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Since its inception in 2005, the story of Standon Calling festival has been somewhat of an adventure.

Founder Alex Trenchard described the event’s history for the Hotel Bell Tent blog, explaining how it grew out of a simple birthday barbeque, saying: “[In our second year] we built our own stage out of wood and invited the very first bands. That first stage blew over while the headline act was playing. Thankfully we've learnt a lot since those days, which is why in 2016 we've been able to book the likes of Suede, Jess Glynne, Kelis, The Hives and Everything Everything.”


The festival is now practically legendary for its party status and its setting in the picturesque Hertfordshire countryside. Nestled in the Rib Valley, its location is genuinely breath taking and partygoers can bask in beautiful greenery without having to drop off the end of the earth – revellers travelling from London and Cambridgeshire can actually be there in less than an hour!

Standon Calling holds a unique position in the festival calendar as it expertly balances the needs of those looking for a laidback but lively party, as well as families in search of something fresh and exciting. This year, some of the amazing children’s activities on offer include campfire story telling, trapeze lessons, costume parades and readings from famous children’s authors Alice Hemming and Tamsyn Murray, while a beguiling line up of electronic acts including Detroit House master Theo Parrish and world-famous Metalheadz head-honcho Goldie will appeal to the grownups. “It really is a festival for everyone,” says Alex. “We want families to have an amazing time in the day, and by night we can't wait to see everyone partying until 5am in The Cowshed nightclub. Our annual dog show on Sunday is pretty unique and eccentric too. Not to be missed!”

Face Painting and Candy Floss as Standon Calling Festival

Music is always the centre of the show, with the festival organisers passionate about booking cutting edge acts and giving emerging talent a platform to shine. Some of the UK’s most successful stars including Florence and the Machine, Bastille and London Grammar made their debut there. Describing his musical highlight of last year, Alex says: “Basement Jaxx closing the main stage on Sunday was so exciting. So colourful and so memorable. A fabulous performance from them and a Standon Calling audience so ready to party – as always! This year I'm really excited about The Hives, Suede and Blossoms.”

Standon Calling is truly a feast for the eyes. With the festival built around a different story each year, the set design and theatrical element makes for an other-worldly space. “For 2016, we're telling the tale of the Legend of the Lost Seas. Expect truly impressive set design, immersive theatre elements, as well as an entirely unique Saturday night spectacle. Prepare to immerse yourself in the post apocalyptic pirate town that we will build. And don't forget to plan your costume for Saturday.”

For those of you hoping for some insider knowledge, when asked what tips Alex can give to make sure our guests get the very best out of their event, he told us: “Be curious. Try and seek out all the experiences Standon Calling Festival has to offer and talk to people. I like to think that Standon Calling is the friendliest festival there is.”


In just a couple of weeks’ time we’ll be holding our annual recruitment days, to welcome on board what we are sure will be our 2016 dream team!

As in previous years, we expect to see a pattern in what drives many of our new applicants. In addition to a love of outdoor events, a significant number yearn to fulfil their dreams to travel and see the world.

In light of this, this week we’ve been chatting to three long standing crew members who have opted out of years of bleak British winters in favour of more tropical climates, all made possible by adopting a life on the road working for Hotel Bell Tent.

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1) How did you hear about working for Hotel Bell Tent?

Nathan: Through family and friends who already worked for the company.

Kieran: I heard about the company through a friend who had previously been a Project Manager for us.

Natalie: I had friends working with the company. I came to visit the team at Boomtown festival, many years ago!

2) How many seasons have you now worked?

Nathan: This year will be my third.

Kieran: I have now worked five seasons, two as a crew member and three as a crew member.

Natalie: 2016 will be my third.

3) Why is the seasonal nature of this work beneficial?

Nathan: Not having as many financial responsibilities such as rent for several months, enabling you to save money.

Kieran: It allows you to spend the summer outdoors, travelling all across the UK as part of a team going to events. The money aspect as Nathan said is a big highlight as it gives you the option to travel in winter during the down season.

Natalie: It’s great to embrace the best of the UK’s summer by working outdoors and visiting some beautiful places while you’re at it, whilst freeing you to fly south to miss some of the less desirable winter months.

