.

Q. Can you get my band / act into the festival to perform on your station?

A. No, we only have places for our own crew. However, if you’re performing on site next year anyway and would like to come up to the station to promote what you’re up to, then do get in touch with us.

Q. Is there an age limit for entering the competition?

A. No. If you’re aged 16 or over, you’re good to enter by yourself. However, if you’re under 16, you will need to have a parent or guardian on site with you whilst you’re volunteering for us.

Volunteer for Worthy FM at Glastonbury Festival 2013

In Category2013 plans, Volunteering
ByGez Smith

Worthy FM is Glastonbury Festival’s very own on site radio station. It broadcasts for just 1 week, from the Monday before the festival opens until the following Monday when the festival closes. 

The station is like no other in the world, with a unique audience made from 150,000 festival goers, 20,000 crew and thousands of other people who aren’t attending the festival but are listening online.

The station is staffed entirely by a crew of 30 volunteers. The crew is made up of a wide variety of people, usually with an interest in radio, the festival, or the arts and media, but not necessarily professionally employed in those sectors. Many are people who return each year and have been involved for many years. In addition, each year the station reserves two crew spaces for new broadcast volunteers. These members are selected by a competition process, aiming to bring something new to the station and festival alike. 

How to enter

To enter the competition, you need to record and produce 30 seconds of audio that demonstrates your presenting style. The audio must be in mp3 format, and saved with a filename in the fomat ‘yourfirstname_yourlastname.mp3’. Next, send the mp3 in an email to Your email must contain the following information laid out as follows in the text of your email and NOT as an attachment. 

Full name:
Full postal address:
Email Address:
Contact telephone number:
Explain, in 50 words or fewer, why you want to volunteer for Worthy FM in 2013:

Send this to by 11:59pm on Sunday 6th January 2013. Late entries will not be accepted.

What makes a good entry

First, make sure your audio is no longer than 30 seconds, is in mp3 format and has your name as the filename. Also make sure you provide all of the information requested in the same email as your audio. Entries not meeting these requirements will be automatically rejected. 

The entries will be judged by festival organiser Emily Eavis and BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stevens. They will be looking for people who demonstrate traits that match Worthy FMs style and values; diverse, exciting, creative, innovative, informative and cool under pressure. 

Before applying, please be aware that whilst the competition crew spaces are reserved for presenters, any Worthy FM crew member is expected to carry out a wide range of duties beyond presenting a show. This could include anything from feature gathering to lighting the fire in the crew compound! As a result, it is essential that any new crew member has all round radio skills, including editing, interviewing, news reading and presenting. It is also essential that you are able to be onsite from Sunday the 23rd June until Monday the 1st July 2013 inclusive.

Finally, before you send in your entry, ask yourself if you are ready for this? There are many easier ways to experience the festival! 

Volunteering for Worthy FM will mean hard work for the entire week, sometimes pressured and stressful, and always unpredictable. You will be in extreme conditions unlike any other in radio; there aren’t many other stations that deliver radio that is as entertaining, exciting, creative and innovative, whilst meeting a demanding public service agenda. That would be challenging in any environment, least of all in a muddy or dusty field, where anyone from Michael Eavis to the onsite firecrew to a Saturday night headliner could drop in unannounced.

If you are up for the challenge though, we are waiting to hear from you. 

What’s On Worthy: Ollie Owens

In Category2011 Plans, Children, Fashion, Volunteering


Above: Sienna Miller at Glastonbury Festival last year. Photo courtesy of

Do you want to be heard on the radio? Do want to become “The Face of Glastonbury 2011”? Then do your best…I want to see the wackiest…most out there…extreme clothing/fashion you got !!

I’m Ollie, and I shall be brining you the ‘Kidz Show’ for two hours every day single day during the festival…alongside this I shall also be presenting you with my own (amazing-if I do say so myself) hourly show every other day (check out our schedule for more info).

Now, as part of my show, I shall be looking into what the magazines and papers love to rant about… this year’s Glasto fashion! I will be exploring the trends, the excessively expensive and the purely extraordinary in this year’s festival fashion icons. So keep a close eye for that Worthy FM logo and that little mic, because I’m coming for you and will be hunting down the best of the best!

Alongside this there will be more fun-leading on from the Kidz Show. Great music! Everything ranging from the classics from this year’s headlines, to some of the new and under the radar acts on some of the smaller stages. Also loads more gossip, interviews and exclusives!

Remember to check the schedule information to find out when I, and the rest of the Worthy team will be bringing you there finding here, at Glastonbury 2011!

Worthy FM For The First Time, Michelle Reports Back…

In CategoryAround the site, Volunteering

Michelle in the Worthy FM studio

Our competition winner Michelle dishes the dirt on what it’s like to work at Worthy FM for the first time…

Day 1 at The Big Brother House… Well not really, but its been day 1 and 2 at the Worthy FM compound.

It took a good couple of hours to get into the site due to queues and complications, but once we were in it was time to pitch tents. My tent would appear to be the 2nd smallest out of the crew, only Ollie Owens beats me with his tiny pop up tent. However, it is still standing…for now! Some of us headed down for a walk around in the evening, and we found a fantastic little bar in a tiny caravan, tucked away in a corner of the site down by The Unfairground. There was a lovely atmosphere, the standard thing you would expect from Glastonbury and even a little campfire! The guiding light of Worthy FM led us back to home for the next week.

Day 2 has given me a guided tour from Daddy Teacha. It is my 2nd time at Glastonbury, but my first with Worthy FM, so it is very special to see the whole site without 180,000 people in yet. That said, whilst wondering around there is a hive of activity as people are busy in each resepective field putting the final touches to stalls, stages and pieces of art. Tractors and diggers are rolling round site and the stewards are in place. The final touches are being put in place for you all turning up on Wednesday, and already it is looking fantastic. I also managed to grab a couple of interviews with a painter in the Kidz Field, and in the Green Fiels with a gardener owner. We also got the chance to step out on The West Holts stage which was spectacular, in just a few days the likes of Cee Lo Gree and Chase and Status will be stepping out in the exact same spot.

Not sure what to expect next, but am thoroughly looking forward to everyone pitching up and the best atmosphere, according to me, in the world for the next few days.

Today was also my first show, 6-7pm with Phil Gibbons, and from today I am 2-4pm in the afternoons through til Thursday. I am ready and raring to go, and excited to broadcast live from Glastonbury Festival! See you Wednesday!

Meet Some Of Our New Crew!

In Category2011 Plans, Volunteering
ByGez Smith

One of the benefits of Worthy FM sometimes becomes a problem for us you know. People work with us and gain tons of experience in the sort of radio you won’t find anywhere else, so as a result do better in their careers. This year, three of our regulars have become so employable that they’re now having to work elsewhere during the festival. Boo.

So, we’re gutted not to be graced with the company of the lovely Eleni, Jo and Lyndsey this year, who will all be off doing awesome stuff elsewhere. But, thanks to the number of great applications we had to our volunteers competition, we’re delighted to welcome a bunch of new people to the crew for the first time. Indeed, for many of them, it’s even their first time at Glastonbury!

So, welcome Hayleigh, Milly, Chris and Rik to the good ship Worthy FM. You’re in for quite a voyage!