When the word “volunteer” is brought up a lot of people lose interest in the related the subject. That might sound awful, but it doesn’t inherently make someone a bad person. At the end of the day volunteering is in most instances free work, and if you’re already a friendly and charitable person you might rather contribute to the world around you.

When it comes to festivals though, the volunteers are the glue that keep everything going smoothly. It might be easy to believe that they’re just looking for any reason to get a free ticket, but volunteering at a festival offers plenty of other awesome cherries on top of the free festival sundae.

1. Networking

Everybody starts somewhere, and at a certain point a volunteer selling lemonade can easily be one of those places. Whether the volunteers are coordinated through an outside company to the festival curators themselves, there is a chain of command involved in the volunteer process that eventually arrives at a high level position in the festival process. Festivals place high values on their volunteers, and if you display ideal work qualities at a lower level, it will be noticed by those above you. This also comes on top of the endless networking possibilities that come from interacting with numerous festival attendees.

2. VIP BABY

Attending a festival for free is expected, but as I said before, festivals value their volunteers. I know for a fact that FYF gives their volunteers a VIP pass instead of just a regular GA, and if they do it I wouldn’t be surprised if other fests put on by large companies like Goldenvoice do it as well. It’s just another way to make volunteering more enticing. If the fest doesn’t offer VIP options, it’s likely you’ll receive free meal tickets and other perks to make your festival experience and say thank you at the same time.

3. Something Different

While some volunteer maybe counting the hours, minutes, and seconds until their shift is over and they get to run free, a volunteering provides a completely different point of view at a festival. Instead of being just another attendee, you’re in a different class. Every year every festival is different, but if you’re always a GA ticket holder, the overall perspective of an event doesn’t change. How a festival treats its attendees is one thing, and how it treats is volunteers is another. Who knows, you might enjoy that point of view more than being an attendee. You also might find out that you don’t want to be a part of certain festivals anymore. Different perspectives yield unknown outcomes, but you’re guaranteed to learn more if you undertake them.

4. Friendly Faces

Have you ever been to a festival and the staff was rude and/or not helpful at all? If you have, you know how lame it is. Bad service sucks already, and it’s even worse if it happens at a place where everyone is supposed to happy and spreading positivity….like a festival. Well as a volunteer you can personally make sure that doesn’t happen. A volunteers job is to be the middle ground between attendee and staff, and by being friendly and helpful as a volunteer you very well may lock down a permanent attendee for the festival.

5. Giving Back

To some people the free admission may be to best reason to volunteer at a festival, but there are quite a few others who would disagree. Many volunteers were once GA ticket holders themselves. Coming to festival every year ready to party. However by doing so they have realized just how special these festivals can be. Partying is fun, but festivals offer so much more than that. New friends, new connections, new perspective, new ideas. Festivals are places where all of these things bloom like spring time on steroids. By volunteering you contribute to that in a much larger way, and if it’s a good festivals the attendees will appreciate it with all their hearts. They understand that everyone around them is there to improve their festival experience, but as a volunteer you’re not only improving their time by being there, but by handing them a piece of pizza as well. Expect hugs to flow like a river.