Volunteer Program 2016

( Original image credit to Alex Stover Photography. )

We are all puzzle pieces that together raise up this incredible city from the desert dust.  

Every puzzle piece is essential to our success.  Every one.

Updates for the 2017 Volunteer Program coming mid March!

Wasteland Weekend could not happen without the help of dedicated, reliable, hard-working volunteers. Join our growing volunteer community and help the event grow bigger and better each year. Our volunteers are the backbone of the event, and we welcome their input on all aspects of the event. Volunteers get the benefit of free admission, and most positions will receive an exclusive set of Wasteland Weekend Volunteer 2016 dog tags.

Sound like your kind of gig?  Read on!


The standard volunteer commitment is 8 hours.  (There are a few roles that require more or less than that, but they are the exception.)  For 8 hours of help, you get all 4 days of Wasteland Weekend for free!  It’s a pretty sweet deal.


Many positions require coverage around the clock.  The night shifts are usually an hour or two shorter, but they still count as a normal shift.  If you’re a night owl, or you prefer a shorter shift, this might be your speed!  Those willing to take on a night shift are greatly appreciated!


All confirmed, scheduled volunteers will be issued a special Volunteer Comp Pass.  It looks and works just like a normal ticket, but is assigned specifically to the volunteer and cannot be sold or traded.

As long as you are confirmed to volunteer, you will not need to wait until after the event to have your ticket reimbursed (with the exception of a few, specific positions).  Given enough lead time, we expect to have most or all ticket purchases by confirmed volunteers refunded BEFORE the event.

Please do NOT count on being approved.  We highly recommend everyone applying to volunteer still go purchase a ticket like normal.  There is a not-small chance that the event will sell out this year. And there is also a not-small chance that we will get far more applications than we have volunteer slots to fill.  Also, many times last year we had well-meaning confirmed volunteers have to cancel their position due to unexpected circumstances.   You do not want to get caught without a ticket if for some reason your volunteer plans do not work out.  Get that ticket before it’s too late.  Once you’re approved, confirmed, scheduled, and have filled out a volunteer ticket reimbursement request, you’ll get a refund for the purchased ticket.  (Or you can sell/give it to someone else, which many people chose to do last year.)


The success and smooth operation of the event depends on a committed and reliable volunteer army.  We welcome your help, but please apply only if you are confident you can fulfill the role.   

We highly recommend you bring water, sunscreen, and anything else you might need to stay healthy and comfy during your shift.  We do provide water to our volunteers as best we can, but hydration is so critical out in the desert that you should always have your own just in case.

Please show up on time for your shift.  You may not work while inebriated or inappropriately clothed.  Plan your fun accordingly.  If you show up unprepared to work, you will be replaced and treated as a no-show.

No-shows will not be tolerated.  Last minute cancellations and poor performance will lead to exclusion from future volunteer opportunities.  

“I’ve filled out an app.  What happens next?”

Great question!  Here’s a rough timeline of what happens and when.

When you submit an application, you’ll be sent to a “Thank You” page.  Applicants will receive an email confirming receipt from our Volunteer Coordinator within a day or so of submitting an app.

Important:  If you hit the submit button and it sends you back to the top of the page, it means there is a missing or incorrect entry somewhere.  It’s usually highlighted in pink.  Phone browsers sometimes have issues with the form, so if you run into this problem on your phone, try again on a computer.  Your application won’t go anywhere until you get that Thank You page!

June – July:  Application form is open, and apps are sent to team leads for review.    If a position gets a large number of responses, we may close that listing early.

Late July:  Team leads finalize their selections.  Applicants are rerouted to their next choice or a high-priority position if needed.  Volunteers will receive emails confirming approval or rerouting, as needed.  Chosen volunteers MUST complete a confirmation step as indicated in the approval email before they will be fully confirmed and scheduled.  Not completing this step will result in cancellation of volunteer approval, and you will be replaced.

August:  Team leads and Volunteer Coordinator start scheduling volunteers.  Approved volunteers will receive email with more information.   Volunteer comp passes will be issued at this point as well.  If a confirmed volunteer needs a refund from a previously purchased ticket, they will have access to a form to start the process.

Early September:  Final emails go out to all confirmed volunteers with position, schedule, and reporting location information.

At the Event:  Once onsite and settled, volunteers are required to report to Command Center for volunteer check-in.  Schedules, reporting location/contact, camp location, and contact info will be double-checked. Upon completion of check-in, the volunteer will be given this year’s special volunteer dog tag.  This step is to make sure our volunteers are onsite and all set to fulfill their commitment.

Important:  Those who do not check-in at Command Center may be considered no-shows and will not receive a volunteer dog tag, and might not be allowed to volunteer in the future.

“What if this will be my first time at Wasteland?”

Perfectly fine, and even encouraged.  Volunteering is a great way to jump right in and get involved!  First-timers will meet and work alongside our amazing community, while getting to know the layout and feel of the event very quickly.

Great roles for outgoing first time attendees are Check-In Attendant, Gofer, or Rations Runner.  Those who are more introverted and enjoy watching the sights would be a great fit for our observe-and-report Security group or Film Festival Projectionist.  But a newcomer can be great in most any role on the list if it interests them and they meet any noted requirements.  So don’t be shy… check it out, and pick something that sounds like a good fit for you!

“How do you pick which applicants get approved?”

Another great question.  Ultimately the event’s success depends on the work of our volunteers at all levels.  We will definitely have far fewer spots to fill than applicants, unfortunately , so we choose who seems the best fit for the position, to the best of our ability.  But there are some other factors that help too.

We kept notes on how last year’s applicants performed.  If you volunteered last year, and you received a good review from your team lead, then you will likely get priority placement this year.

Some positions (like Atomic Cafe and Body Shop) are extremely popular, so we tend to fill those roles with people having a professional background and/or licenses in those areas.

Some positions require a special certification, like our Medical Team roles.  Those positions will ONLY be filled by those with the relevant, valid certification/license.  Any special requirements are noted in the position listing.

We don’t prioritize based on who filled out an app first, so it’s not crucial that you get yours done the day the new app is live.  But a lot of positions are going to fill up fast, especially some of the more popular roles.  So don’t wait til July to fill out an app if you don’t need to.


If you are already pre-approved for one of our private volunteer teams, you get a simpler form.  This is used mainly for team management and gate passes.  (No form, no gate pass.  Seriously.  For reals.)  Private volunteer groups are not included in the position list.  You will know if you fall into this category.  If you have to ask, you are probably not in one of these groups.  All entries will be vetted and approved by their team leads and event managers before any gate passes will be assigned, so make sure this is the form you need.   The Private Volunteer Group Form will be provided by your Team Lead around mid-June.


Go-Go Dancers and other performers may submit applications via our Performer application process HERE.


If you’ve read all of the above, and you’re not scared off yet, then let’s get to the fun part.  Head on over to this page to see where your puzzle piece fits best:



(We may reopen a few positions if needed, but not likely.  Below is the link to position descriptions for reference, but the application form is now deactivated.)

—>  VOLUNTEER POSITIONS for 2016  <—

If you have any questions about a particular role or the volunteer process, send a note to River, our Volunteer Recruiter:  volunteers [at] wastelandweekend [dot] com.

Thank you for wanting to be a part of the Wasteland Weekend team!