4) Could you describe the last year that you’ve had?

Nathan: I’ve been working in both the warehouse based in South London organising shipping and also working in the field as a Crew Manager- the work required has differed a lot in each role so I’ve gained loads of experience doing different things.

Kieran: I came back from travelling in South East Asia in April 2015 and worked in the warehouse preparing for the season, running the practical recruitment days and organising the stock. I then worked the 2015 season as a Crew Manager in the field between May and September before travelling in Central America from Mexico to Panama over the winter- just arrived back in the UK and begun preparation in the office for the 2016 season as part of the production team!

Natalie: I worked with hotel bell tent reception managing over the summer. Great season, weather on side mostly! When the season ended at the start of September I was able to compete the massage therapy course I had been studying for and next, i qualify by October. This led me to set up my business before setting off for Mexico with my boyfriend Ted in January. I have spent the start of 2016 here travelling and working as a masseuse and lapping up winter sunshine. Feeling grateful for the opportunity and beach life but also ready for English summer 2016.

5) In what way has Hotel Bell Tent permitted you to realise your travel goals?

Kieran: Working for Hotel Bell Tent as allowed me to realise my travel goals as I can make enough money in the summer to pay for my travels out of Europe in the winter!

Natalie: Travel has been top of my agenda since my first big solo trip in 2008 and since then I have always plotted new ways to see new places, saving money, scanning the map and wondering how I can factor extended adventures into my home life. Working for Hotel Bell Tent compliments such a lifestyle because you can earn and save money during high season and fly away when all the events and tents hibernate in the winter! Note - appreciation for the office and warehouse crew who keep the business functioning in the low season so Hotel Bell Tent is raring to go again when us travellers return!

7) How has working for Hotel Bell Tent helped you to progress professionally?

Nathan: Since starting at Hotel Bell Tent two seasons ago, I’ve been promoted each year which has enabled me to learn new skills and do things that I haven’t done before. These are transferable skills that I can put on my CV.

Kieran: In the five years I’ve worked here, I’ve assumed several roles within the company. I’ve progressed from crew member in 2011 to crew manager the following year. Along the way I’ve acquired key skills such as leadership and organization managed crews of more than 20 people in often adverse conditions which has boosted my confidence in furthering a career in the events industry.

Natalie: for me, working as reception manager this year has taught me a lot about leadership. As a company, Hotel Bell Tent has shown me the merits of good honest management and working as part of a team. Not only this, it has made me realise my love of people, colour, glitter, fancy dress are all useful professionally!

8) What’s in store for you, coming back to Hotel Bell Tent in summer 2016?

Nathan: This summer will be my first year as a project manager, which I’m pretty excited about! I’m going to be at T in the Park, the Isle of Man TT races as well Festibells- an exlusive high-end campsite at Glastonbury, so weather permitting it should be a lot of fun!

Kieran: In 2016 I will start my new role as Production Coordinator- assisting the Production manager where needed and filling in to manage crews. I will be running the practical recruitment days, organising the crews and helping with organising the kit.

Natalie: I’m excited to be returning for my second year as Reception Manager with a years’ experience under my belt. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

If you are interested in applying for a position at Hotel Bell Tent this summer, please email us at with your CV attached and include any previous/relevant experience. Please also highlight anyone you know that has worked for us in previous years when you apply.


The date of the much-anticipated CarFest spring ticket release has been confirmed, causing plenty of excitement among those who can’t wait for firm family favourites CarFest North and CarFest South.

The release date is Thursday 28th April, so get it in the diary and be on your marks for two extraordinary weekends of fantastic cars, amazing music and family fun at either Bolesworth Park in Cheshire, or Laverstoke Park Farm in Hampshire. As well as the exciting CarFest track shows, the fabulous dream rides and the iconic cars in the vintage village, first music class acts such as Bryan Adams, Texas, James Morrison, The Corrs and KT Tunstall will be there to entertain too, making this a CarFest you definitely don’t want to miss!

