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!