SkaFest Volunteer FAQ
How do I apply to be a volunteer at the Victoria Ska Fest?
-Applications for volunteering at the Victoria Ska Fest are already up and live on our website! Make sure to share with us as much information as possible so that we can find the best position and the best hours for you.
What is Ska?
-Ska music is a genre that originated in Jamaica and has since spread all over the world. Ska is closely tied to other styles like Reggae, Rocksteady, and Dancehall. It can be recognized by a great bass-line, guitar strokes on the up-beat and, if you’re lucky, some screaming horns. Basically, it is the ultimate summer-time, fun-time music guaranteed to make you want to dance.
Are there age restrictions on volunteering?
-We accept volunteers aged 14 and older. Volunteers under the age of 18 must have their parents sign a waiver prior to the first volunteer shift.
Can I bring my pet/child to my volunteer shifts?
-Please avoid bringing pets or children to volunteer shifts. It will make your job, as well as the jobs of those around you, much more difficult if you bring them.
Do my volunteer shifts include meals?
-Unfortunately, due to the size of our volunteer team, we cannot provide full meals for everyone. We will have snacks available but we suggest you either eat before your shift, pack a lunch, or bring a little pocket change to enjoy the delicious treats from our great food vendors- some who offer discounts to volunteers.
When is the Victoria Ska Festival?
- The Victoria Ska Festival runs from Tuesday, July 1st through Saturday, July 5th, 2014. There are shows each evening from about 5pm-10pm at the Ship Point location, as well as after shows at various venues each evening. In addition, there are afternoon shows at the Ship Point location on Saturday.
Where is the Victoria Ska Festival located? How do I get there?
-The bulk of the Victoria Ska Festival in 2014 will be located Ship Point at the Inner Harbour in downtown Victoria, BC. This location is easily accessible by bus from the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal or Victoria Airport, and is within walking distance of the Coho and Clipper Ferry Terminals. The location is beneath the main tourist information booth (beside Milestones restaurant) on Wharf/Government Street, near the Harbour Authority and right along Victoria’s beautiful inner harbour.
Can I park my car at the festival?
-Unfortunately there is no free parking at the festival. There is pay parking very nearby (parkades and pay parking lots), and there are also many parking meters downtown. The festival is very accessible in the downtown core of Victoria, and street parking is free after 6pm. Parking anywhere downtown will mean you are within walking distance (just minutes) of the festival.
Is there camping on site for volunteers?
-Camping is sadly not an option for volunteers (or anyone else), as the festival is located right downtown in the city of Victoria. There are a few hostels as well as plenty of hotels in the area which are located within walking distance of the festival grounds- we’d be happy to give you recommendations.
What’s in it for me?
- The Victoria Ska Festival is one of the most fun, rewarding, and exciting volunteer experiences. As a volunteer, you get access to amazing music and people- you can see the shows while you’re working your shift. You also receive a free volunteer t-shirt, discounts on some food products, and our eternal love and affection. After working a certain number of hours or shifts, volunteers also get to see a ticketed show for either half price or free to have a night off of good times. After the festival is over, there is a volunteer appreciation party to celebrate and thank volunteers for their hard work and dedication.
How many hours do I need to work to get into a show for free? Can I get into one of the bar afterparty shows for free?
- The standard is that if volunteers work for 2 shifts (about 6-7 hours each), they get into a show for half price. If a volunteer works for 3 shifts, that often qualifies them for free entrance to a ticketed show. This is at the Volunteer Coordinator's discretion. Hours put in leading up to the festival, such as Street Team involvement also go toward the accumulated hours needed to get into a free show. Unfortunately, due to smaller capacity sizes, we cannot offer free or discounted entry for volunteers into bar shows. In exceptional circumstances, all of these guidelines may change.
How long will my shifts be?
- We do our best to accommodate volunteers’ needs when it comes to shift length. A typical shift (and one that is most useful to us!) is one that starts an hour or so before a show begins, and ends half hour to an hour after the show’s end. This often means a typical shift will be 6-7 hours long. We do not overwork volunteers and always make sure to schedule extra people to ensure everyone gets breaks and has a great time. We work with volunteers to make sure they’re satisfied with their scheduled times, and are often able to work around work schedules and other commitments.
Will I get breaks on my volunteer shifts?
-Yes! We want volunteers to have sufficient breaks to see the bands and to relax and enjoy themselves. Volunteers will rotate on their breaks, and can also arrange specific break times and lengths with their immediate supervisor.
Where do I check in for my shift?
-The volunteer check in station is located at the Information/First Aid Tent, right near the main stage at the Ship Point location. In the case that a volunteer’s shift begins after the show has started at a ticketed show, the Volunteer Coordinator will give specific instructions as to how to check in and how to enter the show.
Who do I report to?
-Always first check in at the Information Tent so we know you showed up for your shift and to get important information and materials daily. Each position will have an immediate supervisor who volunteers will be directed to daily. This person is who you will report to once you’ve started your shift. You can always report to the Volunteer Coordinator as well.
