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Grey Fox Festival Volunteer Opportunities

Street Team

Volunteer Applications for 2024 will open April 1 at 9am Eastern.
It’s a great way to use your talents, meet new friends,
and help make an iconic event happen.
Please return on 4/1. 

To all volunteers, both new and returning: Be sure to read through the UPDATED INFORMATION and GUIDELINES before submitting an application

If you have questions, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected].

Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival is considered one of the friendliest and best-organized festivals in the world. In 2009, the festival was named IBMA International Event of the Year. In many ways, our success is due to the spirit, dedication and hard work of the many volunteers who come from all corners of the U.S. and other countries to help. Thank you in advance.

Volunteers help create a safe, organized and enjoyable festival for all. They maintain the festival site, greet patrons, sell tickets, provide information, direct traffic, assist campers, prepare food, collect trash, provide emergency services, and more. As a volunteer, you become a member of our unique Festival Family, and thousands of visitors will benefit from your service.

Volunteer Arrival: No sooner than 2pm Tuesday of festival week unless placement on a pre-fest crew is confirmed in advance by our volunteer coordinator and your crew chief.

Things You Need to Know, Expect, and Bring with You

Volunteers are assigned to a crew by the Volunteer Coordinator. Placements are based on Festival needs, Crew Chief recommendations, experience, seniority, and/or suitability to the tasks required.

  • Volunteers must be flexible with regard to scheduling, which frequently requires a morning, afternoon, evening and one “where needed” shift.
  • Schedules are arranged by your Crew Chief. One 4-6 hour shift is required each day, depending on the crew. 
  • All Volunteers must be sober while on duty and observe safety guidelines.
  • Most tasks require some degree of physical activity. Whether it is standing, walking, lifting or other types of exertion, be prepared for some motion, and respect your own limitations.
  • Plan to be out in the elements during your time with us. Some work areas are sheltered, but many are out in the sun and/or rain. It can get chilly at night, so bring gear for all types of weather and darkness.
  • Wear shoes, and carry a water bottle, hat, sunscreen (and flashlight at night).
  • Be aware of your own time limitations and the needs of your family. If you bring children, please arrange for a friend or relative to watch them while you are working. Kids cannot accompany you during your shift. Many families participate by signing up only one parent to volunteer, with the other providing parental duties. We want your choice about volunteering at Grey Fox to be an informed one that is right for you, your loved ones and our festival.
  • Meals are for Volunteers only. Non-volunteer family members must provide their own meals. Your wristband is your meal ticket and allows you to eat in staff meal area from Wednesday evening thru noon on Sunday.
  • Volunteer placement is based on festival needs. We reserve the right to accept volunteers who reflect our philosophy, values, and standards. In some cases, we may suggest you purchase a ticket and enjoy the show.  The $25.00 registration fee will be refunded if an application is not accepted, or if a volunteer cancels in writing by June 15.

Volunteer Appreciation Package

In return for satisfactory service at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, our Volunteers receive:

  • Admission to the Festival.
  • Meals from Wednesday evening thru Sunday noon.
  • Camping privileges per our Volunteer Camping Policy (detailed below).
  • Free parking for one vehicle. Additional vehicles: $60 or $110, depending on length of vehicle.
  • Staff tee shirt – to be worn while working.
  • Huge gratitude from management, artists, guests, fans and fellow volunteers.

Volunteer Terms / Conditions

Each Grey Fox Bluegrass Volunteer shall:

  • Fill out the online application and submit the $25.00 registration fee, contact the Volunteer Coordinator for assistance if you have no computer (see details).
  • Treat patrons, artists, guests and other volunteers courteously at all times.
  • Arrive for each shift on time and sober.
  • Complete all shifts assigned by your Crew Chief.
  • Wear Staff tee shirt and any other safety gear required while on duty.
  • Operate Festival vehicles, including golf carts, under the direction of your Crew Chief and according to safety and speed guidelines.
  • Adhere to all other Festival safety guidelines.
  • Be a team player.

Failure to comply with any of these requirements may result in revocation of volunteer status, admission, camping and meal privileges.

Volunteer Requirements / Guidelines

  • Volunteers must be able to work a minimum of four days.
  • Volunteers on most crews should arrive by Wednesday morning for check-in and scheduling. Late arrivals usually need to work Sunday. Upon acceptance, check with your Crew Chief for details including expected arrival day and time.
  • Minimum age to volunteer is 18, however we accept a LIMITED NUMBER of responsible 16 and 17 year olds on a case-by-case basis. See Teen Crew Details.

