Volunteer at Farm Aid 2023
Farm Aid 2023 Details
Farm Aid 2023 will take place Saturday, Sept. 23, at Ruoff Music Center in Noblesville, Indiana.
Our annual festival wouldn’t run without the hard work of our hundreds of volunteers who donate their time to Farm Aid. Our tireless volunteers support our mission by spending their weekend with us as we prepare the venue for thousands of festivalgoers, and make sure that the festival runs smoothly.
Working a volunteer shift at the festival gives you an inside look into what it takes to put the Farm Aid festival together. Besides meeting seasoned volunteers, some of whom follow our festival around the country year after year, you’ll work with Farm Aid staff and get an insider’s view of the festival.
In exchange for volunteering your time, you’ll get one hot meal per shift, an official Farm Aid festival volunteer t-shirt, and access to the festival lawn to enjoy the show when you’re not working. Volunteering at Farm Aid is a great way to celebrate and support family farmers and Farm Aid!
How do I become a volunteer?
- New and returning volunteers will be asked to register via our online forms, which remains open until all volunteer positions are filled.
- The Farm Aid Volunteer Coordinator will email you to confirm your acceptance within two weeks of your registration submission.
- Your Farm Aid festival volunteer assignment will be sent to you 2–3 weeks before the festival.
- After receiving your assignment, you must confirm your attendance with the Farm Aid Volunteer Coordinator.
- The Farm Aid Volunteer Coordinator will send important instructions and logistical information about volunteering in the weeks before the festival!
Register to be a volunteer
Thank you for your interest, but we have enough candidates for now. If we need additional volunteers, we’ll open the form back up and put a link here.
What do volunteers do?
Volunteers may be assigned to a number of roles! There are opportunities to do everything from catering to HOMEGROWN Village setup. Shifts are available beginning a few days before the festival, as well as throughout the festival day to ensure everything runs smoothly. Volunteers are expected to correspond with the Volunteer Coordinator over the summer, attend a brief on-site orientation meeting, and work one or two (or more, if you are willing!) four to five-hour volunteer shifts. While volunteering you are serving as an extension of the Farm Aid staff and representing Farm Aid to the public and the media.
Assignments will vary depending on volunteers’ ability, availability, and experience. We cannot guarantee that a requested role will be honored.
Farm Aid volunteers make an incredible impact on the festival! As an example, in 2018 alone, 116 Green Team volunteers helped us divert 5,145 lbs. of compost from the landfill. That’s the equivalent of 2,881.2 pounds of carbon dioxide being mitigated from the atmosphere. Green Team members also helped festivalgoers understand our composting system and kept trash and recycling from contaminating our compost! This work would not be possible without our dedicated, hardworking volunteers.
7 Core Rules
- No unconfirmed volunteers. Each volunteer must be registered individually.
- No volunteers under age 18.
- No asking for artist autographs or photos. The artists are generously donating their time and we must all respect their privacy. Interacting with the artists will result in expulsion from the show and a ban on volunteering.
- No alcohol consumption before your shift is over. Once you have finished your final shift of the day, you may do as you please, but you must not drink while wearing your volunteer shirt or credentials. While this should go without saying, volunteers absolutely cannot consume drugs before or during the festival. Even after your shift is over, underage volunteers absolutely cannot consume alcohol at the event.
- Every volunteer must check-in and attend an on-site orientation meeting to receive credentials, their volunteer t-shirt and a receive short briefing about Farm Aid and the venue. If you do not attend your orientation, you will not be permitted to volunteer.
- Volunteers are allowed one catered meal per shift.
- We expect Farm Aid volunteers to be flexible and to bring a positive, friendly attitude to their shifts. While volunteering you are serving as an extension of the Farm Aid staff and representing Farm Aid to the public and the media.
How old do I have to be to volunteer?
You must be at least 18 years old to volunteer at Farm Aid.
Why do I have to pay a $10 registration fee to volunteer?
Our festival couldn’t run without our volunteers! However, to defray the costs of providing food, t-shirts and free access to the festival to all volunteers, Farm Aid is asking for a small registration fee this year from each volunteer. Your contribution helps Farm Aid maximize the funds raised to support our mission of keeping family farmers on the land and thriving! If you are not accepted to volunteer, your $10 registration fee will be refunded in full. The only other refunds that will be issued are for emergency cancellations at the discretion of the Volunteer Coordinator.
