What memory stands out most when you think of your time at the Festival?
I couldn’t think of just one memory if I tried! Hearing wonderful music, connecting with others, dancing in the sun… What’s not to love? In general, the workshop stages tend to be my favourite, both because of the collaborations between artists and because I always discover new music this way. I’ll go to a workshop to see one or two artists specifically sometimes, and leave absolutely blown away by all three or four on stage!
Why do you volunteer for the Festival? What inspires you?
I volunteer because of all the people involved — and that includes the other volunteers, the staff, the vendors and community groups, and the artists! Every single person involved with the festival contributes in a unique way, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the summer and the joys of life than a weekend by the ocean surrounded by amazing people. Everyone gives so much to make the festival amazing. The musicians share their incredible talent, the volunteers and staff their time and skills, and every attendee shares their passion. Being there is more energizing than any cup of coffee! I’m also always inspired by the incredible diversity of attendees, variety of activities, and the commitment to accessibility. This truly is a festival for everyone.
What’s your favourite part of the Festival?
I mentioned the workshop stages already, so from a volunteer perspective, the set up process is my favourite. Every year I do the Friday morning load-in for the Artisans and Community Villagers, in addition to some preliminary set up on Thursday, and seeing the festival site appear and come together in an otherwise infrastructure-free park is incredible. The energy and excitement are through the roof!
What advice would you give to new volunteers?
Have fun, try new things, and learn as much as you can! If there’s something you’ve never done before that you’re interested in, go for it. Spend time talking to co-volunteers on your committee as well as volunteers from other committees, because everyone has expertise and ideas to share. When your shift is done, seek out some new music! You’re virtually guaranteed to find a new favourite artist among any year’s lineup. Chat with other festival-goers in lines and audiences. And of course, “dance like no one’s watching!”