How do I stay in touch with the Volunteer Coordinator/supervisors?
-Leading up to the festival, it is best to keep in touch via email at email@example.com.
During the festival, emails are not always promptly received, and it is best to contact the Volunteer Coordinator via telephone or text message. Leading up to the festival, volunteers are also encouraged to find and join our Facebook group “Volunteers for Victoria Ska Fest 2014" (Registered Volunteers Only) where you can get updates and fun facts about volunteering, and get to know your fellow Skafia members!
Can I volunteer with my friend?
- We at Victoria Ska Fest understand the importance of friendship! Volunteers often want to work with a friend, and we try our best to accommodate this. The earlier you both apply, the better chance you have of getting the same shifts and positions. However, we cannot read minds, so you need to make sure to tell us you want to work with your friend on your application- be sure to include your names and preferred shifts/positions if you have any. Don’t fret if you do not get a chance to work with your buddy- chances are you’ll run into them quite a lot, and if not, you’ll make new friends with our other excellent volunteers.
If my shift goes until late at night, how will I get home?
-Because many of our shows end at 10pm, often public transit is available to take volunteers home. If you arrange it with us ahead of time, we may be able to provide you with a ride home on our volunteer shuttle.
-I have a disability. Is volunteering for the festival still accessible to me?
-The short answer is yes- we try to make as many of our volunteer positions accessible to anyone. However, there are some positions where space is limited, reaching up, bending down, heavy lifting, and a certain amount of fast paced movement or long periods of standing are necessary. Please inform us ahead of time if you have any sort of disability and we will make sure to put you in the right position so that you have a wonderful time volunteering.
What if I need to change my shift or am unable to show up for my scheduled shifts?
If it is a few days or more before the beginning of the festival, please email the Volunteer Coordinator to change a shift or to warn us that you will be unable to attend. If it is only a day or so before, or if it is during the festival, please make sure to call or text the Volunteer Coordinator at the number given. Please DO NOT try to get your shift covered by another volunteer or friend- there are many volunteers wanting to gain extra hours to put toward their free show, and this is something that needs to be sorted out by the Volunteer Coordinator.
-I don’t like the hours/days/position I’ve been scheduled for. What should I do?
-Contact the Volunteer Coordinator ASAP via email or phone. As we schedule shifts far in advance of the festival, it is much appreciated if volunteers bring these sorts of things to our attention as soon as possible. We want volunteers to have a great time, so don’t be afraid to ask us to make changes that would make your Ska Fest experience a better one.
Is there a dress code for volunteers?
-While there is no specific dress code for volunteers, volunteers do get a unique volunteer t-shirt to wear during the festival and to keep afterward. This shirt MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES ON A SHIFT. This shirt is what separates volunteers from other show-goers, so it is important to be wearing it so people can pick volunteers out easily in a crowd. The shirt must not be altered physically in any way, and is intended to look professional (yet fun) as you are the face of the festival.
Can I get a second volunteer t-shirt if mine gets dirty/ if I forget mine at home?
-Due to the high volume of volunteers and the cost of t-shirts, we are unable to provide a second volunteer t-shirt for free to any volunteer. Subject to availability, volunteers may purchase a second volunteer t-shirt at cost (about $10) if needed. If volunteers show up for a shift without their t-shirt, they will be sent home to get it or, alternatively, asked to purchase a new one. Volunteers may NOT work their shifts without a volunteer t-shirt.
Do volunteers have to sign a contract?
-We want to ensure that volunteers get the most out of their experience with us, and that we, in turn, get the most out of our experience with you. Because of this, we ask volunteers to sign a contract outlining the expectations of volunteer conduct and responsibilities throughout the festival, as well as what volunteers can expect from volunteering with the Victoria Ska Festival. This way, we’re all happy!
What happens if I get caught breaking my volunteer contract?
-Depending on the violation of the contract (and at Volunteer Coordinator and other festival coordinators’ judgement), if a volunteer is found breaking the volunteer contract, he or she may be asked to leave the festival and not to return as a volunteer. He or she may also be asked to pay for the cost of a volunteer t-shirt and possibly for the cost of a ticket to the show in attendance.
Will I get a chance to hang out with the bands?
-Being a volunteer at Ska Fest is a great way to experience life behind the scenes of a big music festival, however being a volunteer does not grant you back-stage access. That being said, you will often sees the bands hanging out by the merchandise tent, nodding their heads along to the tunes, or having a drink in the beer garden. Keep your eyes peeled!
Does the festival provide references/credentials for volunteers once they’ve completed their volunteer hours?
-The Victoria Ska Festival loves to recognize our volunteers, as they are the backbone of our entire festival. Once volunteer hours are completed, we’d be happy to provide volunteers with reference letters! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information.
Who do I contact if I have more questions?
-Feel free to contact the Volunteer Coordinator at any time if you have more questions: email@example.com,
or find us on facebook for more information.