Registration opens Friday, May 24.
The Richmond Folk Festival offers a variety of exciting volunteer areas. In 2018, more than 1,300 volunteers joined in the effort to make the Richmond Folk Festival such a success – don’t miss out on your chance this year.
The Festival is a wonderful place for civic, school, church and office organizations to volunteer. Please email Jamie Thomas, Volunteer Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about group volunteer opportunities. Please note: All school sponsored groups must have at least one faculty or adult member as the group’s lead contact present at the Festival.
Please see below for job descriptions then use our online form to sign up. You will receive an automatic email confirmation of your application. Job assignments will be emailed this summer.
Take the Volunteer Challenge!
New this year, when you sign up a group of 4 or more for a beer-truck or donation bucket shift, you’ll be rewarded with fun swag when you check in to volunteer!
The Richmond Folk Festival Job Descriptions
Backstage Volunteer – Help out around the stage! Your core job as a Backstage Volunteer is to assist staff, artists, and other volunteers with whatever they might need (moving equipment, getting water, helping with Bucket Brigade). You are also responsible for keeping all stage areas clean and for ensuring that whoever is backstage is authorized to be there. Backstage volunteers need to professional, tactful, and willing to do whatever it takes to make each performance an enjoyable experience. If this is you, sign up today!
Beer/Wine Sales – Always wanted to be a bartender? What outdoor festival would be complete without beer and wine? Beer and wine sales volunteers will be in an ideal location to enjoy the music, watch the festival, and meet a lot of people. We’ll take care of ID bracelets. Volunteers will pour drinks and must be at least 21 years old.
Bucket Brigade – Want to help keep the Festival free? HERE IS YOUR CHANCE! We need energetic, smiling folks roaming the site with our signature orange buckets looking for "drops in the bucket". These donations to the festival will help with production of the next festival, so here is your chance to keep this wonderful event going! We are looking for outgoing volunteers that are comfortable asking for donations. This is a fun assignment where you can chat with festival patrons and hear some music all at the same time! Great assignment for groups to work together.
Bucket Brigade Shift Captain – We are looking for enthusiastic and motivated volunteers with several years’ experience to help the Richmond Folk Festival running smoothly this year. Shift Captains will work with our Bucket Brigade Team Leaders to coordinate and execute our performance stage donation collection efforts. You will help rally the Bucket Brigade Teams to work in an organized and fun way to help Festival-goers “make a drop in the bucket” to help keep the Festival free. Email Jamie Thomas at email@example.com to express your interest in taking your Volunteer work to the next level!
Bucket Brigade Volunteer Check in – You will be stationed at the volunteer check-in area at the 2nd street entrance. Help sign in our bucket brigade volunteers, distribute the special BB tee shirt and give the volunteers directions to their assigned location.
Family Area – Join us in the Family Area as we transform it into an Out of This World experience! You can help children and their families play, create, and blast off for Infinite Fun! All Family Area volunteers will apply through the Children’s Museum and must complete the interview process. Apply for the family area here.
Festival Desk (Performer Check-in/Check-out) – Roll out the red carpet to welcome our Richmond Folk Festival performers! As a Festival Desk volunteer, you will be stationed at the hotel greeting performers as they arrive in Richmond, as well as assisting the Festival staff in keeping things running the entire weekend. After your shift, the festival is only a short shuttle ride away! Volunteers must be friendly and organized.
Floater – Would you like to volunteer where help is needed most? Volunteer floaters are assigned to an area when they arrive at the Festival to check in for their shift. Volunteer floaters are very important to the changing demands of a busy Festival.
Green Team – Last year we collected a record number of recyclables, and this year we plan to do even better. In order to do so, we need volunteers who are physically able, appropriately dressed, and ready to make a difference for the environment (and not afraid of getting dirty).
Information Services – Welcome. Direct. Assist. Recommend. These are just some of the things you'll do as an Information Services volunteer. Whether you're handing out schedules at Festival entrances, or manning one of the Info Services booths, you act as an Expert Ambassador to the Richmond Folk Festival. Help festival-goers get what they need, where and when they need it. What could be more important than that?
Marketplace – Love to shop? Meet interesting people? Volunteers will help set up, resupply and offer breaks to the retail folks so they too can take breaks. Get a great opportunity to see all the cool stuff before anyone else does.
Merchandise and Music Sales – A fun and fast-paced job. Assist the Plan 9 team in selling performer CDs and festival merchandise to the Richmond Folk Festival crowd.
Music Logging – Do you love the live music experience? Loggers help capture it. Our personable, detail-oriented team records every folk festival performance from seats at the sound tables of every stage. We keep accurate, hand-written logs of performers, song titles and times. And we go backstage to collaborate with the artists to make sure we get it right. Our recordings and log sheets become archive copies, available forever at the Library of Congress. No experience is required, but new loggers are required to attend a training session before the festival.
Photo Booth – The Photo Booth volunteers work to help Festival-goers make a fun commemorative picture of their visit to the Festival. As a Photo Booth volunteer, you assist with taking photos, setting up props, or making prints of the pictures.
Safety Escort – Always wanted to be a member of a secret service motor escort? Give it a test drive at the Festival. Most of the traffic at the festival is on foot, but performers are transported to the stage by vans and golf carts. Walk alongside the artists’ vans clearing pedestrian traffic with a whistle (and a smile). Wear comfortable shoes, you’ll be doing a lot of walking. This is a great assignment for groups or organizations to work together.
Site Setup/Tear-down – Here’s your chance to help make the Festival happen and still get to relax once the music starts. We need much assistance to make the site ready for the crowds and cleaning it up after they’ve gone home. Setup experience (construction, carpentry, engineering, etc) is ideal but not required. Volunteer must be: ready, willing, and able.
Soft Drink Sales - While enjoying the music from the nearby stage, sell ice cold bottles of water and soft drinks; a great way to interact with many festival attendees! (Suitable for youths 14 and older, or as young as 10 if accompanied by an adult volunteer for the full shift.)
Virginia Folklife Area – Want to meet and work with Virginia’s finest artisans? Assist the demonstrators at the Virginia Folk Life Craft Demonstration area. Help with set up, keep an eye on their booth or bring food and water. Get a close look at what others will be watching from afar.
Virginia Folklife Tear-Down – Help the tired but grateful artisans pack up their wares on Sunday. Must be willing and able to do light lifting and moving.
Volunteer Check-In – The Richmond Folk Festival has more than 1200 volunteers. A warm welcome is a very important part of the volunteers’ experience. You will greet volunteers as they arrive for their shifts, check them in for their shifts, and give them the volunteer tee-shirts.
Volunteer Parking – Volunteers will be stationed at the volunteer parking lot to greet and assist our volunteers enter their free, reserved parking areas. Listen to the music from a relaxing and beautiful vantage point of the Festival. Great assignment for school organizations or individuals.
Richmond Festival Staff
Lisa Sims, Executive Director
Anedra Bourne, Deputy Executive Director
Stephen Lecky, Director of Events
Jamie Thomas, Volunteer Coordinator
Richmond Folk Festival
200 South Third Street, Richmond, VA 23219