Volunteers working at outdoor music festivals (OMFs) throughout the world can be subject to public health risks. To reduce these risks it is important that volunteers have the capacity to undertake their responsibilities safely. For this study, volunteer capacity is discussed at two levels. As a group, adequate volunteer capacity includes having sufficient knowledge, skills and experience to perform designated tasks. Individually, adequate volunteer capacity is having a good awareness of potential problems, an understanding of control measures and knowledge of roles, responsibilities and emergency procedures. This study provides a detailed account of volunteer capacity at a prominent OMF in Europe (referred to as ‘study festival’ from here on in). On the whole, the volunteers in the study reported good knowledge in public health and emergency management at the study festival with the majority having good volunteer capacity. This volunteer capacity was gained through: • tailored training programs offered by the organisers prior to the festival, • previous experience volunteering; and • a proportion also having experience from the health industry. A similar study was undertaken in Australia and was reported in The Australian Journal of Emergency Management, November 2003 (Earl, Stoneham, Capra, 2003). When the findings from the two studies were compared, the European participants had better overall volunteer capacity. In relation to skills, a notable difference between the two study festivals was that the European volunteers had been given training tailored to meet the demands of the work at that festival. The findings from the European study strongly support the introduction of training programs for volunteers working at OMFs.