Festival City Volunteers

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Update 20 July 2018 - we have now recruited our full number of volunteers for this summer. Thanks to everyone for their interest! Follow our summer volunteering activities


Would you like to be part of a team that greets and assists visitors to the Edinburgh Festivals? We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to join us in August 2018. Experience is not necessary, we will train you!

We will offer ideas and support to help you to achieve your goals, whether you want to build new skills or interests, find a job or meet new people. As part of your volunteering, an exciting range of festival experiences await you!


The experience really made me love Edinburgh and really love its ethos and the spirit of the carnival and culture and world citizenship it represents

Want to know more? 

And here's how to apply!


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What we do

The Festival City Volunteer programme began in 2017 with group of 45 volunteers. We worked together to greet visitors to Edinburgh and to give people the benefit of our local knowledge. During August 2017, we greeted and assisted 8845 visitors!

Who we are

We were aged from 18 – 81 and came from 9 different countries. We all had different motivations for volunteering some of us were retired, others were students, and some of us were recovering from illness or wanting to get back into work. What we shared was our love of Edinburgh, and wanting to get out and meet new people. For some of us, it was our first time at the Edinburgh Festivals.

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How we are supported

From the start, we felt supported. Enthusiasm and willingness to be part of a team was more important than experience and we had onsite support at all times. Before we started our duties, we completed 14 hours of training and received an ‘Edinburgh Ambassador’ certificate from Edinburgh College. Our travel costs were covered and we received lunches and uniforms, this meant we could all take part in volunteering and social activities.

We were all so different, so no one felt out of place. It was like being part of a family 

What happens?

Before we took the plunge, we took part in a test event at the Jazz and Blues Festival. Many of us were nervous, but it was a great day and so much fun! During the festival we got a chance to test our skills, from getting back into a routine, learning new things, being part of a team, dealing with noise, crowds and the public, and building confidence. We were supported to find our comfort zone but also to challenge ourselves and develop new skills.

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Being part of the festivals

As part of our training and cultural knowledge building, we got to experience the festival, different shows and VIP events, including meeting the First Minister! This gave us the confidence to talk to visitors at the festivals and made us feel like a proper part of the festivals family. We would love you to join us in 2018!

It forced me to spend a lot more time outdoors and to wake up early instead of sleeping in. It also had a genuinely good effect on my mental health which I am very grateful for!

Festival City Volunteering – What you need to know before you apply:

    • You need to be 18 or over by July 2018
    • Shifts last for 4 hours and you will be required to do a minimum of 6 shifts in August
    • You do not need experience, we will train you
    • We can help you to balance volunteering with your other commitments
    • If you have a disability or health concern, we can arrange accessible volunteering
    • We can offer confidential advice about benefits or disclosures
    • We will provide bus fares within Edinburgh, snacks and a free uniform
    • As an Edinburgh-based initiative, priority will be given to applicants from communities in Edinburgh

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Update 20 July 2018 - we have now recruited our full number of volunteers for this summer. Thanks to everyone for their interest!

For more information and assistance please contact Volunteer Edinburgh:

It made me think of a new career path into arts and culture - it has given me a taster of what’s possibly out there.

If you are a community group or organisation who would like to know more about or work with the Festival City Volunteers Project, please contact Emma Black, Festival City Volunteers Development Manager: emma.black@festivalsedinburgh.com

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  • Scottish Government
  • City of Edinburgh Council
  • Creative Scotland
  • Event Scotland
  • Scottish Enterprise
  • British Council Scotland
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