Summer is the season of music festivals, but the jumps in exchange rates do not favor traveling abroad: tickets for the next Primavera already cost 15 thousand rubles each, for Burning Man - about 66 thousand. You can save a couple of hundred euros (or even more!) On a ticket, and sometimes even on accommodation and food, having got a job as a volunteer. At the request of Life around, journalist Nikita Velichko talked with volunteers from several festivals about combining leisure with work, injuries and the help desk for those who had a bad trip.
Signal volunteer, m_division event volunteer coordinator
village of Nikola-Lenivets,
It runs from August 16 to August 19
After Signal, nothing is scary. I was invited there as a volunteer. We had a huge tent camp, where not only volunteers lived, but also everyone who participated in the preparation of the festival, about 80-100 people. It was located in the very bottom, and if it rained, it was flooded greatly. It happened that in the morning the guys woke up - and everyone in the tent had a puddle. But this in no way broke his spirit, they remembered it with a laugh. "Guys, I have Jägermeister here, it’s completely cold, because I have a huge puddle in the corner of the tent."
The greatest joy is the moment when the platform opens for guests. We can all get very tired and quarrel during the preparation of the event, but this interrupts all the fatigue. There are several super-significant moments when we succeeded and that we constantly remember. And this thing works super-cool with Signal: how much time has passed, and when we meet with the guys, we remember different funny situations that happened there.
Remember, in Warcraft there was a unit that mined gold? You click on him, and he had a remark: "Again work?" There was one dude who spoke to her at every morning meeting. Completed the task - he spoke in the voice of the same unit: "The work is done!" The jokes about Warcraft were super-fast, because there was a sawmill on Signal where boards were cut and spread across dance floors.
There are people who work out for the ticket and leave. And there are those who remain until the very end. And then people learn something new and start working for money. There must be a team spirit, a team game. This is the most important story on such projects. Punctuality is still important, you need to be a man of business: to prove that you can rely on you is the most important thing. Well, there must be enthusiasm. I’m now moving to Moscow, I have a chat with local volunteers - the guys helped in preparing the Gate, collected Synthposium. Some kind of movement is constantly going on. Everyone likes to do this.
It runs from August 9 to August 11
In 2011, I graduated from high school and entered the university: but then the ship of personal freedom came across rocks of financial insolvency. The search for solutions led me to the Stereoleto festival volunteer group - there they accepted me with open arms for the "bring-give" position. I quickly joined the team, made friends with the main PR team, and after the festival I was periodically called to work for one or another event. Usually, the work concerned catering or other household items. Once I was an assistant to the dresser Sarah Brightman and spent the whole day ironing her chic dresses embroidered with bugles. The first few years, my benefits were only meals and meals from catering, but the work brought me pleasure.
I always liked Flow: a good line-up, urban format, everything is beautiful, environmentally friendly and, most importantly, close. Going to neighboring Helsinki for a few days in August is not so difficult. It seems the first time I went to Flow in 2014. In 2016, I applied for volunteering, but they answered me: "There are a lot of applications, you didn’t get there." It was a shame - and the next year I decided to fight to the last. Therefore, even when I missed all the deadlines for submitting applications because I was lying in the hospital, I decided to write a tearful letter to the coordinators. And it worked!
I wanted to gain experience and learn more about the principles of organizing large events abroad. And as usual, the financial component affected: Flow provides a three-day ticket, which costs about 200 euros, for three shifts of eight hours.
In the questionnaire, first of all, I was moved to tears by the question of food preferences. At our festivals, God forbid, buddies and instant coffee get mixed, and then they ask if I can have lactose and gluten! It also lacks a clause where you need to specify gender: the notes indicate which positions require physical strength, but there are no gender restrictions.
I wanted to do something radically different from what I do in Russia, so I chose stage construction (we call it stage installation). The construction of the site begins in two weeks, another week is allotted for analysis. All this time, both technical volunteers and those involved in food and cleaning are required. There are two shift options: morning (from 08:00 to 15:00) and evening (from 15:00 to 22:00). In the days of the festival itself, they seem to be slightly different. For my convenience, I take two shifts on Wednesday and Thursday (from the night bus to the platform immediately) and one on Monday (from the platform to the evening bus).
