Stories & Events Festival Hitch UK FAQs Where am I hitchhiking from, and where am I hitchhiking to? You will have to set off from the nearest/most convenient participating university campus (from a list of Birmingham, Southampton, Coventry and Falmouth to choose from) – to ensure everyone sets off at the same time. You are hitch-hiking to a campsite near the festival grounds, from which you will be transported to the arena at the appropriate time. What if I don’t arrive in time? We give you a day and a half to arrive at the campsite before you are needed, which we are confident is more than enough time. However, if you feel like you aren’t likely to make it in time at any point, we do ask you to forego the challenge and get to the campsite on time by any means necessary. Which universities are participating? A complete list of participating universities will be added closer to the time of the event. For now, confirmed universities are Birmingham, Southampton, Coventry and Falmouth. Is camping gear provided, or do we have to bring it? You will be required to bring your own camping gear; transporting it is part of the challenge! What is the minimum and maximum team size? You must be in a team of at least two and no more than four people: remember, the larger the team, the harder it will be to negotiate lifts – but there’s nothing wrong with the challenge! Is there a minimum age requirement for the event? You must be at least 18 years old when the event starts. Who am I fundraising for? You will be fundraising £200 for East African Playgrounds, a UK registered charity (number 1172875) who strive to give children their childhoods back through play. We’ll be with you every step of the way, up until the moment you start volunteering as a concierge. Why do I have to pay a deposit? We charge a deposit of £95 for each festival. This has two purposes – to protect us from cancellations by volunteers before the festival, then to protect us against people coming for a free ticket without attending their volunteering shifts. This cost is a proportion of the full deposit (the value of a festival ticket): if you cancel, this will not be refunded except in exceptional circumstances. Once onsite, if you miss any shifts we will retain this and take the rest of the deposit from the same card. Provided you have attended all of your shifts onsite, the deposit will be fully refunded 2 weeks after the festival. What type of volunteering will I be doing at the festival, and who for? At the festivals, you’ll be volunteering for another incredible international youth charity – Child.org, as a charity concierge. Charity Concierges are elite festival volunteers who provide a range of services to help festival goers to add a little luxury to their festival experience. As a Concierge you might help people with their luggage, pitch tents or fetch a round of drinks from the bar. You'll never be left miles from the arena, guarding a gate for hours on end: concierges are always found at the heart of the festival. This is festival volunteering for people who'd rather be busy than bored. How long am I volunteering for? Over the four days of the festival, we ask you to complete three shifts, of varying lengths (never longer than 7 hours, with a 45 minute break). These are always in the heart of the festival, allowing you to enjoy the experience whilst volunteering – outside of your assigned shifts, you’re free to make the most of the festival. Can I choose what I do on the day? You won’t usually have control over which service you work on at the festivals, as it depends on the day and time of your shift. You will probably have a mixture of the services across your shifts. When will I know what my shifts are? We will aim to let you know this a few weeks before the festival, however the shifts are subject to change at any time. Is the hitch a race? Are there any additional challenges? The hitch is a race to the end location, with time penalties applying to those participants who start closest to the festival, in order to make the competition fair. There will be a set of challenges revealed to you at the point that you start hitchhiking that enable you to earn up to 2 hours off your time – examples from past hitch events have been protecting an egg with you the whole time, blagging a free meal, and more. How many spaces are available? Each of our university partners has 10 reserved spaces, with a few more spaces available at the festivals – once they’re gone, they’re gone! If you email [email protected], we’ll keep you updated of how many spaces are left. Are there any benefits to volunteering? At each festival, we have a dedicated, compulsory area for concierge camping with showers and toilets, away from the public areas. This means they are quieter and safer than other camping areas. You also get to have a free festival experience, the chance to win prizes from the hitch hike and references for job applications upon the completion of the event. What happens with food? Throughout the experience, you provide your own food. We will provide a congratulatory meal and a few cold beverages upon your arrival to the campsite, but otherwise ask you to source your own food – blagging a free meal might even be one of the additional challenges we set. What happens in case of emergency? Whilst hitchhiking, you will be provided a 24 hour active line to contact in case of emergency. You will also be required to text your location to our GPS tracker every three hours: failure to do so will result in us calling you and our emergency procedure starting. Whilst volunteering: you have access to onsite emergency and medical services, and the support of our partner charity, Child.org. Can I just drive to the festival? If you don’t wish to take part in the hitchhike, but simply to volunteer in the festival, email [email protected] who will do his best to accommodate your request. How does the deposit work? We charge a deposit of £95 for each festival. This has two purposes - first to protect us from cancellations by volunteers before the festival, then to protect us against people coming for a free ticket without attending their shifts. The £95 is a proportion of the full deposit (the value of a festival ticket). If you cancel, this will not be refunded apart from in exceptional circumstances. Once onsite, if you miss any shifts we will retain this and take the rest of the deposit (£115-£145) from the same card. Provided you have attended all your shifts onsite, the deposit will be fully refunded 2 weeks after the festival. We will also look after your passport onsite - if you'd prefer us not to look after this you will be required to pay the remaining deposit in cash (£115-145). This will be returned at the end of the event. How do you judge whether a reason for missing a shift is valid? This will be on a case by case basis. If you miss a shift because you are ill, and you have given us notice of this and provided evidence from the medical team onsite, you will not lose your deposit. If for any reason you are evicted from the site or otherwise in trouble with security, you will lose your deposit. What happens if I miss a shift? If you miss any shifts without a good reason, we will charge you the amount a festival ticket costs (your £95 deposit plus the difference). You may also be removed from the festival site (we'll circulate your photo to security and remember, we know where you're camping!) You'll also have to face us when you pick up your passport and explain why you didn't show up. Your space at the festival is worth more than £400 to the charity, so you'll have a lot of explaining to do. I have changed my mind about the Hitch. Can I get my deposit back? Once you have paid your deposit, your place is guaranteed, and we reserve your place, plan your shifts and apply to the festival to issue your festival ticket. Your deposit is designed to insure your participation in the hitch, attendance at the festival and at your shifts and you should consider it a commitment to attend. It will be returned to you in full, right after the festival provided you have turned up to work all your agreed shifts. Please do not pay the deposit and sign up unless you are committed to volunteering at the festival. If you have mitigating circumstances that mean you are unable to attend the festival, and you let us know at least 3 weeks before the festival date, we may be able to recover most of the charity's costs and issue you with a deposit refund. However, this will be decided on a case-by-case basis, entirely at the discretion of Child.org staff. If you find you are unable to attend a festival you have committed to, please get in touch with us as soon as possible.