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Volunteer at the National Folk Festival

​The National Folk Festival needs the support of more than 800 volunteers to work with festival staff and technicians to pull together an event that will make Jackson—and Mississippi—proud!

All National Folk Festival volunteers will make great memories and enjoy more than a few pleasant surprises. At the end of the day, volunteers will go home with a free T-shirt and the undying gratitude of festival attendees and organizers.

Volunteers may sign up individually or with groups of friends or business associates. Average volunteer shifts are three to four hours; prospective volunteers may sign up for several shifts during the three-day event.

The festival is also a wonderful place for your family, school, church, office, or civic organization to volunteer as a group!

Volunteer Applications for the 82nd National Folk Festival
coming soon!


Learn more about some of our many volunteer opportunities

Festival volunteers standing in front of the main stage

Bucket Brigade

We need energetic and outgoing folks to keep National Folk Festival going into the future!

The Bucket Brigade collects audience donations to support this free event. You’ll be walking around in teams, reminding audience members that a “drop in the bucket” makes the Festival possible. This is a fun assignment – you get to chat with festival patrons and listen to great music simultaneously. It’s also a perfect volunteer opportunity for clubs, work teams, and families.

Information booth volunteers sitting under a tent at the festival

Information Services

Help festival-goers get what they need, where and when they need it.

Welcome. Direct. Assist. Recommend. These are some of the things you'll do as an Information Services volunteer. Whether you're handing out festival schedules or staffing an Info Services booth, you act as an expert ambassador to the National Folk Festival. Help festivalgoers get what they need, where and when they need it. What could be more important than that?

Folklife volunteers standing in a crafts tent

Folklife Area

Be part of the celebration of the music, crafts, and traditions that thrive in Mississippi!

Folklife Area volunteers work with festival staff to support master artisans as they demonstrate their craft and occupational traditions throughout the weekend. Before the event, some volunteers are needed to help with setup on Friday. Especially needed are volunteers to help festival participants pack up on Sunday.

Backstage volunteer sweeping a stage

Backstage Support

Love to see how the magic is made? You’ll get a “backstage pass” to behind-the-scenes action, as part of the backstage support team.

Backstage volunteers support our hard-working stage crews by helping the venue function smoothly. You might be assisting with hospitality, helping with seating, making sure only authorized people are backstage, or taking a moment to watch the show. Seven stages need your help maintaining a calm and welcoming environment.

Festival desk volunteers at the hotel

Festival Desk

Your smile and helpful demeanor will welcome festival performers and staff to Jackson.

As you check artists and staff in and provide key information, you’re helping them be ready to present a fantastic festival.

Operations volunteer stacking chairs

Site Setup & Take Down

The best-kept secret of the Festival is how much fun the Festival Operations crew have.

You could be doing anything from painting platforms to hanging signage, setting up chairs to building the dance floor. Practical experience in construction, carpentry, or logistics is ideal—but we’re happy to have anyone who is willing and able. Festival Operations begin two weeks prior to and lasts for 4-5 days after the festival. Join the team for a day, a week, or the whole event!

Music logging volunteers sitting in a tent writing notes

Music Logger

What was the name of that song? You’ll have reason to ask the artists as one of our Music Loggers.

We need personable, detail-oriented folks to record and accurately document live festival performances, from a prime reserved seat near the audio engineer’s house mix position. These recordings and written logs will become part of the permanent collection in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. We provide the recorders and training, and you provide attention to detail and a friendly demeanor.

Transportation volunteer sitting in a golf cart


If you’re comfortable behind the wheel and enjoy hosting new people, consider joining the Transportation team.

We need safety-conscious, patient drivers to provide shuttle service to performers, staff and presenters. The festival will provide a fleet of vans and golf carts, with a radio dispatcher to keep things flowing smoothly. All drivers will participate in mandatory training and must be at least 21 years of age. To ensure the safety of all, Transportation volunteers are required to go through a background check of their motor vehicle record.

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