Wondering how you can get involved in the Festival?

LPF open-Final-3-MS

Here is an outline of all the ways you can help out. Ledbury Poetry Festival is a very friendly festival. John Burnside said of his visit to Ledbury

I feel that it is magical in Ledbury during the Festival. The whole town seems to be involved in all kinds of ways, from performing words and music, to making up marvellous, appreciative and informed audiences. For a while we all breathe poetry and music – it’s a bit like walking around for a few days in a paradise garden.”

We are very much of our community, and couldn’t do the Festival without that wonderful army of volunteers who make Ledbury a “paradise garden”. The volunteers are incredibly generous and hospitable, some of them taking poets into their own homes, and giving their time so freely.

All roles have an ambassador element: you are representing the Festival. Volunteers are invited to do as much or as little as they feel able.

If you are interested please get in touch with Phillippa manager@poetry-festival.co.uk or Sandra finance@poetry-festival.co.uk and we can talk you through roles. The Helpers’ Form 2019 will be posted in Spring 2019

Volunteers Needed:

Ledbury Poetry Festival’s Poets in Schools programme is looking for volunteers who can help at the Poetry Out Loud, Festival in a Day events at Hellens Manor. Sessions are led by experienced poets and each school group experiences three different sessions by three different poets. It would be great to have at least one volunteer to accompany each group, for example to help less able pupils. These days are managed by LPF’s Artistic Director Chloe Garner, who will be at Hellens to offer any support needed. If you would be interested, please email Chloe on director@poetry-festival.co.uk. Chloe can then give you full details about the Poetry Out Loud Days and answer any questions or concerns you may have.

The dates are:1st, 2nd and 3rd of April 2019 and 8th, 9th, 10th of April 2019

These days are a fantastic opportunity for schools as feedback shows: “Fantastic! The children absolutely loved the performances, especially the fact that they were all so different. The Poets were good leaders in the workshops and very helpful to any that got stuck. The pupils responded very well and wrote some wonderful poetry. It was so good to see so many performing them at the end.” Eastnor Primary School

Further Volunteer Roles:

Festival Interns

I really enjoyed my time working as an intern for Ledbury Poetry Festival. Although it is an intense 10 days, it is massively rewarding- both in terms of developing new skills and also just having a good time! Event managing was something I would have never considered doing previously but I ended up enjoying it & also becoming more confident in public speaking. 

Getting to interact with the poets & performers is always fun- it is really rewarding to work with people who care intensely about what they do. Another highlight is being able to go to events that you might’ve not otherwise gone to- the Festival always has a really diverse & interesting program and there’s always something that will surprise you. 

 I would definitely recommend an internship at the Festival! ”  Freya Henderson, 2018 intern

Event Managing –

  • the event manager is the point of liaison between the performer, the Festival and sponsors. It is a good idea to go to many events, and familiarise yourself with the Festival to see how events run.
  • do all the organising and liaising with the performer in the run up to the Festival
  • meet performer(s) in Hospitality before event and escort them to venue
  • ensure the performer(s) are at performance, and sound checks before performance
  • if you feel confident: introduce performer, thank sponsors, show fire exits, turn off mobile phones etc, or we can get someone else to do this part
  • ensure performer runs to time, compile a running list for multiple performers
  • liaise with sponsors about meeting the performer afterwards, publicity material etc
  • at end of performance, thank audience, thank performer and present with Festival gift
  • 2019 Ledbury Event Managers’ Guide
  • Event Managers’ Training Day 13 March 2019 details here


  • provide B&B accommodation for poets and performers
  • possible collection and drop off of performers from/to train station
  • Accommodation Form to complete and send in will be posted soon, or contact manager@poetry-festival.co.uk


  • Serving tea/ coffee/ sandwiches in Festival’s hospitality room, and occasionally at events. This role can include food preparation (sandwiches), serving alcohol, and clearing and washing up.


  • taking tickets at events, seating sponsors, seating the audience, being responsible for safety during performance
  • provide water (either glasses or bottled) for performer(s)

Driving and Meeting at Stations

  • a welcoming role collecting poets/performers from train stations and airports. Mileage is paid.
  • must have insurance which covers the use of the vehicle for work (for the driver) as well as domestic and pleasure, and
  • must have full drivers’ licence


  • all year round admin tasks in Festival Office

One of our lovely Hospitality volunteers ready to serve cake and coffee


Volunteers supplying fresh scones to Hospitality

michael palin

Michael Palin being escorted to his event by his event manager