This year there was a funny situation when I talked with the girl in English for about an hour, and then it turned out that she was from St. Petersburg.
At the beginning of the day, everyone who works on installation is given three things: a helmet, vest and gloves. For those involved in the installation of equipment on the main stage, the so-called safety boots are laid. Further, the main coordinator divides everyone into teams and sends them to the supervisors at the site. Installation work is largely a waiting game: you wait until the truck is rolled in, while the structures are adjusted, you wait for the other team to lay cables or fix the fasteners. Then a couple of hours of hard work - and here you are drinking Red Bull again, sitting on the boxes of the Arctic Monkeys group. This year I even found hammocks under the main stage. Finns are people who value measured work, there is no rush at all.
Twice I was engaged in the installation of screens and lighting on the main stage. This year, new screens were brought in, so a professional team mounted them, and my team helped with laying and connecting wires and unloading trucks with equipment. In the process, I managed to turn a box weighing 140 kilograms on my leg, so I spent the next half hour at the first-aid post, where my abrasions were sealed with a liquid adhesive. On other days, we hung decorations and made secure fixtures.
This year there was a funny situation when I talked with the girl in English for about an hour, and then it turned out that she was from St. Petersburg. Among the volunteers there are many Russians, there are still volunteers from other countries of Europe, from Asia and Africa, who study in Europe and travel and volunteer during the holidays. It is very interesting to talk with them during work and lunch.
Another nice little thing - volunteers are given a free festival t-shirt. It compares favorably with Russian merchandise with a very high-quality material and beautiful design, so it can be worn not only at home and in the country. In addition, a party is organized for volunteers after the dismantling. I did not succeed in getting on it, but I hope that I will reach it next year nevertheless.
volunteer at the Inferno Metal Festival (as well as Midgardsblot and Beyond)
It runs from April 18 to 21
Tickets - from NOK 2,250
(18 thousand rubles)
I was at metal festivals in Finland, Lithuania and the Czech Republic, but in general I started to go to festivals recently: I really like the genre and subculture, but there was no company of good friends. At some point, closer to 30, you suddenly realize that youth has not yet passed, and you want to surrender to youthful hobbies in a new way.
The first time I went to volunteer at the Inferno Metal Festival in Oslo in March this year. Of course, free admission to the festival was one of the good reasons for volunteering: Norway is an expensive country. But most importantly, at this point I was already tired of going to festivals alone. No matter how cool the line-up is, there are times when you feel superfluous on this celebration of life. Especially if you are alone.
Actually, I went to the Midgardsblot and Beyond the Gates festivals in August to meet my friends again. A friend of a friend from the Oslo festival, suddenly offered to stay with him in Bergen. And on Midgardsblot, a completely unknown Englishman on Facebook offered a place in his tent. Usually I’m afraid to use subscriptions: I’m too well-mannered introvert and I feel awkward. But here good people just met.
The Midgardsblot festival concept related to the Vikings was also interesting (in the place where the festival takes place, there is one of the largest burial grounds of the Scandinavian Iron Age and the Viking Age in Northern Europe). And a bias towards black metal at Beyond the Gates in Bergen.
Set lists, of course, gathered a lot. Especially noteworthy was the set list from the Watain group in the blood of not the first freshness (as, in fact, the whole scene after the group).
You could indicate your professional skills - I wrote that I was an artist. At Beyond the Gates, I was on the gallery team. I helped to hang pictures and looked at the gallery. I spent most of the time there, so I didn’t see many concerts. But there was an opportunity to communicate with the artists, so I do not regret it.
Before that, I was a host - this is a position where all people without a certain profession are put, just a man at the ready. Most of the work was on the first day, when they built a tent backstage zone. I had to drag the weights (moreover, girls mostly dragged - gender equality in action). On the rest of the days, drinks were just delivered and garbage was removed after groups. Set lists, of course, gathered a lot. Especially noteworthy was the set list from Watain in the blood of not the first freshness (as, in fact, the whole scene after the group).
