An Insider's Guide to Volunteering at Bass Coast Festival 2018

This is a guest post from our harm reduction manager, Stacey Forrester. 

Bass Coast Festival volunteer applications  are open for just a short while longer, and our Payment Plan program to complete your deposit is only open until April 20.

As manager of Bass Coast’s Harm Reduction team, I want to help you with your application – especially if you are considering working harm reduction. But lots of this information will apply to whatever department you're aiming for.

First off, reflect a moment on WHY you want to volunteer. Maybe you snoozed on a ticket and you want to work in exchange for a festival pass. This is a really great idea, and I support you. Just know that you and potentially HUNDREDS of other people are on that tip so…be sure to act fast and fill out that application. 

It’s important you know that this festival is built of volunteer love. 2-way love to be more specific. I have noticed our volunteers LOVE this festival and the festival loves them back. You can see it the details. So, let that be a driving force for you.

Maybe you have a skill that you think needs to be shared. Or maybe you yourself are learning about nursing, counseling, carpentry or event promotion and think this event would be a good environment to apply your skills and learn. These are VERY GOOD REASONS to volunteer at a festival.

Volunteering is exciting. YOU COULD MEET YOUR SOULMATE - YOU NEVER KNOW. At the very least, you will make new friends.

PSA – it’s not all glam. There are tiring moments, overwhelming moments, moments where I look at you with a real MOM-like face on. We might even cry, (and it has happened, you know, the full human experience and all.) But is it worth it?

HOLY COW YES. To see a thing be built and run and radiate, and well, go off, and then clean up and disappear – IT’S LIKE MAGIC.

I just wanted to clear up any illusions of grandeur. You're not going to be doing something luxurious like fanning Liz and Andrea and feeding them grapes – that isn’t what happens. They are my bosses and I don’t even really see them all weekend, and it’s DEF not cuz they are lounging somewhere...  

My point is, it’s NOT a free ticket. You will be busy. You will work hard.  

Think about your ability to postpone the party to MAKE the party. The reality of working a festival is that there will be one night where you have to call it and go to bed way early, so that you are sober and rested and present for us on shift. Or a sunny afternoon where you have to pull yourself out of the river, part with all the beautiful folks lounging beside you, and excuse yourself the festivities so you can work a shift.

It SUCKKKKKKKS when people forgo their deposit and not show up for a volunteer shift. Like really sucks. If you think you could fall into the temptation of skipping a shift, just hold out for a resale ticket closer to the event. I appreciate you being honest with yourself, there's no judgment in that, and it's better than signing up and then bailing.

Still with me? Still Wanting to apply? Fabulous. 

Get your file folder of life accomplishments together tonight and tomorrow – for example, dig out that Serving It Right number, sort out whether it was 2012 or 2014 that you were a Shambassador, get a copy of your CPR certificate printed and looking fresh. We need this stuff, so it helps to have it ready to go for a seamless application. Some teams (like Harm Reduction) require new applicants to submit a resume, or other documentation related to your training.

The form is going to ask you VERY specific questions about when you are available to work. This is arguably the most important part of your application. THIS IS WHAT WE USE TO SCHEDULE YOU.

Now, I realize that you have no idea when your ride share is leaving, or what exact days your boss is going to let you take off work. So, I offer you this wisdom: Write down the dates you put on the form. Go to work the next day. Request those dates off. Come June 1, work on rideshare ads that state you need to arrive by X. Easy, no surprises. If you told us you can work X day – we take your word that you can be there good to go, and you likely will get a shift on that day. Not being there will risk you losing your deposit.

Read the Volunteer Info package before hitting send, to get a better idea of what it’s all about. Like actually read it, not just click “I have read it,” come on now. Don’t smash that submit button 20 times. The site is gonna be popular this week, go easy.

The sooner we have all positions filled, the sooner schedules get released, so it’s a REALLY good idea to apply as soon as you are able. And then wait patiently, while the lovely volly coordinator reads them all and gets busy organizing you wonderful humans where your talents best belong.

If you don’t get in, don’t panic, we still love you, it’s not personal, I am foreseeing TONNES of applications coming through. 

Alright, go forth my little souls, and apply! You have so much to share, so many things to contribute. Truly enriching, epically fun dancefloors are best made by diverse, caring people behind the scenes, and now is your chance to be a part of that.



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