Wanderlust California: The Volunteer Experience via @CupcakeMafia
Over 12 years ago my career in Event Planning began with working music festivals. Whether managing Will Call or handling Backstage Hospitality, I always enjoyed being behind the scenes and having a task to do. When I started planning my trip to Wanderlust I looked into volunteering, after all what better way to learn a lot about the festival in a quick manner.
Once I was accepted to volunteer the planning began. I knew I would have three shifts about six hours each and then one full free day of yoga but it wasn't until about a week prior to festival that I learned my assignments, Yoga Rooms. Basically all those smiling faces greeting you for class and asking you to place your mat on the white tape, that's the Yoga Rooms volunteers. It was really great assignment, a fun way to meet people and still be involved in all the great energy of the practice.
In addition to Yoga Rooms I was also able to work on the Social Media team. Trading one of my Yoga Room shifts for blogging allowed me another full day to practice and a chance to combine two of loves, yoga and social media. Working with the Social Media team was a lot of fun. While pretty much on our own we also had a chance to talk and work with people who write or deliver Social Media content in a different manner.
On the last day the festival my Yoga Rooms shift evolved to assisting with the Hospitality Department packing, removing all the mat marking tape from the studios, helping to take down a small dome, and taking up one of the floors at tent space. So regardless of what your assignment is you have to be ready to do anything. You also may not get a chance to complete project before you're re-assigned, a great exercise in non-attachment!
Overall volunteering was a great experience, the staff treat the volunteers with a lot of kindness and appreciation (not the case at all festivals). If you're interested in volunteering next year, applications are usually available in early Spring. The process to review applications is long and approving volunteers and making assignments is also a long process. This can be a little tough for volunteers from out of town like myself, as most travel expenses are much less expensive when you can plan in advance. However if you're not so big on planning in advance or live locally it probably wouldn't be an issue. Either way, it is a great experience and one I would encourage you to go for if you have the interest!
See ya next year Wanderlust!