Folk Fest Insider

Which Folk Fest Job is Right for YOU?

June 20, 2017

Each year, approximately 1,300 volunteers form the central nervous system of the Richmond Folk Festival. From setup, takedown, logistics, fundraising, merch selling, transportation, and so much more, the volunteers keep the festival running smoothly.

“We are very, very good at getting people into the right spot,” says lead Volunteer Coordinator Jamie Thomas. He encourages interested parties to sign up for the 2017 festival and join the family.

Think you might want to take the plunge and join the volunteer crew at the Richmond Folk Festival this year? If one of these personality types seems to describe you to a T, sign up on our volunteer registration site and we’ll get you started.

What volunteer job is right for you?

The Host(ess) with the Most(est)

When you were a child, you planned every detail of your own birthday parties, making sure everyone arrived on time, was accounted for all evening, and was having a wonderful experience. For your sixteenth, other parents gave their kids car keys, but your parents handed you a clipboard, and you cried with joy that comes with knowing you’re fully understood. The Volunteer and Performer Check-In Teams are outgoing yet organized, warm yet capable, and hospitable to the very end.

The Super-Schmoozer

You’re one of those people who has that knack of convincing other people to get out their wallets—super useful when you were selling candy for marching band or negotiating allowance. Bucket Brigade members aren’t afraid to sidle up to someone, flash them a charming smile, and encourage them to throw some dollars into the bucket.

What volunteer job is right for you?

The Unsung Ecological Hero

You might be the quiet type, doing good for both your fellow man and the Earth itself, but you don’t expecting a lot of fanfare for it. You know that these things are their own reward, although, sometimes, just sometimes, you relish the opportunity to let someone know what they can and can’t recycle. The Green Team gets you, and we’ll all benefit from your help in making sure trash and recycling go in different containers and making sure the Folk Fest has a limited footprint.

The Precision Specialist

“Your dinner’s getting cold,” they tell you. “There’s no need to set up a multi-room sound system complete with a reactive light show right now.” But you know and the Backstage and Site Management crew all understand that having an experience without the precise amount of light, the right decibels of sound, and a perfectly set up environment is hardly an experience at all. Plus, you’re so talented in setting up, taking down, calibrating, and all that precision work, that it’s almost a crime to not offer your skill set.

The Hard-Hitting Journalist

Music Loggers aren’t singing lumberjacks, like some might think. They’re a crucial piece of the puzzle—-archiving each performance for the Library of Congress with an audio recording. Over the course of 12 Richmond Folk Festivals, literally hundreds of performances have been recorded! It’s a job that benefits from music production experience and attention to detail.

The Watchdog

Law enforcement folks, security guards, and even university dormitory RAs (you’re doing good work, RAs) tend to like the role of Safety Escort. You’d be in charge of getting vehicles safely on the site, escorting performers to and fro, and generally keeping the proceedings comfortable and free from strife. It’s a big responsibility, but you’re used to that, aren’t you?

What volunteer job is right for you?

Virginia Folklife Area Team

Sure, you like music—who doesn’t? But what really gets your pulse going is people who make beautiful, functional, and sometimes delicious things with their hands. The Virginia Folklife Area is a carefully curated group of makers, cooks, and all sorts of demonstrations therein, and, because you’re into that kind of thing, you’re basically in heaven. A heaven surrounded by artisanal rope, salt, moonshine, apple pies, costumes, instruments, and other edible and inedible goods, made by Virginians for generations. We look forward to hearing your happy sigh.

What volunteer job is ight for you?

The Agreeable Bartender

Life, for you, is about making people happy in an orderly fashion. Beer and wine volunteers tend to move people in the party direction pretty handily, and you don’t mind a busy shift spent behind a bar. After all, here’s where you have the best conversations and get the most stories. The Beer and Wine slingers don’t get to drink during this party, but let’s face it, if they weren’t there to do their job, the whole thing would be in danger of falling apart.

Plus, bartenders get to let their hair down at the after party, as do all volunteers!


The Richmond Folk Festival is calling for volunteers for the 2017 festival now! Read our full list of jobs and if you’re interested, sign up for an unforgettable experience.