Volunteer Crew Descriptions

Working in all phases of the event, Volunteers help create a safe, clean and enjoyable weekend for all. They maintain the Festival site, greet patrons, sell tickets, provide information, park cars, direct traffic, assist campers, prepare food, recycle trash, provide emergency services, and more. As a Volunteer, you become a member of our unique Festival Family, and thousands of visitors will benefit from your service.

Please choose a first, second and third choice of crews if you decide to apply. Only Veteran Volunteers who are positive their Crew Chief expects them should choose just one crew. New applicants who choose only one crew will not be placed elsewhere if there are no openings on the crew of choice. If you don’t see one of the choices on the application (described here under crew descriptions), it’s because that crew is not open. Do not choose it unless you are pre-approved.

Upon acceptance, you will receive e-mails with contact information for your Crew Chief and you can begin planning your Volunteer experience.

Artist Transportation Crew

Veteran’s preferred! This crew assists with Artist, instrument and equipment transport around the Festival, between the different stages and to and from the Artist Parking area. Safe driving skills, timeliness, lifting and good people skills required. Shifts run early Thursday through Sunday; day and evening; before, during and after performance times.

Ginger’s Breakfast Cafe (was Concession Crew)

Food preparation, cooking, grilling, clean-up, restocking, order taking, and cashier work for Breakfast Cafe and Lemonade Stand (Thursday-Sunday). Crew also has small set up & stocking crew (Tuesday-Thursday). And cleanup/breakdown crew (Sunday). Minimum age = 18.

Emergency Medical Services Crew

EMS crew provides first aid care at a basic life support level. The first aid station treats minor illnesses and injuries on-site and interfaces with local EMS agencies for advanced care and transport. Patients are referred to more definitive off-site care at local medical facilities when ambulance transport is not warranted. Crew members must have a medical background and be willing to help people in need. New York State licensed health care practitioners are preferred (EMT, CFR, Paramedic, Nurse and physician). Similar training will be reviewed for consideration by the crew chief with all non-NYS certified personnel who will work in a support capacity. National Ski Patrol, Outdoor Emergency Care Technicians and those with other or out-of-state credentials will be considered to provide support assistance. Expect a call from the Crew Chief to review credentials.

Family Stage Crew

Support program coordinator with kids’ activities including preparation of craft materials and supervision of children and families in creating the projects. Volunteers must enjoy working with young people. Teaching, supervisory, or recreational experience with children preferred. Adults should expect some evening hours. Family Stage activities begin Thursday morning festival week through Sunday. Performances and film events are part of the Family Stage offerings. Qualified young people may be referred from the Teen Crew.

Gate Ticketing Crew

Tuesday arrival preferred. Volunteers must work four 4-hour shifts with overnight shifts available. Must work Wednesday. Ticket sales, ticket/wristband exchange, and vehicle identification at main Festival entrance. Other duties include greeting and providing helpful information the public.  Volunteers should possess an attention to detail and retail experience is a plus for handling cashier duties.  Front gate shifts begin 7 AM Wednesday Festival week through Saturday night at 11pm. ALL volunteers must be able to do a shift on Wednesday.

Front of Stage Crew

Working in the High Meadow (main) Stage area, FOS crew keeps aisles clear, assists handicapped patrons find seating and transportation, directs audience to designated areas for smoking and dancing, checks wristbands, etc. Knowledge of Festival Guidelines and location of restrooms, stages and bus stops required. This information can be learned after arrival from the program and will be reviewed by the Crew Chief. ALL SHIFTS ARE EVENINGS. There are a limited number of Wednesday shifts and anyone not working Wednesday will need to work Sunday late morning to close.

Hospitality Crew

Prepares and serves food to volunteers, staff, and festival guests.  Crews include breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Pre-festival set up crew days are Monday-Thursday before gates open and is a limited opportunity for returning crew members only. Hospitable and relaxed attitude required, as is capacity for hard work in hot conditions. Regular shifts begin Wednesday at noon through Sunday afternoon.

