The festival I’m working at this weekend is known as WOMAD, which stands for World of Music, Arts and Dance. It’s being held in New Plymouth, and hosts a collection of acts from all over the world, with a heavy leaning towards indigenous music. The stall is just around the corner to the main stage, so although we can’t see the acts, we could definitely hear them.
Compared to the previous week, there’s a much more limited menu as to get through customers easier. It’s only the Bacon and Egg, Basil and Pesto, and Banana and Salted Caramel. It’s definitely helpful, since we’re right next to the entrance and get quite a bit of traffic. However, for the first day, it’s mostly coffee’s rather than cooking…until the evening kicks up and everyone decides crumpets make a great late night snack. As it is, we’re working until 11:30, and don’t get out of the festival grounds until 1am. Thankfully, my bosses have rented a house for the weekend, so we all crash, and prepare for starting tomorrow at 10am.
The next morning starts pretty quickly, with some of the other workers taking orders for coffee from people lining up outside the festival. Yesterday I was outside with someone trying to show me how to work the coffee machine. Unfortunately, I’ve never been nothing but a slow learner. Once I’ve got something down, I’m good, but it takes me a while to actually get it down. Given how busy we are, everyone’s decided now’s not the time to be teaching, so I’m inside putting together toppings or cooking crumpets.
This is a long day, with only a handful of breaks. We’re working from 10am to 1am, and there’s rarely a break in the orders. Things aren’t made any easier by me accidentally breaking the pull-out button for the sink, or the tiny cool room that several stands are using (you’ve never seen such beverage related Tetris in your life).
On the plus side, the music from the main stage is fantastic today. We all become a little besotted with a Canadian Inuit band called The Jerry Cans, and much later on, there’s a great band who perform some kind of mood music – much like trailerhead and 8Dawn. The downside is I cannot for the life of me find their name – and I’ve scoured the schedule a dozen times. It was kind of crazy to be cooking waffles to this high paced energy and climactic orchestra piece.
The final day is a little different. I’ve agreed to work a couple of part time shifts at a different University Book Store, before I realised the stand was running until midnight. As such I’m leaving around 6pm with another girl in order to get back to Auckland in time for the shift. As such the shifts have been moved around a bit, and I end up mostly taking over cooking crumpets and making sure we don’t run out while other’s take their breaks. Also manage to go buy a WOMAD dress mostly because I like the logo, and it’s a small enough thing to fit into my backpack, before saying goodbye to everyone and doing the 4-hour drive back.