It takes about 1300 people working behind the scenes to make our Festival happen; Only a handful of them are paid; the rest of them are volunteers. A volunteer Board of Directors manages the Festival, and about 50 volunteer teams are organised by 60 volunteer area Coordinators.
Volunteers do everything that needs to be done to make the Festival happen, they pour drinks, check in performers, sell tickets, check wristbands, patrol carparks, answer phones, set up venues – you get the picture. Volunteers are the heart and soul of our Festival, and in many ways it belongs to the fun-loving, community-minded individuals who decide to get involved and become part of the Festival family.
Ask any of our hundreds of return volunteers why and you’ll be amazed at the range of answers. Mostly it’s because you cross over from being an audience member to being part of the Festival. You are not just attending the Festival, you are part of the family making it happen. The friendships, the camaraderie, the sense of community and the shared laughter that come out of working at the Festival, more than compensate for giving up a few hours out of each day. There are plenty of opportunities to learn new skills or pass on knowledge.
Some reasons to volunteer during the festival:
- It’s fun!
- Try something new, different
- It’s a manageable commitment
- Enjoy the social event, meet new people, make new friends
- Personal and professional development and fulfilment
- Learn and develop new skills
- Use existing skills in new and exciting ways
- Have an active part in a wonderful event
- Earn a free ticket for (usually) 20 hours of volunteering
- Be recognised as a doer
- Become a part of the Folky family
The Commitment you are making
As a volunteer you are committing to a minimum of 20 hours work over the Festival period (Thursday to Monday). If you choose to work pre or post festival this time commitment may be more depending on the team.
Volunteers who work throughout the year in our Mitchell office are required to complete a minimum of 40 hours work before the Festival.
Volunteers who complete 20 hours at the festival or 40 hours in the Mitchell office receive:
- A Season + Camping pass to the festival
- A copy of the Festival Program
- Access to volunteer facilities such as discounted meals from stallholders and free tea and coffee in the volunteer centre.
- An invitation to the volunteer party on the final night at the Festival.
Who Can Volunteer
Volunteering is open to anyone over the age of 16.
Note: If you are under 18 you must submit a youth consent form when you apply for your application to be considered.
Things to Consider before you volunteer
When you volunteer for the Festival you are agreeing to work a minimum of 20 hours over the Festival period. Please consider the following before you volunteer:
- Are you able to commit to a minimum 20 hours of volunteer work?
- Are you available for the entire Festival period?
- What type of volunteer work are you interested in?
- Do you have any specific skills that you can bring to the festival?
- Are you willing and able to work late nights?
- What do you want to gain from the experience?
- Do you have any physical limitations?
Consider all of the above and the team description when you are selecting your team preferences.
There are 2 steps to submitting your volunteer application for the Festival.
Step 1. Choose your preferred team and fill in the online application
Step 2. Complete the online induction
- The application and induction will take about 20 minutes.
- You need to complete the application and induction at the same time.
- When you have completed step 1 you will be sent a confirmation email with login details for the online induction and you can link directly to the induction. If you have already completed the induction please discard the email.
- Once you have completed the induction you will be sent a second email confirming your application has been submitted.
Recommended web browser and email settings
Web Browser – We recommend that you use Firefox, Chrome, or Safari to complete the application. If you use Internet Explorer you need version 9 or above.
Email Settings – If you do not see an email from the Festival confirming your application please check your Spam and Junk mail as it may be there.
What happens next:
Once you have successfully submitted an application you will be contacted by mid January notifying you about your position. From mid January on Acceptance letters are sent on a weekly basis.
You then need to contact your Area Coordinator to confirm your placement and be placed on a roster.
Once you have confirmed your placement you will be sent a link to redeem your volunteer ticket and camping pass. You must redeem this ticket to access the festival site. Tickets are usually sent out one month prior to the Festival via email.
Useful Documents for Volunteers
For a better idea of what it’s like to volunteer at the Festival take a look at some photos taken at past Festivals by some of our volunteer photographers.