Most Hospitality Crew volunteers will work one of the following shifts for the entire festival:
Breakfast:   6:00 – 10:30   Thurs – Sun
Lunch:        10:30 – 3:30    Thurs – Sun
Dinner:         3:30 – 8:30      Wed – Sat

ALL volunteers, new and returning, must check in with Chris at the Hospitality Tent upon arrival and settling in on site. New volunteers will be oriented to Hospitality during their first shift. Traditionally, many new volunteers are assigned to the dinner shift.

Information Booth Crew

Prior volunteer service and/or knowledge of the local area is preferred. Information Booth Volunteers answer questions, provide information about the site and surrounding community, and oversee Lost & Found. This team facilitates other services to the Festival and gathers customer suggestions and concerns. You must be resourceful, patient, friendly, have a “can-do” attitude and be a good communicator. Crew duties begin Wednesday morning Festival week through Sunday afternoon. Shifts run from early morning until one hour past the end of the last performance of the day. Everyone works either Wednesday or Sunday.

Instrument Raffle

Sells raffle tickets from the booth located near the High Meadow (main) stage area and in other festival areas. Organizational skills, making change, and an upbeat, positive attitude needed. General knowledge of the festival grounds and of our Bluegrass Academy for Kids (which benefits from the sales profits) is very helpful.

Massage Crew

The Massage Team serves Artists and Festival Guests. Credentials are screened exclusively by LMT crew chiefs. All team members must be NYS Certified. Shifts run Thursday-Sunday. Expect a call from the Crew Chief to review credentials.

Media Crew

Capturing all aspects of the festival, both day and night, in digital photography and video, crew members provide a broad range of images and/or videos from every day of the festival, Thursday through Sunday. Each crew member will submit “best-of” sets of photos and videos, according to Grey Fox Media Crew guidelines, for use in print, on the web site, and in social media. All images are to be in digital format. Volunteers should be familiar with resizing, renaming and adding meta descriptions to their images to comply with Media Crew guidelines. Crew members will be given assignments in addition to general shooting on site. Videographers may be asked to interview people at the festival. Images and videos must be submitted within 30 days of the festival. We usually have a waiting list for this crew, so apply only if you can comply with these guidelines.

Merchandise Crew

This crew sells Artist merchandise – CDs, DVDs, T-shirts, etc. – in the Grey Fox merchandise area located near the High Meadow Stage and at the Catskill Stage. Knowledge of the Artists and the music is preferred, as are excellent people skills. Crew members are standing and providing basic retail support to music lovers, so please be ready and able to stay in action during the entire shift. Cashiering skills a plus, including the ability to make accurate change. Shifts are scheduled one hour before the music until one hour after the music Thursday-Sunday. Please bring a fun and energetic attitude!

Shower Crew

Monitors and maintains showers and shower area. Cashiering skills a must including the ability to make change. Excellent people skills required as is the ability to perform light cleaning duties in the shower house, which requires going up steps. Shifts run Wednesday though late Sunday afternoon.

Site Crew

Site Crew volunteers must be 18, and able to begin working the Saturday prior to the festival. We work 8AM – 5PM each day before the festival and continue throughout the festival with spot jobs. Please describe your availability in the notes or call Paul Phalon prior to signing up if your availability is limited within those days. All Site Crew members are expected to be ready to work if storms occur during the festival. Heavy lifting in summer heat or in rainy weather is to be expected. Some knowledge of a building trade or mechanical repair is helpful but not mandatory. Attention to the safety of our guests and efficiency in our tasks are critical. All pre-fest camping is restricted to the Staff camping area only. Volunteers/Staff may move out onto the main camping field once the rush of opening the gates on Wednesday (The Rodeo) has settled. Meals are provided before, during, and after the festival for working volunteers. All Site Crew members are encouraged to stay after the festival to help clean up and put away the festival. A gratuity is given for post-festival time. Expect a call to review your application. If you have been pre-approved for this crew, please indicate by whom.

Site Kitchen Crew (Pre- and Post-Fest)

This crew provides meals for Site Crew volunteers before the festival, beginning Saturday Breakfast 7/8 thru Wednesday Lunch 7/12. We will need four people to work after the festival Sunday 7/16 Dinner -Tuesday 7/18 Dinner. Please indicate if you would prefer this option. Shift assignments are made based on seniority.

Stage Crews & Green Room

Pre-approved, volunteer Stage and Green Room Crews are generally filled with veterans. You may submit your interest in ONE of these crews, describing your skill set, however, make the remaining two crew choices in other areas of volunteering as there may be no openings on any of these crews. IMPORTANT NOTE: You must be able to lift 40 pounds for both of these crews. You’ll be lifting heavy gear, equipment, cases of water, etc.

