A bit of extra money has literally never gone amiss – and for students, part-time jobs are a great way to build your CV as well as enabling you to splash out on Heinz Baked Beans, rather than the Tesco’s Own Brand version. Trust us, you don’t want to go near those.
If you’re lucky, you could snag a part-time job that happens to be really great fun. Rachel Hardman did just that – she’s the Head O2 Academy Angel for the Liverpool venue.
In case you’re not sure quite what an O2 Academy Angel is, they’re basically the street team who promote O2 at the O2 Academy venues up and down the country. They’re the ones who come to chat to you while you’re queuing to get in to see alt-J, Frank Ocean, Jake Bugg, or whoever it is that you’ve gone to see.
The perks of working on a street team
Flexible shifts. It’s not exactly that you pick and choose when you work, but you essentially pick and choose when you work. Rachel explained that the agency who organise the O2 Angels ring round to see who’s available for which shifts. “The more you say yes and the more shifts you do for them the more chance you have to pick up extra shifts,” she said. “For example, someone can’t work tomorrow in Leeds so I’m going up to the O2 Academy Leeds venue to cover them.”
It’s fun. No, really. Part-time jobs don’t have to suck. Working on a street team, you get to chat to people who are passionate about music and probably love the band who are playing almost as much as you do. Rachel said that the best part of being an O2 Angel is at the start of the night when “you’re just chatting to people and it’s a gig that you’re really into and you can just vibe off others. And you’re chatting about the bands and then people are happy to listen and happy to download the apps that you’re promoting.” And honestly, is there anything better than getting paid to talk about music?
Free gig tickets. Yep, you did read that right. Work as an O2 Academy Angel and you’ll be put on the guest list for the events that you work at. And that’s pretty handy if you’re studying and can’t afford to buy gig tickets. Or if you wanted to see The Postal Service in May and missed out on tickets: O2 Academy Angels will get to go if they agree to work that night. Jealous? We are.
Drunk people. Yes, unfortunately working on a street team isn’t all fun and games and free gigs. Rachel said that the worst part of the job was having to deal with people who’d had a few too many before getting to the O2 Academy venue. “They’re not really paying any attention,” she said “and you just want them to move on.”
Uninterested crowds. Not everyone likes having a chat while they’re queuing for a gig, apparently. “Sometimes you can get quite hostile crowds who just don’t want to talk to you,” Rachel said. “They’re like ‘we don’t want to buy anything’ and I’m like ‘I’m not trying to sell anything I’m just trying to make your night better.’”
You’ll miss out on the support acts, which might not seem like a deal breaker for some people. But for those who are really into music this is a big downside. “When we’re working some of the support acts are really good but obviously you’re not allowed to watch until your shift is over.” Rachel said. “We did Two Door Cinema Club in O2 Apollo Manchester and Bastille was the support act and I really wanted to go and see them but obviously I couldn’t.”
How to get the job
Chat to street teams at gigs. It might sound a little obvious but if you’re interested in becoming a street teamer or an O2 Academy Angel, you should probably have a chat with someone who already does it. “You’d be better going through them because they can say ‘I met this person the other night and they seemed really cool, they’d be really into it.’” Rachel said. “It’s a little bit easier that way.”
Be interested in music and people. People who are interested in music and will have something in common with the crowds are going to do well at this kind of job. If you’re able to start a conversation with just about anybody about just about any band then you’ll do really well at this kind of job. And if you’re able to convince them that they simply can’t live without the app you’re promoting then you’ll be even more brilliant for it.
How to be the best street team member ever
Be professional. You might have only gone for the job because you wanted the perks of free gig tickets but you have to remember that you’re representing the company while you’re working, even after your shift finishes and you go into the gig. So don’t think that free entry to the gig means you can spend all the cash you just earned at the bar.
Know when it’s time to move on. We mean from someone in the queue who doesn’t want to talk to you. There’s no point wasting your time and annoying an innocent member of the public who just wants to be left alone to queue in peace.
Befriend your supervisors. They’re the ones who decide who works at which gigs. Make friends with them, offer to work as many shifts as you can and then when your all-time favourite band ever are touring you might just find that you’re the first one they call.
Think your part-time job is cooler than working on a street team at a gig? Let us know and we might just feature you.
Does working for a street team sound like a job you might like? We currently have an opportunity for you to join the Radio Aire Street Team if you live in Leeds.