Monday, May 27, 2013

The broke guide to Roskilde: Part 1


It's almost June and the days of Roskilde will soon be upon us. Here, I will present a strategy for reducing the cost of an eight day holiday filled with debauchery and booze. 

The first step is the acquisition of a free ticket. The price of a festival pass is 1910kr + a delivery fee. So scoring a volunteer pass is the obvious way to save almost 2000kr. I stumbed upon this Facebook group which currently lists volunteer opportunities for tower guards for this year's festival. 

Update: Since writing this article, it has come to my attention that the Facebook group listed above asks for a 1000kr deposit. That is bullshit. I, nor any of my friends have ever paid for the opportunity of working for free and you shouldn't either. Sure, they say the money will be returned and I suspect they are employing a "paid" system to reduce the number of people that only collect their volunteer bracelet, but never work their shifts. However, 1000kr is not a small amount of money and the amount of time it will take for that money to be returned is unknown. You are free to make the choice that you think is best for you. But I would not pay to work one of the worst positions available at Roskilde, especially since this is the first time I've heard of any position requiring a substantial monetary investment.   

But the website for The Ranch is much more rewarding as they are currently recruiting workers to work the food stall. But don't procrastinate as there are only 5 days left to sign up with them.

Roskilde is one of the largest festivals in Northern Europe and it is predominately run by volunteers. This means there are hundreds of positions to fill, ranging from campsite security to ticket seller. I was lucky enough to work at one of the bars and can say it is the best position to have, especially if you enjoy meeting new people. There are numerous cost saving benefits each job comes with and you should weigh them when presented with several volunteer opportunities. 

Most positions will allow access to the worker's area. Here, volunteers can enjoy a free cup of coffee, phone charging, and storage. But the best part are the free "hot" showers. They're only hot if you go early in the morning when most are sleeping off hangovers. But they're free so no one complains. There's also free messages, but after two years of attempts, I have never had one and cannot confirm their existence. 

Some positions will also include meal vouchers and drink tickets. These are usually given to those working in bars or food stalls (this is why they are best jobs). The meal vouchers are limited to a few options, but they are all pretty tasty. To get the greatest value, save them for the higher-priced places like burger joints and the Roskilde staple, Thai Lanna.

As the festival gets closer and businesses scramble to find find workers, more and more advertisements for volunteers will pop up. Pay attention to message boards around university campuses if you're still looking for a job. Another strategy is contacting the businesses directly and ask if they are in need of additional help. Visit the official festival page to see which business will have a presence there and then email them. Yes this is forward and a bit aggressive, but should pay off. Most of the best positions are advertised through word-of-mouth. So this is the only way you'll find out about them if key players are not a part of your network.

In the next part, I'll discuss the things you should do before and during the festival to save some kroner, including meal plans, travel tickets, and supplies. Happy Roskilde!

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