BONNAROO. LOLLAPALOOZA. WARPED. SXSW. COACHELLA.FIREFLY. VOODOO. HANGOUT. WAKARUSA. ULTRA. BAMBOOZLE. MOOGFEST. AUSTIN CITY LIMITS. SASQUATCH!
Did any of those names ring a bell? If you don’t live under a rock and at least tolerate music, then you probably have. And these are only a few examples of the hundreds of music festivals occurring each year all around the world.
Every festival is a little different; some span over one-day, others take up a whole weekend, and several travel. Not only that, but the genre(s) they focus on may differ. Where one may showcase a little of each genre, another may fully explore what one genre has to offer. Oh and don’t forget the important part: the ticket price. I know several promoters who will even suffer a loss to ensure that everyone has access to the show, while another might try to get the largest paycheck. Now don’t go blame them for “expensive” tickets or high associated fees; there are a lot of factors that determine how all of that is allocated and put into play. But I digress.
I am lucky enough to be able to say ,” yes I have attended to various music festivals and been part of others.” Not everyone has the same opportunities however; someone who loves music just as much as the next person may not have the financial means to buy a $300 3 day general admission ticket to a major festival. Hell, quite a few cannot afford the local festivals because they have other obligations such as paying loans, having a roof over their head, and eating. Who are we to say that they cannot attend?
With the growth of music festivals, this mission of making the event(s) accessible to everyone has become more and more prominent. Tons of festivals have portions of their websites dedicated to people who want to help fellow festival goers, whether it be a place to stay or a carpool to get everyone there. The community at festivals of all kinds, especially music ones, want to work together to accomplish a common goal: make the festival unforgettable and have fun.
Even with this though some tickets are still financially unattainable. This is where I present to you a solution: volunteer. And yes, it really is that easy.
Volunteering at the music festivals allows you to get into the festival for virtually free, network like crazy, gain experience in the industry, have fun, AND DID WE MENTION YOU GET IN THE INSIDE OF THE FESTIVAL FOR FREE? It works like this (well, basically):
- Decide which festival you want to work with. When and where does it occur?
- Make sure your schedule could work around it. The least thing you want to do is say you will be there and magically not show up.
- Apply to Volunteer. A lot of sites have a specific portion dedicated to volunteering. There is generally a nominal fee associated with this to ensure that you are serious about the opportunity.
- Then you wait. Some festivals will give you a response right back while others are on a first-come-first-serve basis so availability must be checked. Either way, you will hear back.
- Decide to fully commit or not commit at all. There is no middle ground. If you go and do not work the specific amount of hours the festival requires, you will NOT get a ticket refund.
- If you decide this is the festival for you, then jump on in. Some festivals require you pay for the ticket in advance BUT if you accomplish what is required, you get it refunded back to you in full. Others may just require a deposit; remember that each one is different so be flexible.
After you have applied, been accepted, and paid said amount, you’ve done the hardest part. When the time for the festival rolls around be sure to be prepared. Yes you have to work a bit, but it will be fun and you get to be with fellow music lovers. Do not forget that this is supposed to be FUN; don’t stress yourself out. Bring what you need, be willing to try something new, and have a great time.
Say the festival at this point has come and gone and you have fulfilled what was required of you, thus you got your refund. Sweet, congrats! Now you can add that experience to your resume. And as Billy Mays would say, “but wait.. there’s more!”
NOW YOU HAVE THE CHANCE TO GET SOME SCHOLARSHIPS FROM ALL OF THIS. If that isn’t the best deal ever, then I don’t know what is. Sounds too good to be true, huh? Here, check this one example out: http://www.welldunn.org/
Still don’t believe me? Let me introduce you to Work Exchange Team (WET) that specifically caters to volunteer opportunities at various music festivals. https://www.workexchangeteam.com/ . If you look into the site a little you will see that volunteers at festivals through certain organizations are often HIRED. So by simply volunteering you have increased your chances for the job.
I sincerely hope this has at least enlightened you if not inspired you to get involved. By giving a little, you can get a lot and this article serves as proof.