Ever thought about volunteering to help make Greenbelt the beautiful place that it is? Site viber Susie shares her love of the festival, the joy of vibing and says why you should join the team.
I’ve been going to Greenbelt since 2005. I volunteered for the first time in 2014 on the Site Vibing team, and will never look back. I’ve always loved Greenbelt, and this team has only added to that – as soon as I arrived at the first workshop I thought: “Why haven’t I been doing this before?!”
What’s it like, I hear you ask…
Make Week: We arrive when Boughton is formless and empty, and the spirit of Greenbelt is hovering over the waters… there’s literally no one here, except the farmers and the sheep. It’s peaceful, quiet, green, and the perfect canvas for all our creative energy that’s been building through the year.
How do you make a sign look like gold ore? How do you make planks of wood look 100 years old? How do you sew 4,387 flags in 5 days? Can anyone paint a cartoon Jesus? We work in a huge barn, full of every bit of art, craft, and power tool you could need, and we camp in a secret glade in the woods. When we’re not building monumental sculptures (think: the giant green book at Leaves), we’re furiously stitching together a stage set (think: the indoor jungle at Pagoda), or sketching a hand painted sign (think: the Welcome sign “bubbles”). Basically, it’s awesome.
So, what’s next?!
Build Week: We’ve had our fun and now we actually have to do some work. Just kidding! Build Week is a passionate mission, full of fellowship, sweat, and laughter (and hopefully no blood or tears). Our secret campsite expands, and the professional crew begin to stare at the hi-vis huddles of bunting and cable ties that swarm through the site. This is the week of climbing ladders, putting up signs/stage sets/flags, climbing back down, checking it looks good, changing your mind, climbing back up, making sure it won’t fall on anyone’s head, climbing back down, and repeating on at least a dozen more venues. We are a Work-Hard-Play-Hard team, and we wrap up the week with a giant, well-earned, BBQ.
What do we have to do during the festival?
Well, we get to soak up all the vibes we’ve unleashed. We weave our way among the festivalgoers, catching the odd “ooh” and “aah” at our efforts. The thing that used to put me off volunteering at Greenbelt was a serious case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). But Vibing is the best of both worlds.
Then we leave it all up til next year? Well…
Takedown Tuesday: It’s all well and good crafting a 15-foot arrow with flashing lights, but can you fit it into a space the size of a kitchen cupboard in one minute without breaking anything? The “Tuesday After The Weekend Before” has its own sense of achievement, and we leave as keen as ever to come back in a year to do it all again, because Greenbelt is so worth it.
Captain of this whirlwind is Saga, who cares about everything; cares about making stuff, cares about building stuff, cares about the festival, but, most importantly, cares about the volunteers and that we enjoy and thrive in whatever we’re doing. She even offered to teach someone welding last year! (I’m only half-joking.)
Actually, the best thing about the team is the limitlessness – we can never make too much, do too much, or be too big a team! The vibing family wants to grow, and we are so excited to welcome new people, with new skills, new ideas, and new creations. Come and try out some making, help us with some building, stuff it all back in the boxes with us afterwards, or just join us for whatever takes your fancy.
To join the team, head here: I want to be a site viber
See you in August!