The Sherp looks at how rewarding an experience it is to volunteer for a music festival, and why every music lover should do it once in their lifetime.
If there is one thing common to both, the largest, most visited music festivals and the smallest local music festival, it is this – they need volunteers when the time has come of execution. After all, you will need an entire crew to build a festival from scratch. This is where music festival volunteers come in – people, who aren’t permanent members of the music festival company, but chime in at the right time with help and dedication. A few months before their logistics roll out, most festival send a call of action for volunteer, and here’s why The Sherp thinks you should answer one, at least once in your music-obsessed life. Trust us and find out why it would be incredibly fruitful.
1. Most importantly, you get an entry into the music festival
This might be a clincher for the whole lot of you who cannot afford a festival ticket, because of how expensive it is. Being a part of the crew is almost always a guarantee to a free festival pass. For that amazing lineup of music you don’t want to miss, you will be expected to contribute to the festival with some work, and we think that’s as a fair deal as it is. Plus, the crew usually gets put up at the cost of the organising company, and is usually cared for with food as well. So, it’s as good as the cheapest festival experience you will ever have.
2. Your assigned team will be a better teacher than any college course
As soon as you apply to be a member of the festival’s crew, you will be assigned to a certain team, depending on your interest, or the festival’s need. This can be anything from hospitality to marketing to content to logistics. Whichever it may be, it would teach you much more than what you have learned or will learn in the confines of a classroom. Faced with real world challenges and having to combat actual struggles will make you far better equipped in the field, thus making you a professional in your own right.
3. But, you will have no teams, for when the time comes, you are needed everywhere
You’re a volunteer, a member of the crew who will be part of the bottom-most rung of the chain. You may have a team, but should need arise, your assistance will be called for and expected in the most far-off field. Such is event organising. This, will not just train you to be a better team-member, but you will also gain cohesive knowledge behind organising a festival. Talk about jack of all trades!
4. You literally get to watch the festival grow from scratch
From the very first team meeting to the final showdown, you’re there to witness the festival grow from a thematic idea to a veritable physical force – a force that is awaited for and loved by many. You’re as much a beholder to the festival’s growth as the very owner. To watch it take shape is a humbling experience that is only understood if you’ve worked behind the scenes.
5. You get acquainted with the people who make it happen
When you become a part of a music festival crew, you get to meet, in person, the many people you’ve only heard about – from the festival company owner to the talent scout, known for his notorious eye for artists. It is by meeting these people that you truly make in-roads into the scene, become a real member of it. With becoming a crew member, you’re a part of the very same music scene you’ve loved and followed.
6. The contacts you’ll build will prove helpful whichever career you choose
Want to be a writer, art producer, technician, production manager or hospitality agent? No problem. The contacts you’ll build and the recommendations you receive from the festival you volunteer will help you in successfully pursuing whatever career direction you wish to pursue. Even if what you want to do has nothing to do with organising a music festival. For, if you prove to be a good hand, people you work with would love to push you for a job you really want to do. And considering the number of people you’ll behind the scenes, that would be several options to choose from.
(Source: Piotr Wojnarski | Symbiosis Gathering Facebook)
7. You will have new-found appreciation for the much criticised festival organisers
Organising a festival is not an easy job, and you will discover the same with your volunteering stint. You will see how chaotic, and unorganised it can be, despite the amount of scheduling and planning that went to make it happen, because that’s how events are. Most importantly, you’ll witness the dedication that they have for their job, the commitment that leads them through sleepless nights and hungry days, only to see the completion of the job at hand. It will teach you a thing or too about single-mindedness.
8. You will become less critical, yourself
Often, you find yourself at a music festival criticising many things about it – from the delay in the performances to the rush at the entrance to everything in between. But it is only when you know what happens behind the scene do you get a lot less critical of what happens in front of it. Knowing that things often spiral out of control, will make you a more empathetic, not just music festival goer, but also a person.
9. If you’re get lucky, you get to chill with the musicians
Let’s be honest, this is the sweetest incentive that might come out of your volunteering stint. If lucky, you might have a chance to meet and greet your favourite musicians performing at the festival, because as a member of the crew, very few areas will be off access to you. We’re not talking autographs here, but actually few minutes (to hours, maybe), with your favourite musician. Does this convince you enough?
10. You will feel a sense of community pride on the festival’s success
The festival’s success is your own, and therein lies the most fulfilling aspect of volunteering for a music festival. You will feel a sense of belonging to a community you worked along with to achieve something that is so monumental. A sense of achievement will wash over you everytime you read so much as a tweet praising the festival you worked so hard to make happen. Relish it!