Teen Crew

Minimum age to volunteer is 15 for this crew. However, we accept a LIMITED NUMBER of responsible teens 16 and older on a case-to-case basis. Teens must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian who must submit a Parental Release. Forms can be downloaded from the main Volunteer page and forwarded or must be signed at the Festival at Volunteer/Staff Check-In by the parent or guardian. The parent’s name and contact information for the Festival period must be included on the form. The Volunteer Coordinator will call the parent prior to Teen Crew acceptance. Include parental contact information on the online application as well. New Teen Crew Volunteers may work with an adult family Volunteer or guardian Volunteer on a crew. Veteran Teen Crew Volunteers have a number of tasks they might be assigned to including general maintenance and cleanup, working with the Family Stage team, courier duties, etc. Teen Crew Volunteers are expected to follow the same Volunteer Guidelines as adult Volunteers.

Traffic & Safety Crew

Maintains safe traffic flow, parks cars, and ensures general safety throughout the Festival site. T&S Crew members serve as eyes and ears for Festival Security. Most of the crew works on foot, but there is also a small Mountain Bike Patrol. T&S operates 24-hours, so a night schedule is available. T&S begins Wednesday Festival week at 8 AM. Volunteers should arrive by Tuesday for check-in and assignment. The pre-Festival T&S team begins the Friday before gates open and is populated by Veteran Volunteers. Local residents with a broad knowledge of the surroundings are also welcome to apply for the early team. Minimum age is 18 for this crew.

Trash/Recycling Crew

Collects trash and recycling twice daily throughout the festival campground, concert and concession areas. Heavy lifting required. Bring work gloves, work shoes, rain gear, sunscreen, and a great sense of humor, because trash is fun! This crew gets free hot showers! One Sunday shift required for all crew members. Check in with the Crew Chief for shift sign-ups once you’re onsite. Times for sign up meetings will be listed at VIP/Staff check in.

VIP Check In Crew

This crew checks in volunteers, artists, festival guests, and media at the main festival entrance. Skills and experience required include: prior volunteer service, clear communication skills, substantial knowledge of the event, familiarity with bluegrass artists, patience, and a welcoming nature. Shifts: Noon Tuesday through Noon Sunday. This crew has limited openings each year. During the event volunteers must work a morning (8-noon), afternoon (noon-4pm), early evening (4-8pm) and late evening (8-midnight) shift. Please use the notes section to describe your experience and skills.

Teen Crew (for 15 thru 17 year olds)

  • Due to the high demand for this crew, new Teen Crew recruits cannot be accepted until a spot opens.
  • Teens must have a parent or adult guardian on site who must submit a Parental Release Form.
  • Teen Crew release forms can be downloaded (below) and forwarded or signed onsite at Check-In by the parent or guardian.
  • The parent’s name and contact information for the Festival period must be included on the form.
  • Please include parental contact information in the Notes Section of the online application.
  • The Volunteer Coordinator will call the parent prior to Teen Crew acceptance.
  • VIEW/DOWNLOAD PARENTAL RELEASE FORM

