Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at your favourite festival? Well, there’s a surefire way to find out—volunteer!
If you’re asking yourself whether you’ve got what it takes, Up Here needs volunteers for everything from ticket selling to decorating, merch selling to van driving, and veggie cutting to artist hospitality…ing.
And, not only do volunteers keep Up Here up and running, they also get some pretty sweet perks. Here are just a few:
1. Free Shows!
If you can’t buy a ticket, volunteering lets you go to shows in exchange for a few hours of work. Up Here operates on a flexible system where you “earn” rewards based on how many hours you’ve worked. All volunteers will get into the main Saturday show featuring Yamantaka and Sonic Titan—and you can add on other options from there.
2. Brand Spankin’ New Friends
I thought I knew everyone in Sudbury when I went to the first Up Here in 2015. Turns out I was wrong! Volunteering that first year introduced me to so many new faces I could barely keep track of them all. A whack of my current friendships were formed during that inaugural year, and they’re still going strong today. Nothing like the chaos of a festival to break the ice!
3. “Fanpersoning” Opportunities
Are you obsessed with one of the bands that’s playing? As long as you promise not to make it weird—or at least not that weird—if you volunteer you’re a lot more likely to see those artists up close and personal. This is especially true if you work on the hospitality team, tasked with taking care of all the artists’ needs while they’re in town. I bet you’ve always wanted to bring carrot sticks to a big-time muralist!
4. The Best Team
The Up Here team is pretty swell, not to be biased or anything. Not only will they make sure you’re hydrated and fuelled with snacks the whole weekend, they’ll also keep you laughing your head off. You can always approach any of them—especially your volunteer coordinator—if you have any questions or concerns!
5. Networking While Notworking
Looking for a career in nonprofits or the arts? Networking is never as fun as it sounds; swapping business cards, liking someone’s post on LinkedIn… wouldn’t it be more fun if you could connect over your favourite band? At Up Here, you’ll meet like-minded people who are passionate about arts and culture in Sudbury, in an environment that encourages more organic networking!
6. Discovering New Art & Music
Whether you’re the dorkiest of music nerds or the biggest fan of one of the muralists, chances are there will be something new for you at Up Here. I hardly knew any of the performers the first two years, and left with a notebook full of new artists to look up. Between the 30 shows, 10 venues, two muralists, and 14 local artists… it’s bound to be a jam-packed weekend with something for everyone.
7. Bragging Rights
Not only can you brag to your big-city pals that Sudbury has a better festival than they do (just kidding, kind of), you can also brag to out-of-town performers and visitors about your own city! Sudbury is pretty cool these days, and I’m always thrilled to share my favourite local swimming spots, watering holes, and kitchens (another post on that to come!) with people who aren’t from around here.
8. Warm Fuzzies
At the end of the day, Up Here needs you guys! By contributing to the festival, you’ll leave with a warm, fuzzy feeling knowing that you generously gave your time and energy to a super fun cause. Pats on the back all around.
So what are you waiting for? Do you have skills Up Here could put to good use, and love cool rewards? Head over to their volunteer page to sign up!
By Ella Jane Myers