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Volunteers ensure proper functioning of the event

1. Discuss the reasons, justifying why an event, such as Glastonbury Festival would seek to recruit volunteers as a major component of their workforce. Analyse the benefits and limitations associated with employment of volunteers at Glastonbury Festival.      
2. Assess the reasons which would lead to lack of motivation amongst volunteers at Glastonbury Festival. Propose strategies, which should be used by HR Managers in order to increase motivation of volunteering staff.

The Glastonbury Music Festival, where the music never stops. The world’s biggest music and arts festival just finished a couple of months back. The festival is a hub of music lovers who gather and camp all week long inside the Worthy Farm. The Worthy Farm is located in Pilton, Somerset, United Kingdom. The music festival also includes stages for theater, dance, art and craft and other forms of art. The Glastonbury Festival is an annual week-long festival attended by music lovers all around the world. This year’s attendance was 1, 75,000 people who only includes the general crowd excluding the volunteers and service personnel. The festival first started in 1970, a day after the death of Jimi Hendrix and was attended by around 1500 people. The first season ticket prices were a pound each and included on the house milk from the Worthy Farm. The festival is jointly sponsored by Oxfam, Greenpeace, and Water Aid for a global common cause. The festival is heavily reliant on the volunteers and stewards for properly coordinating the festival. The massive crowd support and enthusiasm draws huge crowds from all corners of the UK and the globe. The festival provides quality services to the attendees like electricity, water supply, sanitation and more importantly, quality music.

The Glastonbury festival is attended by almost 2, 00,000 people every year. The organizers of the event alone cannot manage such a large crowd(Armstrong and Armstrong, 2011). The crowd is often overwhelmingly large and chaotic. To manage and drive the revelers, the event organizers seek volunteer support. The volunteers are recruited before the event through online portals or forums seeking online registration. The volunteers are essential to the proper functioning of the event. The volunteers are responsible for manning the gates. There are some entrances for pedestrians through whom an overwhelming number of crowds always make entry and exits. So it is necessary for volunteers and stewards to be stationed at the entry points to prevent unauthorized access. The gateway to the events is multiple in numbers, and there are security cordons in place for proper surveillance of the premise(Askegren, 2005). All the attendees are required to carry nonglass material for food and beverages. There are restrictions on other items which are not permissible inside the Worthy Farm. The volunteers man this security cordons to check the belongings of the revelers. The attendees of the event are required to fill an application in case any of their belongings are confiscated by the volunteers. After the completion of the week-long festival, the revelers upon production of the application form which they duly filled are returned their confiscated goods(Brahier and Speer, 2011). All these processes are managed and run by the volunteers. The volunteers are the people responsible for ensuring that all the required arrangements are in place. Some volunteers who are given the respite of not being posted at the entry gates to check tickets are allotted to specific bands and specific venues inside the Worthy Farm. The volunteers who are published at the music event manage the back stage and contact the band even before they may have landed at the kingdom and know their specific choices or preferences. Then the volunteer or volunteers make all the necessary arrangements and keep the desired arrangements(Gelder and Robinson, 2009). The volunteer also coordinates with the technical personnel involved in the setup and jointly identifies areas of concern and notifies the higher managers involved in managing the specific event. The stewards and volunteers are responsible for ensuring that there isn’t any occurrence of an untoward incident during the revelation. The volunteers make sure that the crowds are moving in the correct file. The crowd management is an essential task in context to the management of such large events. The crowds often get too over enthusiastic and overwhelmed at an event. It’s the responsibility of a volunteer to manage such an unruly crowd using efficient techniques like force and often persuasion(Huntington, 2007). Volunteers restrict the entrance of drunken, unruly crowds by often using force as the usual trick of persuasion doesn’t work with highly “tipsy” people. Volunteers are an important aspect of the music festival of Glastonbury since it is not possible for the event organizers to manage such a huge crowd. There are some different stages which blast music week long, without any breaks even for a second. Different stages appeal to various types of crowds seeking a particular genre of their interest. It is often the volunteers who must know exactly where to direct a particular crowd in the especially large venue of Worthy Farm. The volunteers must know the stages by heart and must know all existing infrastructure and routes through which to divert a crowd in case of emergencies and calamities(Lakin, Brown and Williams, 2001). People often are lost in the very large venue with no clue to lead them anywhere. The people are relieved to find volunteers who are ready to assist them in leading and helping them find their way. The need for volunteer ship in the week-long music event of Glastonbury is imminent and cannot be done away with. The event organizers cannot afford to keep employees under payroll for a whole year when the actual need is only a week long. It is economically unviable and will lead the company nowhere. The only option for the event organizers is to look for employees who would give their best and ready to part with their comfort for a week to make the event happen(Lawton, 2011). The organizers validate their efforts in finding the right mix of volunteers whom they haven’t ever met which is a serious concern for the organizers. They have no option but to hire the unknown people based on a single application form and recruit them for the event without even running a query with the criminal database. The volunteers over the years have kept their reputation intact by not doing any deeds that can inadvertently affect the events brand image.  In short, the Glastonbury festival wouldn’t have been the Glastonbury had it not been for the wholehearted participation of the volunteers(Manual on the measurement of volunteer work, 2011).

