A few weeks ago I worked at Glastonbury as an Outside Broadcast Camera Operator for the Gully Blues Stage.
After applying to work at a few festivals though my university’s production company Solent Productions, I got offered the role as an OB Camera Op. I was so relieved when I was offered a role as I wasn’t sure I wouldn’t be considered since I had no experience in Outside Broadcast operations. I attended a camera training session where I got to learn how to rig and derig the cameras, and met the other camera operators and directors for the my stage. I was a little nervous at this stage because I thought the setting up looked very complicated but I made sure to take lots of notes and photos to refer back to if I forgot.
We arrived a day before the Early Bird punters, set up our camping gear and had a tour of our stages and the site. It was a pretty relaxed day and then after dinner, which made us realise early on that the food would not be great, we had the evening to do whatever we wanted and we decided to explore the rest of the site.
We did our rigging the next day and did our camera checks. We took this time to familiarise ourselves with the setup and practice and then went over to the Glastonbury sign in the evening.
The rest of the weekend went by pretty quickly, we worked on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at different times to our shifts. I found it to be very relaxed as we were only working for around two sets in one go, no longer than an hour and a half at a time. I probably did around 4 or 5 of those hour shifts a day and had the rest of the time to enjoy the festival. Even the night shift (1am-3am) were entertaining. We were well looked after, by both the production supervisors and security and it was clear that our enjoyment and safety were the most important priorities.
I really enjoyed doing OB and found myself picking it up very quickly, it was not as complicated as I had imagined it to be. I did many positions, Left of Stage, Right of Stage, Front of House and Roaming. I’d have to say my favourite camera shifts were either Front of House or Roaming (although tiring at times for a small person like myself) as I could have more fun with it. I also got the chance to direct the cameras for the stage and vision mix a few times which I really enjoyed doing. The weather was great (despite the heat rash from doing FOH on the hottest day of the year) and we had such a great team of people.
When I wasn’t working, I would explore the site or see acts on other stages. I was very lucky in getting to see everyone I wanted to see, such as Stormzy, Lewis Capaldi, Billie Eilish and Dave.
After the weekend was over, we finally got a full Solent Productions team photo by the Glastonbury sign, had our lunch and packed up our things.
Overall, working at Glastonbury was an experience I will never forget and there was nothing that could have made it better (apart from the catering). I thoroughly enjoyed the week, met some amazing people and learnt A LOT. It really opened my eyes to all the different career options I had and gave me a new insight into working in the media industry. It built up my confidence massively and encouraged me to embrace new opportunities more often, which made it so significant.
Here’s to next year (hopefully!)