Vermont Festivals/Roots on the River Vermont Festivals/Roots on the River

Roots on the River: Volunteer Info

Volunteer Info

This festival relies on the combined efforts of many volunteers and you will be a critical part of the team. While volunteering is a great way to gain free admission to the festival, make friends and have a good time, you need to be aware that it is also a real job which, if done poorly, can have a negative impact for everyone on site. However, we know you're volunteering out of love for the best music festival in Vermont, and thus you'll bring your A game! This is a lot to read (AKA, a wall of text), so please do so carefully - we don't offer a TL;DR option. Take a breath, fix yourself your favorite beverage; we'll wait.


Without further ado, if you're ready to commit, here's what we need you to understand:

* How much volunteering is needed in exchange for a ticket? One 4-hour shift gets you a single-day pass for that same day (exception: you're doing prep/set-up or post-festival takedown/clean-up); 2 of those 4-hour shifts get you a full weekend pass. Not bad, eh? Please note: there will be no Saturday-only shifts this year. If you want to volunteer for a shift on Saturday, you'll need to be willing to put in another shift as well (during another festival day, or doing some of the myriad things that need to happen prior to Roots & post-music).

* Your focus while assigned to your particular volunteer task must be on that task - not watching the show, chatting with friends, yakking on the phone, or texting your buddies about what a great time you’re having. For the period of time you are volunteering, you are a festival worker, not a guest. If that’s not something you can live with, then we’d welcome you to buy a ticket and enjoy the festival on your own terms. Additionally, if you have purchased a deluxe or weekend ticket, please enjoy the show; let us know if we can call on you in a pressing need, but otherwise we would like you to remain a festival-goer.

* While you are volunteering, and particularly when wearing your festival ID, you may not consume alcohol or any illegal substances, either inside the fence or anywhere in the parking lot or adjacent areas. If this happens we will ask you to leave, and your volunteer pass will be revoked. We’ve only had to do that once, but it left the staff and remaining volunteers feeling really upset and sad the rest of the evening.

* You need to be aware of when you are expected to arrive for your shift - someone else is probably waiting to be relieved, and we are counting on you to be there. Plan to arrive 15 minutes early if possible. If an emergency occurs and you need to be late or cancel, you must call volunteer coordinator Maridee Serebrov immediately and let her know. Please do not notify staff via email since while the festival is happening, we do not regularly get the chance to access a computer. Additionally, you need to stay until your shift ends and you are relieved by staff or your volunteer replacement.

* The festival happens rain or shine. Yes, it’s a much better gig when it’s a beautiful day, but we show up regardless of what the weather gods have thrown our way, and we smile and make the best of it. Check the forecast and bring whatever you need to do your job comfortably, be that rain gear & fleece or shades, sunblock & a sombrero. Comfy shoes are a must, of course - you'll be on your feet a lot.

* Every volunteer job has an associated staff supervisor. If you run into a problem, need to take a bathroom break, or have to leave your assignment for any other reason, you must touch base with your supervisor, not just another volunteer. Please do not just wander off and leave the gate, merch tent, etc., unstaffed!

* All volunteers are responsible for maintaining the festival’s alcohol policy: no alcohol may come in or out of the festival grounds. Period. The liquor inspectors do visit and any violations will be cause for the festival to be shut down. If you see violations and are not comfortable confronting them yourself, team up with another volunteer or your supervisor. Additionally, we are a smoke-free festival, so we all need to promptly and politely ask people to put out their cigarettes (or cigars, joints, e-cig/vapes, etc.) and direct them to the smoking area out of the fenced-in concert area.

* If you are handling money, you cannot let it out of your sight or hand it off to anyone else other than your supervisor or the volunteer who has been assigned to replace you. Remember also that tickets are cash and should be treated with the same respect.

* We need everyone to be friendly, welcoming, courteous and helpful to all festival guests. Please try to de-escalate any tensions diplomatically, remind people about rules gently and with good humor, and keep any whining under wraps. Please support your fellow volunteers if they are confronted with any problems and pitch in wherever you may be needed. We rarely have a problem; it is because our volunteers understand this and are ready to turn a potentially bad situation around, sometimes with just a smile.

And now, the really serious part - the Legal Stuff®: On behalf of myself, my heirs, executors, administrators, next of kin, successors and assigns, and anyone else who might sue on my behalf, I HEREBY RELEASE AND FOREVER DISCHARGE VTF and its affiliated companies, along with their employees, agents, directors, officers, servants, successors, heirs, executors, administrators, vendors, independent contractors, sponsors, medical care providers, event producers, law enforcement agencies, governmental entities, and all other persons, firms, corporations, associations or partnerships (collectively the "Released Parties") of and from any and all claims, actions, causes of action, demands, rights, damages, costs, loss of service, expenses and compensation whatsoever, both economic and non-economic, for death, personal injury, or property damage, (collectively "Claims") which may arise of, result from or relate to my volunteer activities, including travel to/from the Event, including but not limited to any Claims for theft, damage to any equipment, negligence, permanent disability, Claims relating to the provision of first aid, medical care, medical treatment, or medical decisions (at the Event site or elsewhere), and any Claims for medical or hospital expenses and any Claims that might arise out of the negligence or gross negligence of the Released Parties. I assume any and all risks for injury to person or property, or any other consequence arising out of my volunteer service, including travel en route to and from the Event. I HEREBY WAIVE AND RELEASE MY LEGAL RIGHTS TO SUE FOR ANY INJURY OR OTHER DAMAGE ARISING OUT OF OR RESULTING FROM MY VOLUNTEER SERVICE. I further agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Released Parties from any and all expenses incurred, Claims made, or liabilities assessed against them, including but not limited to attorney fees and litigation expenses, arising out of or resulting from, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, my breach or failure to abide by this Release Agreement, and my actions or inactions which cause injury, harm or damage to another person. All event volunteers must sign this document. Volunteers under age 18 must have a parent or legal guardian sign. You acknowledge and understand that the nature of volunteer activities that you may perform in the capacity as a volunteer may involve physical activity, contact with unidentified and/or unfamiliar persons, risk of physical injury to you or others, damage to your property, or other consequences which might result from your own actions and/or the actions, in actions or negligence of others, the rules of the Event, condition of the premises, weather conditions, or condition of any of the equipment used in connection with the Event. There may also be other risks not known or reasonably foreseeable.

Whew! This is a substantial list of requirements, but please trust that after many years of running this festival we have very good reasons to insist on a clear set of understandings about the roles and responsibilities of volunteers. We also have learned that if you have a better sense of what you’re being asked to do, then there are no unfortunate misunderstandings, and we all have a great festival. So, thank you again for stepping up to the plate! We couldn’t do it without you and we’re really looking forward to having you on the team this year!

Ray Massucco, Producer
Dorothy Read, Assistant Producer
Vermont Festivals LLC

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