Volunteers are responsible for security at entry points

The major concern that volunteers often face is of self-deprivation rather than monetary(Masterman, 2004). The volunteers have to report a day before the start of the festival. The volunteers have to be trained and guided by the event organizers who have dedicated cells to deal with volunteers. The event organizers make all efforts to train the volunteers and stewards as they are often referred to as in the festival lingo of Glastonbury Music Festival.  The volunteers are offered wages in return for their services offered. The volunteers are given all required training and provided with a manual which guides them on the placement of stages and routes of specific venues within the Worthy Farm. The volunteers are paid wages in return of daily duties amounting to 12 hours from 8 am to 8 pm every day throughout the week-long festival(Mathis and Jackson, 2003). One aspect of the characteristics of several or most volunteers is that they came to the festival to earn some cash for a partying week long. That image of being a volunteer is shattered as nightfall occurs at the end of day one itself. The volunteer had certain aspirations while setting foot for the first time on the farm with implications of being paid to party. The 12-hour shift comprising of the hardest duties of manning the entrance points and checking tickets takes a huge toll on them(Mondy, Noe and Gowan, 2005). The volunteers at the start or on arrival are promised food twice during the day. Once, lunch is offered while the shift is ongoing and a warm meal upon nightfall. The rest they have to fend for themselves if they get time off to grab a bite or so. The lunch comprises dry bread which some say has to be at least a week old and some burger without ketchup. The supper is usually warm with cordial food but at the end of the twelve-hour shift, the volunteers are no doubt dead tired even to get out of their tent(Monteith et al., 2015). Another aspect of being a volunteer at the Glastonbury is being allotted such a place to camp and put up the tent at such a place which is usually a 30 minutes’ walk from the location where one’s shift ended. After a twelve hour stint as the gatekeeper of Worthy Farm and dealing with the rogue crowd the walk is as agonizing as being put to the fryers in hell. Furthermore, the luncheon tent is another 45 minutes walk from the location where volunteers are accommodated.  After about making a couple of hours journey have something warm, the volunteers are so tired that some even carry sleeping bags to the food tent(MULES, 2004). Some are so tired that they choose to go without the company provided food and had something in their tents so that they can have a quick shut eye.  After zipping their sleeping bags tight, volunteers fail miserably to catch even an hour of sleep. The sole cause is not known, but one can guess the reason amicably. The volunteers are deprived of their sleep due to loud music blasting out from almost everywhere. The volunteers first try to ignore them and go to sleep but fail miserably in their attempts to do so and end up partying all night long(Norman, 2007). After about a day or two, continuing these mad routine of duty and party afterward all night long, many are left without any power to even form complete sentences. Volunteers do not have any special sanitation options and have to use the systems that are in place for the general public. After about a day, all the seats are soiled and immersed in body fluids and filled to the brim. The issues faced by the volunteers are quite inhumane and seriously disheartening.