Other volunteers are from the UK, America, Greece, Germany, Finland and, of course, Norway. On Inferno and Midgardsblot there was one more Russian, besides me. Although, everyone was still surprised that I was from Russia. There were many people of interesting professions like an astrobiologist, an architect - and, of course, many people professionally associated with music. It turned out that for many, volunteering is such a type of fan, and not that they don’t have enough money for a ticket or something like that. Many have been traveling for years. Volunteers are perceived as part of the organizing team. Suddenly it turned out to be very interesting to communicate with people with another cultural background.
Boom festival volunteer
Idanha a Nova, Portugal
It runs from July 22 to July 29
Tickets - from 17 euros per day
I go to festivals all my life. I was a volunteer at St. Petersburg Abstraction, helped at Systo, but at Boom there were 40 thousand people - and this, of course, is a completely different scale than 3-5 thousand people. In Portugal, people know better how to organize a festival, there are more resources and opportunities. In Russia, festivals often have to survive.
The fact that Boom is a great festival was told to me by friends who were there two years ago. For me, this event is not about music, but about psi-trance culture in general. I applied for volunteering, because in the very first hours of sales the site is overloaded - and all the tickets are sold out. To become a volunteer, you need to go to the site and fill out a large questionnaire, attach photos, write in English about your experience and what you want to do. I sent her in the fall and immediately forgot about it. In May, I received a letter that I went through the first stage and I need to talk on Skype. In June, we phoned - they took me.
At the festival, which is always built on the full moon (and this year was also an eclipse), there are several scenes, including a huge trance, where the Hilight Tribe played. Another distinguishing feature is the large territory devoted to various practices: ceremonies, acupuncture, yoga, shamans from around the world and much more. The first days the main scene does not work, but only this zone for self-development works. For all the people who work on it, there was a fenced separate camp. We sat across from him and checked to see if there are special bracelets for people who go there. In the process, they talked with them, treated each other, had fun, got acquainted, received individual master classes. My partner from Portugal was a guy. We made friends, now he invites me to visit somewhere to him in Portugal.
There is a service that people can contact if they have a bad trip. For the test, the substances can be taken to a laboratory, which in a few hours will tell you what it is, whether it can be taken, in what doses and how.
Security is monitored by a specially hired organization, there are also emergency rooms. I have not heard of any bad incidents - everything seemed to be fine. There is a service that people can contact if they have a bad trip. For the test, the substances can be taken to a laboratory, which in a few hours will tell you what it is, whether it can be taken, in what doses and how. Even at the festival there is a separate collection of garbage, infrastructure for people in wheelchairs and a service for deaf people.
We had five shifts: four for eight hours, one for two and four hours. I had from 18 to 30 hours break. I had enough time to hang out, be a "boomer", enjoy the festival. In general, everything went smoothly, there were no incidents. We were also given free tickets for food and water, although it is already free everywhere.
I really like to create a festival, watch how everything is organized from the inside. Therefore, I remained a volunteer after the festival. I had to fly to Moscow ten days after the festival. There was no special plan - I thought to travel in Portugal for a while. But I liked it so much at the festival that I decided to enjoy it more and get to know the organizers. And they didn’t bother me! That is, I asked how to help, but they said to me: do it in your rhythm. In general, the most pleasant thing is to work there and be involved in the creation of the festival.
I rested soul and body. I was very inspired by this experience to get a job at the festival for a salary. It is possible in Russia, but I would like to travel the world to travel from festival to festival, and then relax. I don’t know how real this is, but there are outsourcing companies that build bamboo structures. They are hired by various festivals - for example, they built a chill-out zone on Boom. I also work as an English tutor on Skype, so for me it sounds like a real plan.
Volunteer Burning Man
Black Rock Desert, USA
It runs from August 25 to September 2
Tickets - from $ 990
I live in Philadelphia, where we moved from the Soviet Union. Soon I’m moving to Antarctica for several months, where I will work at McMurdo Science Station. This will be my first paid job as a firefighter - before that I had not received that way, I think, not a penny.
