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York Early Music Festival - Festival Assistants

York Early Music Festival celebrates its 40th Anniversary in 2017 and over the years has blossomed into an event which is renowned throughout Europe, bringing together musicians at the height of their careers with audiences keen to learn and engage, becoming a beacon of musical excellence. 

The festival events take place in venues across York and the festival team are based at the National Centre for Early Music. There are 26 events running over the 9 day festival period (7th - 15th July) and the festival culminates in the International Young Artists Competition.

The York Early Music Festival is managed by a small team and the Festival Assistants play a crucial role in the preparation and delivery of the festival. They are ideally required to be available from 3rd July - 15th July (this can be negotiated) for preparation and planning work in the few days before and then for the festival itself.

The Festival Assistant is a varied role incorporating elements of project/event management, marketing, and administration. It would ideally suit an undergraduate or recent graduate looking to gain more experience in events/festivals/arts administration work. 

The Festival Assistant will work across some or all of the following areas:

Concert Management
  • Set up for rehearsals at the NCEM and in external venues: unlocking/locking venue if necessary, putting out music stands etc as required
  • Meet and greet performers; settling them into, and being on hand during, their rehearsal; ensuring that they are looked after between rehearsal and concert
  • Provide/organise refreshments as necessary
  • Assisting with concert/duty management as appropriate, including: giving calls, starting concerts on time, keeping intervals to the prescribed length, tidying up after audience has left
  • Assisting festival stewards: checking tickets, selling programmes
  • Organising and supervising sale of CDs and festival programmes, including cashing up
  • Being mindful of health and safety requirements at all times, and the well-being of performers, stewards, audience members and fellow members of the festival team

  • Assist in delivery of marketing tasks such as distribution of print, managing signage to venues
  • Compiling and distributing welcome packs for overseas artists
  • Producing/printing/laminating FOH/Box Office signage or other print as required
  • Offer venue assistance during get in/get outs of festival and assisting in arrangement of items to be sent to each concert venue
  • Assist with the festival evaluation process to include producing/printing/distributing/collecting audience surveys
  • Answering the NCEM office phone when required
  • Assist in setting up of the NCEM for each event
  • Undertaking ad hoc activities that arise as required by the Festival Team

Essential Qualities 
  • Friendly, outgoing personality and a good team member 
  • Patience and common sense
  • Polite and professional, able to work alongside people at all levels
  • Experience of organising/working in events, especially concerts
  • Sympathetic to the needs of musicians
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Ability to deal calmly and efficiently with any problems, and knowing when to refer them to a member of the festival staff
  • Good time management
  • Cash-handling experience

  • Car driver and owner 

Other Information
  • A small honorarium of £150 is available. Regretfully no other payment can be made. 

Interested persons should email Hannah Witcomb, Operations and Events Manager at and attach a cover letter detailing why they are interested in and suitable for this post, along with an up-to-date CV including details of a referee. 

Deadline for applications is Wednesday 26th April. Interviews will take place at the NCEM during week beginning Tuesday 2nd May. If you are away during this week but are interested in the position, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you.