Volunteers manage the back stage for music events

Some of the measures that the Human resource team of the organizing committee must undertake before the start of next year’s event have to be conclusive and effective(Reid and Ritchie, 2011). The HR personnel needs to have a grievance handling cell which can redress any issues being faced by the volunteer. The HR must understand that volunteers toil day after day without receiving any special facilities. The demands of the volunteers are highly justified in the sense that they are entitled to receive. The event management has to have accommodations reserved for volunteers in ample numbers, even if they mean cutting down the number of guest accommodations. An exclusive volunteer toilet has to be in place with sanitation inspectors surveying the quality of hygiene. The volunteers must be presented with motivation tokens of appreciation like hot coffee or an energy bar free of cost to help motivate the individuals(Singh, 2009). The Human Resource personnel must always be readily available to monitor the well-being and treatment of the volunteers who make the event happen by ensuring that all necessary systems are in place.

Conclusion

The Glastonbury music festival has been garnering enough crowd support to sustain its operation every year. The festival in its 46 years of lifetime and entertainment has conducted 33 sessions of the festival. The venue had although remained the same over its many editions.  The festival had seen many bands and artists rise to worldwide popularity after performing on the stage of Glastonbury. The management of the event has been quite satisfactory regarding technicians and sound systems. But the event has always remained shoddy regarding health and hygiene and accommodations. The revelers upon conduction of a survey revealed that they wouldn’t mind shelling a few extra bucks in return for a more comfortable stay at the camp. The volunteers had been instrumental in the efficient and smooth running of the event. The volunteers are the ones who made the event happen year after year since the Glastonbury music festival’s inception. The Human resource personnel of the event management has grossly underestimated the value the volunteers bring to the event every year. Without their cooperation, there wouldn’t be any festival in the first place. The Human Resource team must make hasty progress in their ways to formulating a framework for the better treatment of the volunteers who toil hard day after day during the week long revelation to organize the event.

Armstrong, M. and Armstrong, M. (2011). Armstrong's handbook of strategic human resource management. London: Kogan Page.

Askegren, P. (2005). Human resource. New York: Ace Books.

Brahier, D. and Speer, W. (2011). Motivation and disposition. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Gelder, G. and Robinson, P. (2009). A Critical Comparative Study of Visitor Motivations for Attending Music Festivals: A Case Study of Glastonbury and V Festival. Event Management, 13(3), pp.181-196.

Huntington, J. (2007). Control systems for live entertainment. Amsterdam: Elsevier/Focal Press.

Lakin, C., Brown, S. and Williams, M. (2001). Noise monitoring at Glastonbury Festival. Noise & Vibration Worldwide, 32(5), pp.12-14.

Lawton, L. (2011). Introduction: Special Issue on Sustainability in the Event Management Sector. Event Management, 15(4), pp.313-314.

Manual on the measurement of volunteer work. (2011). Genève, Switzerland: International Labour Office.

Masterman, G. (2004). Strategic sports event management. Amsterdam: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.

Mathis, R. and Jackson, J. (2003). Human resource management. Mason, Ohio: Thomson/South-western.

Mondy, R., Noe, R. and Gowan, M. (2005). Human resource management. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Monteith, M., Burns, M., Rupp, D. and Mihalec-Adkins, B. (2015). Out of Work and Out of Luck? Layoffs, System Justification, and Hiring Decisions for People Who Have Been Laid Off. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 7(1), pp.77-84.

MULES, T. (2004). CASE STUDY EVOLUTION IN EVENT MANAGEMENT: THE GOLD COAST'S WINTERSUN FESTIVAL. Event Management, 9(1), pp.95-101.

Norman, T. (2007). Integrated security systems design. Amsterdam: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.

Reid, S. and Ritchie, B. (2011). Risk Management: Event Managers' Attitudes, Beliefs, and Perceived Constraints. Event Management, 15(4), pp.329-341.

Singh, R. (2009). Event management. Chandni Chowk, Delhi: Global Media.

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