If you’re resigned to binoculars-only views of Rufus Wainwright and Norah Jones at Prospect Park this summer, some blood and sweat might be all it takes to get closer to the action. A few of Brooklyn’s big-name summer fests are looking for volunteers, and these “unpaid” gigs come with food, drinks, special access and other very real benefits and perks. Here’s what a little work will get you at some of the summer’s best shows.
Why work for a free concert series? On top of this summer’s blockbuster free concerts, Celebrate Brooklyn is holding a few big-name paid benefits in Prospect Park (Passion Pit, Rufus Wainwright, The National, The Dead Weather). The festival’s looking for 20 to 30 volunteers per show—to interact with the public, answer questions, work entrances and exits and occasionally help with cleanup. Do this for one of the benefits, and that’s your ticket in. Even if it’s already sold-out (The National, Passion Pit). Sign up here if interested, and email house manager Amy Beth Schneider at [email protected] about two weeks before the show.
For a few days in late June, Williamsburg and Greenpoint are transformed into a bite-size Bonnaroo, a multimedia arts festival in miniature. From June 24 to 27, bands like The Fiery Furnaces, Titus Andronicus, Real Estate and Islands will invade Brooklyn. The event’s organizers—the folks at The L Magazine—are looking for 60 to 80 volunteers to work the doors at shows and assist with badge verification. And volunteers who work at least two days will get a $50 badge themselves, which gives access to events and specials over the festival’s four days. But take your work seriously—volunteer coordinator Sarah Shanfield says badges can be stripped from volunteers not performing to expectations. Email Shanfield at [email protected] if interested.
From mid-May through late August, Rooftop Films puts on more than 40 $10 screenings of independent films throughout New York. Each summer, the group looks for about 80 to 100 volunteers to help with moving equipment and chairs, setting up screens, working the box office, ushering and crowd-control/audience relations. Volunteers get free pizza and are often invited to post-screening parties (with the possibility of free drinks). Fill out a volunteer form here, and email [email protected] with any questions.