Shambala Festival staff useful again in charity work

Shambala Festival staff useful again in charity work

Out-of-work festival staff say they are “feeling useful” once more after joining a food charity’s project.

The Shambala Festival team, who are mostly based in Bristol, opted to help with FoodStock 2020 after facing furlough during the pandemic.

Operations team member Christine Dent said it was “tough feeling at a loose end” since the festival was cancelled.

They are now working with FareShare South West to distribute one million emergency meals by February 2021.

The project aims to stockpile emergency food and deliver it over winter to frontline services which ranges from food banks, schools, community centres, refuges, and other small charities.

Shambala Festival takes place every August in Northamptonshire at a secret location. It features 200 music acts across 12 live stages.

In March, festival directors announced the event would be postponed until August 2021.

The food distribution project started on 19 November, so festival staff came off furlough and are now being paid.

“This year has been tricky, to say the least so it feels amazing to be doing something good and having a positive impact on the lives of people who are struggling,” Ms Dent added.

“My usual role at Shambala is very busy and fast-paced which I love and it’s been tough feeling I’m at a loose end, but it’s been so rewarding to be busy again.”

A Shambala Festival spokeswoman said their skills were “very transferable” and they were “thriving”.

“We work best as a team and it’s been very hard mentally to sit at home and watch the year pass us by,” the spokeswoman added.

“Putting on a festival is incredibly hard work, but we’ve learned that not putting on a festival is even harder.

“Foodstock 2020 is so worthwhile and is providing such a lifeline to the most critically vulnerable in our region.”

FareShare South West CEO Julian Mines said the festival team’s input “has been and will continue to be significant for the whole of the South West region during a very difficult winter”.

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