View Important Information for All Volunteers

      1. Registration Fee
      2. Volunteer Camping Policy
      3. Volunteer Meals
      4. Golf Cart Safety
      1. REGISTRATION FEE:  Each volunteer is required to pay a $25.00 registration fee upon applying—via credit or debit card (in which case the application process starts immediately) or by mailed check or money order (which will need to clear before placement). Make checks payable to FestiveWorks, LLC
        Mail to:
        Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival
        PO Box 535
        Utica, NY 13503
        REFUND POLICY: Registration fees will be refunded in full if the application is not accepted or if the volunteer cancels in writing by June 15. After that time, no refunds will be made. Please submit cancellations and direct any questions and concerns regarding the registration fee to [email protected].
      2. VOLUNTEER CAMPING POLICY:  Every volunteer is expected to understand this policy, so please review it now even if you are a veteran volunteer.
        The Festival takes pride in offering a generous volunteer package to compensate for your service. Volunteers give up their right to first pick of camping when they become part of the Festival team. PRIME CAMPING IS RESERVED FOR CUSTOMERS ON OPENING DAY. The Festival’s priority is getting customers safely onsite. We call this “The Rodeo.”
        • Volunteers may NOT move into General Camping until after The Rodeo is over.  Staff will coordinate the move out of Staff Camping into General Camping.You may not use your early access to the site to save campsites for anyone.
        • QUIET STAFF CAMPING is shown on the Festival Site Map. All Volunteers arriving before 11AM Wednesday will camp in that area. Noise should be at a minimum between 10 PM and 7 AM. Volunteers wishing to remain in that area for the duration of the Festival may do so. It remains a Quiet Camping Area during the Festival. Your non-volunteer family may join you there.
        • Volunteers wishing to camp in General Camping may do so on Wednesday, after “The Rodeo” is deemed complete. Do not exit Staff Camping until directed to do so.
        • The Rodeo is not an exact science and is dependent on weather, so please, be patient! Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
      3. VOLUNTEER MEALS: Three meals per day are provided from Wednesday evening through Sunday noon. Volunteers must provide their own meals prior to Wednesday evening and after Sunday lunch. Exceptions apply for some pre-approved early workers.
        • Your staff wristband must be shown to gain access to the Hospitality Tent for each meal.
        • You must have completed your assigned shifts to be in good standing, as reported by your crew chief.
        • Meals will be eaten in the Hospitality Tent. There will be no takeout meals.
        • Meals are NOT PROVIDED FOR FAMILIES OF VOLUNTEERS. The Hospitality Tent is for volunteers, staff and guests of the Festival only. Non-volunteer family members need to provide their own meals.
      4. VOLUNTEER GOLF CART OPERATION POLICY: All Volunteers operating a Festival vehicle, including golf carts, will adhere to safety guidelines.
        • Licensed and authorized operators only.
        • Driving speed onsite is 5 mph (about the same speed as walking).
        • Completely sober operation at all times! No open alcohol containers at any time.
        • Return carts and keys to motor pool or Crew Chief asap. Carts are shared resources.
        • Unsafe operation and/or unauthorized use of festival vehicles are grounds for immediate loss of volunteer privileges.

The above guidelines apply to ALL VOLUNTEERS & ALL CREWS from pre-fest set up to post-fest cleanup and all in between. Everyone. No exceptions.

How to Apply

  • Fill out one application per person. 
  • Every volunteer must fill out the online form to be considered for a volunteer position.
  • ALL returning volunteers MUST reapply and fill out a form EVERY year. Contacting your previous crew chief or the festival office is NOT sufficient.
  • If you are unable to apply online, contact the Volunteer Coordinator by phone or email: 315-527-5707; [email protected]
  • Answer all questions. Incomplete forms will be returned and delayed.
  • Apply early. Online applications are accepted starting April 1st.
  • Pay your $25.00 registration fee THEN complete the rest of the application. Both parts must be received for you to be accepted. 
  • Note age restrictions for volunteering. See teen guidelines.
  • “Lifting & Standing” questions will help us assign you to an appropriate crew.
  • Be sure to read the crew descriptions (above). List three different crew preferences to give you a better chance of being accepted. Volunteers who select only one crew will not be placed on another crew if there is no opening on your crew of choice.  
  • If you wish to work with a friend or family member, use the notes section to let us know. We’ll do our best to accommodate your request.
  • Tell us about your talents, skills, experience, limitations, etc. in the notes section of the application.
  • Do the math problem (a spam filter query) and click the button at the bottom ONCE to send
Please note: Crew Chiefs prefer e-mail contact with their crew members, so you will need to be proactive about checking emails and staying in touch.

Volunteer Application Confirmations

  • Online applicants will immediately see a “Thank You” onscreen plus receive an e-mail confirming that we received your application.
  • If you’re mailing your registration fee, send it immediately so that your application can proceed.
  • If you don’t see your confirmation email, check your spam folder. If you’re unsure, you may email the Volunteer Coordinator. Include your first & last name for the inquiry.
  • If your application is accepted, you will receive a second e-mail at a later date assigning you to a crew, along with contact information for your Crew Chief, who you will contact for your schedule, arrival, etc.
  • The Volunteer Coordinator may call or email you prior to placement to discuss your expectations, experience, suitability and availability.
  • In the event that you are not placed on a crew, you will be contacted by e-mail or phone.
  • Based on a variety of factors, not everyone who applies is accepted. Some crews have special requirements, fill up early with veterans, or have no openings.

VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR: Sheri Hall

[email protected] 

Thank you for your kind offer to help,

Sheri