What perks are included for volunteers?
All Farm Aid volunteers are guaranteed lawn access to enjoy the show when they’re not working, an official Farm Aid volunteer t-shirt, and a HOMEGROWN meal. Most importantly, volunteers get the unique and exciting Farm Aid festival experience!
When will I know if I have been accepted as a volunteer?
Farm Aid will be accepting volunteers on a rolling basis starting immediately after we announce the festival, and will notify you by email if you’ve been accepted within two weeks of submitting your registration form. Returning volunteers who register will take precedence over first-time volunteers. If we cannot accommodate you in our volunteer program this year, we will inform you by email and keep you on our waitlist for volunteer opportunities that might open up for Farm Aid 2022!
What happens if I register but can’t come?
Let the Volunteer Coordinator know as soon as possible so that we can find another volunteer to fill your spot. We will refund your registration fee only if you cancel more than two weeks before the event.
Can I work with my friends/family?
Yes! We do our best to schedule groups together. If you feel that your group does not need to be together or has differing time constraints, let the Volunteer Coordinator know.
Can I register my family/group all at once?
Nope! Each person must register themselves individually so that we can account for individuals in our records.
Do volunteers get to watch the show?
Yes! The music at Farm Aid lasts all day, and most shifts are only four hours. Volunteers will have ample time to see music and enjoy family farm food and activities when they are not volunteering.
Do I need a ticket to volunteer?
Nope! The volunteer credential you receive upon arrival will be your ticket to enjoy the show from the lawn before and after your shift. Volunteers are welcome to buy higher level seats as available, but credentials are non-transferable.
What if I want to purchase a seat instead of sitting on the lawn?
If you have been accepted as a volunteer, you may purchase a ticket through Ticketmaster, or email the Volunteer Coordinator for more information.
Do you need nurses/security/stage hands/specialized jobs?
Nope! Those roles will be filled by paid professionals.
Do I have to wear my volunteer shirt?
Yes! Volunteers must wear their official Farm Aid Volunteer shirt during their shift. You may change out of it before or after your shift.
Can I join if I can’t handle physical labor?
Yes! We have all sorts of jobs available and want to accommodate everyone’s abilities. Just let us know in your application/registration.
Can I get backstage/meet an artist?
Nope! The artists generously donate their time and we must all respect their privacy. Interacting with the artists will result in expulsion from the show and a ban on volunteering.
What positions and shift times are available during the Farm Aid weekend?
Volunteers are needed for shifts throughout the day and evening on both Friday, the day before the festival, and Saturday, the day of the festival. A handful of volunteers may also be needed on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday before the festival.
Can I choose what I do/when my shift is?
Nope! Farm Aid has a job for every volunteer, and we will assign shifts to each person based on a number of factors, including party size, need, experience, ability, and availability. If you have a specific request, we will do our best to honor it but make no guarantees. Volunteers must be available to work on festival day, but may also sign up for shifts in the preceding days.
How long do shifts last?
A typical Farm Aid volunteer shift lasts four hours. Volunteers are only required to work one shift, but we welcome volunteers to work as many hours as they wish on festival day. Please note on your registration form if you would be willing to work more than one shift. Those who can work more than one shift throughout the Farm Aid weekend will be given preference when registering.
Do I have to work a shift on festival day?
Maybe! Not everyone will be required to work on the day of the festival, but you should register with the assumption that you will be needed that day.
Can I switch my shift?
Maybe! Typically, we are unable to accommodate requests to change shifts, but we do our best to try. It’s usually only possible if another volunteer cancels. You may reach out to the Volunteer Coordinator to ask about switching shifts, but please be aware that switching shifts is not always possible.
When should I arrive for my shift?
All volunteers should check in at the main Volunteer Tent to receive their t-shirts prior to the start of their shift on festival day. Volunteers must be ready to work at their assigned positions and checked in with your supervisor 15 minutes before your shift begins. We will be sending more information to accepted volunteers.
What should I wear or bring with me?
If your role requires a dress code, you will get an email with the specifics a few days before the festival. Whatever your position, volunteers must dress comfortably and wear closed-toe shoes. Don’t forget to bring weather-appropriate clothing. You must wear your official volunteer shirt during your shift, but you are encouraged to bring another shirt to wear after.