The art of blagging: festival tickets
United Kingdom | 07 May 2009
Believe it or not, but there are only a few degrees of separation between you and Kings Of Leon bonding over a warm cardboard cup of lager backstage at this year's biggest festival...
Of course, everyone knows that models and rock stars go together like Michael Jackson and nose jobs, but this isn't about flaunting your assets to get a sticky pass. Having the face and body of a Playboy model will only get you part of the way, unless, of course, Motley Crue are headlining.
So read on for some fast track tips on how to blag your way back to the VIP area to enjoy the luxury of gold toilet seats, free champagne and butlers.
Now for the sneaky approach - befriending a band further down the bill. Most of the time lesser known acts have to carry their own gear around, so offer to be their roadie or give them a puff of your 'cigarette' in exchange for a spare pass.
If the bunny boiler route is more your style, you could even get to the festival site a couple of days before the event starts and stow yourself away in the specially built mobile areas for the media. Bring along a six-pack, sit tight and wait to conveniently bump into Arctic Monkeys, as you emerge incognito, acting like you belong.
Another crafty classic is making your own ticket. But be warned, there is no room for rookie errors here. Get a computer geek onside to find the right kind of paper, then copy and scan the exact design and even cut to shape a perforated edge. This move relies on sheer bravado and bluff, so if you can’t convince yourself that you are the complete and utter dogs bollocks, you won't be fooling anyone on the gate. Confidence is everything.
For a less risky direct entry to the weekend of your dreams, stewarding is a great option. It's where Virtual Festivals started its blagging career - an Oxfam steward at Glastonbury from 1994-1998. Sure you'll have to wear a ridiculous orange uniform and be on hand to look after the kids that eat one too many space cakes, but in return you'll have access to hospitality areas and get to be really close to the stage. Click here for more on stewarding for Oxfam.
Bar work at festivals will certainly keep you busy, but you'll get paid actual money while you serve drinks to beautiful people in the sun to the soundtrack of Blur battering away on the main stage. Workers Beer Company are at a number of festivals, click here for more information about working at their bars.
Oxfam also give great opportunities to help festival sites stay as clean and safe as possible with volunteers mopping in with litter picking, ticket tearing and helping out the welfare tents. Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds and many more are happy to reward you with a ticket in return for a couple of shifts over the weekend, so muck in.
If you study photography or journalism you could always try contacting your local paper for any reviewing opportunities that may be available. You will be expected to work at a fast pace and be on hand to grab last minute interviews, as well as reporting on all the gossip as it happens. It's definitely not for the faint hearted but it can be very rewarding both personally and professionally. Here at Virtual Festivals towers, we're always after fresh writing and photography talent. Click here to get involved.
More outlandish blagging has produced some miraculous results in the past, so if all else fails there are a few last ditch tricks that could get you over the fence, but first you’re going to need a very reliable mate. Boldly stroll up to the guest entrance and allow said friend to demand his ticket, which is on 'the list'. At this point you sneak around to look at the clipboard and memorise a genuine printed name, which you can use, as your friend is swiftly kicked out. Bingo. Hello Glastonbury.
You could also pretend you're in a band. Have charisma and a silly haircut and feign that you’ve lost all the other members when travelling down to the event – yes it has fail stamped all across it, but if you don’t try, you’ll never know.
And finally, should all else fail, jump the fence, hope for the best and run like hell…
By Hollie Garraway