CarFest Crowd

Ticket sales will go live on the 28th of April on the CarFest webpage. To help give you the best chance at securing yourselves tickets, why not check out the event’s vital tips for prospective CarFesters? As always, CarFest will again be working to raise money for Children in Need, with a minimum of one third of each ticket price going to the charity, so be sure to keep any eye out for Pudsey and friends while you’re there…


To make your trip to CarFest fabulously simple, why not visit our website and have a look at all the fantastic glamping packages Hotel Bell Tent has to offer. And, once you have decided on the package for you, please register your interest with us by sending us an email at, letting us know:

  1. Whether you have already purchased weekend camping tickets.
  2. The reference numbers of those tickets (if applicable)
  3. How many tents you would like to book
  4. The packages of interest to you.
  5. The best telephone number to call you on.
Hotel Bell Tent Accommodation CarFest


With the recruitment process well under way, I caught up with three of our lovely senior managers to chat about all things Hotel Bell Tent. If you’re thinking about applying to join our crew this summer, or read our previous post- this will be of interest to you…


1) How did you hear about working for Hotel Bell Tent?

George: I actually used to deliver them sandwiches! My contract was running out, and Tiff (our Co-Founder) offered me a job in the field.

Kirsty: On a Google search, I was looking for summer work putting up marquees or something similar, as I was teaching snowboarding in the winters in Canada

2) What were the reasons you decided you first wanted to put yourself forward?

Sonya: At the time I was studying for my MSc, so in serious need of funds. I was also really attracted by the idea of working at festivals, during the summer, and thought Hotel Bell Tent looked like a fun and vibrant company to work with.

Kirsty: It was the perfect solution to wanting to go away all winter and working outdoors all summer.

3) How has HBT changed since you were crew members and in what way?

Kirsty: When I started we used to only do 1 or 2 jobs over a weekend with about 20 – 30 tents at each event, we did a corporate job for LUSH for 100 tents and that was a massive job for the company! Now we do 3 to 4 events each weekend, with up to 800 structures up at one time and over 500 of them being just at one event.

Sonya: In a lot of ways, Hotel Bell Tent is the same: the company still cares about the people who work for it, and still prides itself on being fair and transparent to guests, while offering the best customer service in the industry. However, it is a more structured organisation now, with clear delineation of responsibility. It is big on retaining knowledge, and almost all freelance and permanent members of staff worked from ‘the bottom up’.

4) Did you factor in the possibility of progressing with the company in the early stages of working for us?

George: I didn’t actually – too busy putting up tents!

Kirsty: It wasn’t in my thought process exactly, but I knew I wanted to come back the following year as I had found a way to facilitate travelling and snowboarding during the winter and got to do a really fun job all summer!

5) What are your favourite aspects of working with Hotel Bell Tent, and why?

Sonya: Luckily, I like being busy and multitasking. No two days working in events are the same, and I’m always learning and putting my skills to use in different ways. The Hotel Bell Tent office team and crew members are also wonderful.

George: Being in a field (for obvious reasons) and being in a good crew of people – you make some excellent friends in a very short time.

6) What have been your favourite jobs so far?

Sonya: It’s really hard to say – small and intimate festivals are lovely to be at, but from a professional point of view the big, production-heavy events are very satisfying. I’ve seen so many beautiful places across the country that I would never have normally gone to.

Kirsty: I really enjoyed working at Festival Number 6 as it's our biggest and most challenging job by far; setting up over 500 tents with a massive crew. It was also a really amazing festival in stunning surroundings.

To apply, please email us at with your CV attached and include any previous/relevant experience. Please also highlight anyone you know that has worked for us in previous years when you apply.


Welcome to the Hotel Bell Tent Blog

Introducing our newest venture in the Social Media realm. As well as sharing the latest Hotel Bell Tent news, we’re also going to be introducing you to our wonderful collaborators and offering a wide range of relatable content for your reading pleasure; from lifestyle to wellbeing, music and all things event related. As always, if you have any feedback, suggestions or pictures, or would be interested in being featured or contributing in some way, we would love to hear from you!

At the moment we’re focussing on putting our 2016 events on sale, with The Silverstone Grand Prix, The Isle of Man TT and Creamfields already selling and the Carfest, Green Man, Standon Calling and Give launches just over the horizon — with some more exciting announcements on the way.

For now, keep your eyes peeled….