Musical Festival Staff Turned Aid Workers

Turns out working a big arts festival like Glastonbury gives you a good background for helping refugees.

London’s Independent has the story, and makes the point that given the confusion over the official status of the refugees, and thus a lack in government help, the itinerant arts workers are critical in setting up food and shelter for thousands.

From the story:

The men – three British and one American – are members of an unlikely task force. Part of a growing number of volunteers with extensive experience in staging music and art festivals, they are applying their skills to the plight of the Calais refugees.

“We have a particular way of working which makes us very suitable to this situation,” says Kit Johnson, a 32-year-old traveller originally from Macclesfield. “We might not make it pretty, but we can build things fast and make them safe.”

He has worked at festivals for many years, swiftly making fields around the world hospitable to thousands of people. For Johnson and the others, it was a short step to tackling the difficulties posed by the camp.


“I’ve started taking Thursdays off to work on Glastonbury, which I’m having to do over the phone. It’s difficult. Not to belittle the festival industry at all, but it’s hard to sit there and think about what DJ to book when I know there are thousands of people walking from Syria.”

BTW: Syria to Calais=4000 km.


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