About ten years ago, I became a volunteer, just to give something to people. I wanted to be a fireman because I love adrenaline. What were the difficulties? Sometimes it was difficult to put out places where it was impossible to penetrate. Once the roof collapsed to the second floor, and I was inside, on the first. But I heard that for many people it is not the physical work itself that is more difficult, but the psychological consequences after everything has already happened. I have such a sense of humor that I just always laugh, so it doesn't bother me that much.
I was a volunteer at only one festival - Burning Man. In 2012, friends invited me to him. The fire engine stopped me on the very first day, because “Fireman” was written on my T-shirt - I forgot that I put it on. They asked me why I am not a volunteer. At that time, I had no idea what Burning Man was. When I returned home, I made a small reservation and realized that the firefighters were given a free ticket. Since 2014, I went there for four years as a fireman, and in this I went as a nurse.
The work was almost the same as everywhere else: firefighters make sure everything is safe. We check whether there are fire extinguishers, see if everything is in order with large generators.Burning Man has very harsh conditions: there is a strong wind, something may clog into the generators and a fire will result. We prevent a fire so as not to wait for it to happen. One of the main things when working as a firefighter in the heat is to prevent the fire in advance, rather than putting out what has already caught fire. In addition, we are all simultaneously nurses, nurses, and one of the guys can turn to us if they get sick, hit, fall, or something like that.
When I was a firefighter, we had three shifts of 12 hours each. Work out these three shifts and get a ticket (the festival lasts a week. - Approx. ed.). There were three of us on each car: driver, chief and fireman. The first drives and works with a pump, delivers water. The fireman who usually sits in the back of this car (as we say in America: "Put The Wet Stuff on The Red Stuff") extinguishes, does the job. And the boss sits, eats a sandwich and says what to do. I’m joking, of course, everyone has their own business.
Usually everything goes very peacefully. There are so many warnings on Burning Man that it’s hard to imagine anything happening. Festival planning begins in almost a year, everything is carefully analyzed. If we talk only about the work of firefighters, here is an example: we have only 300 gallons of water with us, but it is possible to bring about 80 thousand gallons of water or other means in ten minutes. We can call a nearby fire department if you need even more. Yes, sometimes something burns, but we very quickly deal with this.
In the early years of Burning Man, in the 1990s, there were no rules at all. People set fire to various art, made huge fires. Without any means: they just wanted to set fire to it - and set fire to it, and then the rest had to tinker with it.
In the early years of Burning Man, in the 1990s, there were no rules at all. People set fire to various art, made huge fires. Without any means: they just wanted to set fire to it - and set fire to it, and then the rest had to tinker with it. Because of this, fire departments, nurses and others appeared.
A few years ago, a giant Maine was built at the festival. (figure. - Approx. ed.), 36.5 meters in height. This Maine was supposed to stand for a week, and then beautifully burn and fall. No one consulted the firefighters, only the engineers. Typically, Maine costs about ten to twenty minutes, then falls. Party continues. And this one stood for almost an hour. It was so well built that it simply did not fall. After that, they began to ask firefighters to participate in the development of Maines - not only how to build them, but also how to burn them.
What Burning Man taught me: I became much more confident, I understand how to enjoy life. Until now, I thought the joy was getting more money. And after Burning Man, after I talked with other people, I realized that money is not a joy. I am very happy when I can help people do something in my life and at the same time improve their lives.
This year I spent two months at Burning Man, I worked only before the festival and after the festival as a nurse, that is, I helped those who build it. When we arrived there was just a desert - there was nothing at all. I saw how the desert turns into a city, and after you see this emptiness, and then - as 80 thousand people come ... After I built this Black Rock City, I have a completely different impression of Burning Man. I liked it a lot more to be with several people before the festival than with 80 thousand during. This time I found very good friends with whom I think I will keep in touch all my life. And the festival itself does not impress me as much as it did in past years.
Burning Man has changed my life. This is a long story, but in short: before I went to him, I had a simple life, like everyone else. I had a job, a girl I wanted to marry, I wanted to buy a house for myself, live in one place and work. When I met people at Burning Man, I saw that there was another life. I began to go in that direction - and each time I learned something new. I changed my job, quit my job, started traveling around the world. Now, I can say, homeless, because this year I was at home for three weeks. And upon returning from Antarctica I will decide what to do.