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Volunteering at Festivals is Your Backstage Pass

By Jeremy Derksen for FestivalSeekers, June 3, 2022

There’s only one place that can beat being stage front for a show: being behind the scenes. But how do you get there? Simple: you don’t have to be a sponsor or a VIP, you just need to be one of the many volunteers who help Alberta and BC festivals and events happen.

As a journalist, a volunteer, or participant, variously, I have personally stood on stage or behind the scenes at concerts, provided first aid to athletes at international competitions and shared cocktails with artists at after parties. And I can personally attest, there’s nothing quite like being on the inside of an event.

Just ask #SeekersAmbassador and volunteer Darian Cannard, who’s been volunteer security at Edmonton Folk Music Fest for over five years. She got her start in 2015, thanks to her aunt, who recruited her to join.

Darian’s view from the Edmonton Folk Fest main stage. / Darian Cannard photo

“Things that keep me coming back for more? My crew,” Cannard states unequivocally.

But there’s more. “The food provided for volunteers is fantastic as well. Another thing is just the general vibe of being there.

“I always feel so content and comfortable walking the grounds, watching a performance or hanging out in our meeting point. And finally, the volunteer afterparties are pretty fantastic!”

Free admission is often a perk, for sure, but it’s the priceless vibe of the event that keeps volunteers like Cannard committed year over year, and bringing their friends along to join them in the volunteer tent.

Not to mention, making friends along the way, with other volunteers, with movers and shakers in the cultural scene, and occasionally with artists, musicians and creators.

Read the rest of the article, and discover more festivals in Western Canads, at FestivalSeekers.

FestivalSeekers is your online magazine to festivals and yet to be discovered experiences in Western Canada.