Volunteers are critical to a successful event! Over more than two decades, our volunteers have proven this beyond any doubt, helping to make World of Bluegrass a world-class music industry event. Whether you are a seasoned returning volunteer or a new talent, join a stellar team of folks working to make this year’s event even better!
We require volunteers to work a total of 3 four-hour shifts over the course of the week in order to receive the volunteer perks (see below). Shifts can start as early as 7:30 AM and end as late as 2:00 AM. We appreciate our volunteers very much and utilize their talents and experience throughout World of Bluegrass week for various duties.
Volunteer Registration is made online. The online application allows you to specify areas of the event you would like to work in, the times you are available, and any special skills or background you bring to volunteering. We have organized volunteer opportunities under 11 key categories as follows:
- Exhibit Hall
- Volunteer Coordination
- Business Conference
- Bluegrass Ramble
- Festival Ticketing
- Street Festival
- Sighted Guide
- Green Team
Interested in learning more about how you could serve as a sighted guide for someone with low or no vision during Wide Open Bluegrass? Learn more about the sighted guide program and other accessibility efforts here.
Note: If you have a professional purpose for attending the events and doing business with other professionals in attendance, we strongly encourage you to register for the events rather than asking to volunteer. Your volunteer schedule is likely to conflict with activities in which you should be participating, and Business Conference offerings like the Gig Fair, DJ Taping Sessions, or functions that serve food & beverage are open to registered attendees only – volunteers cannot participate in these. The IBMA reserves the sole right to make decisions regarding the appropriate use of its volunteers.
It’s a rewarding experience to be directly involved in making sure such a large music industry and festival event succeeds, but volunteers also get some special perks and the chance to interact with all our musical heroes! Volunteers are required to work three 4-hour shifts and are entitled to the following:
- Free registration to the IBMA Business Conference (If you are volunteering during the business conference, you may “sit in” on seminars and showcases in the Raleigh Convention Center when you are not on duty and when there is space in the room. Your volunteer credentials will not give you admittance to functions where food is served, the Gig Fair, or DJ Taping Sessions).
- Free Bluegrass Ramble admission.
- Free parking.
- Free volunteer t-shirt.
- Access to volunteer hospitality area.
- Volunteers who wish to purchase tickets (while available) to the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival at the Red Hat Amphitheater will be extended the member price (a $10 per day discount)! Access code will be included with your job assignment email sent out by August 4.
General Volunteer Responsibilities
While each volunteer team has its particularities, there are some general responsibilities that apply to all positions.
- Smile and Be Helpful! You are the first impression many attendees will receive.
- Arrive 20 minutes before your volunteer assignment.
- Check in at the volunteer hospitality room in the Raleigh Convention Center before each shift.
- Work your entire shift. Please schedule meals, meetings or social activities outside of volunteer hours.
- Notify us if there are any changes in your availability as soon as possible.
- Familiarize yourself with the task descriptions and attend applicable training sessions.
- Volunteers self-schedule using the online registration, but be aware that needs may require a change in assignments in order to have a successful World of Bluegrass.
- Arrange for childcare prior to arriving on duty.
- Thoroughly train your shift replacement on the task.
- Shift = any time slot ranging in time from 1 hour to 5 hours.
- Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older.