Thanks for your interest in Getting Involved with SHIFT Festival!

To ensure that all our volunteer shifts– from pre-festival work parties to LNT– are completely staffed, we’ve implemented a volunteer ticket reimbursement policy. Purchase your ticket, complete 16 credits of volunteer shifts, and we will reimburse you for 75% of your ticket cost after the festival! (We have to put some aside for portos and security!)

In addition, volunteers working 16+ credits receive two meals every day from the staff kitchen, Tectonic PLATES!


Art & Spaces: Fully Staffed

Be onsite the day before the event starts Wednesday (7/18) and/or stay the final evening of the event Monday (7/23) to help artists install and strike their projects, including helping them unload/reload their trailers and LNT their space.

During the event: Help move empty propane tanks from art projects to the fill station, and return the full tanks to their projects. Keep watch over all art projects to make sure they are being treated respectfully (ie: no climbing on projects not designed for it) and to keep watch on fire projects to make sure they are operating safely (ie: no fire where there shouldn’t be any). Check in with artists throughout the event to make sure their needs are being met, and if they are not, immediately notify the Art & Spaces leads so the problem can be remedied.


  • Must be able to lift at least 50 lbs, and team-lift up to 200 lbs in the case of full propane tanks.
  • Must be available and onsite for shifts in 2 of 3 time periods: the day before the event starts, during the event, and/or the day after the event ends
  • Must be able to take instructions and work as part of a team
  • Must be sober enough to safely perform your duties

Failure to meet any of these requirements could result in forfeiture of your ticket reimbursement.

Decor/Direx: Fully Staffed

We believe the art created by decor is important for curating the experience we want our participants to have. If you have interests in painting, building, and creating beautiful signs and festival pieces, please volunteer with us!

  • Meet 6 hours/month to design, procure supplies and build
  • Design and create thematic environmental decor
  • Install and remove decor
  • Manage environments/art during the event to ensure functionality

Fire Circle Depot: Fully Staffed

Must possess an adequate understanding of fire performance safety, fire approved clothing, and first aid techniques associated with possible flesh burns.


Each night we will begin with a noo-burn. Anyone is welcome to come spend the first hour enlightening their soul with fire. We will have three people minimum running at any given moment but as the night progresses we need more safeties.


The mandatory posts to begin each night are:

  …fire safety. There may be up to four safeties at one time depending on how many performers we have burning. Will be posted up in the depot tent making sure that performers are responsible and safe with their fire. May be required to put a performers vapor transfer out.  Extinguish props of performers leaving the circle. Put out any grass fire the guardian has not made it to.

   …fire depot. This is a single person position that will be responsible for helping to fuel props. You will also be required to check to sobriety of performers to make sure that they are not inebriated when performing.


    …fire guardian. This positions is that of an active fire performer within the circle. Even though you are performing you will be required to put out any grass fires immediately.  Everyone else’s safety comes first just as safety is first and third, never second.


Let’s keep the fire bright all night and into the morning when the sun rises to share its light with us.  Come be a part of our amazing crew as we share the light while burning the night.  (approval by lead and producers are required to join this team)

First Aid:

Greetings SHIFTers!

One of the best kept secrets and most rewarding ways to have fun at SHIFT is to volunteer with the First Aid crew! A shift in the first aid tent will expose you to the possibility of compassionate human interaction, the art and skill of bandaging wounds (even putting on a Band-Aid can be thrilling!), the subtleties of rehydration, and the latest in questionable nursing outfits! You also have the opportunity to be the coveted lifeguard at the pond party!


We are looking for individuals with medical, nursing, EMT, lifeguard, Boy Scout, Eagle Scout, Girl Scout, Campfire, wilderness or back country training. We welcome anyone with the desire to help, but will give preference to those with training. The first aid tent will always have trained medical personnel available and on call. Volunteers will never be asked to respond to emergencies solo.


Our first aid tent will be stocked with the latest in designer chilled water bottles, fashionable bandages, and a relaxing chairs. Volunteers working  12 hrs (16 credits) in the first aid tent will receive adoration from friends, meals from the PLATES kitchen, and credit hours towards a reimbursed ticket.


Shifts in the first aid tent will be in four-hour stints. You will be spending that time in and around the First Aid carport. Three four-hour shifts makes you eligible for ticket reimbursement  and two meals a day for the whole festival.


Lifeguard shifts at the pond will be during morning and daytime hours. You will be acting independently and must be self-motivated and alert as you are responsible for the safety of festival participants, keeping a watchful eye out for unsafe behaviors as well as making sure there are no unattended minors in the area.


You are the superstar of our beach party!


*Must have lifeguard/ first aid certification

*Must be a strong swimmer

*Must be sober throughout your entire shift

*Comfortable long periods in the sun, crowds and nudity

*Have a fun, body positive attitude!

Flaym: Fully Staffed

This team will be responsible for managing the Tectonic propane fire effects (poofers, fire sign, fire orbs) during night time programming. This includes monitoring propane tanks, testing for safety, switching regulators on tanks when they get empty, etc.  Shifts will be 3 hours long and some may be weighted for higher credits. You will be trained for this role.

  • You must be totally sober and alert during your shift
  • You must be able to use wrenches and other handheld tools
  • You must be physically able to open valves, attach regulators, etc

Gate/Parking: Fully Staffed

Physical Requirements Gate/Parking:

  • Able to stand and walk for entire shift.
  • Able to communicate verbally over radio.
  • Able to use tablet computer & know how to use Excel/Google Sheets
  • Willing to be assertive with participants and say “no.”
  • Willing to read, understand, and apply event rules and follow Gate procedures.
  • Sufficient visual acuity to avoid moving vehicles.
  • Able to remain sober on shift.
  • These are the requirements for primary Gate/Parking duties. We welcome people of all abilities on the team, and we will find a way for anybody to help. Please discuss this with the department lead in advance.

All department volunteers may work Gate, Parking, or a mixture of both, based on volunteer preference and event needs.

Gate: Gate volunteers are responsible for admitting ticketed participants into the event safely, quickly, and efficiently, ensuring no backup onto roads. Volunteers will direct traffic into lanes as appropriate and ensure that all stopped vehicles have been shifted into “park”, and turned off. Volunteers will then determine whether participants are authorized to enter the event, by checking tickets, paper or electronic lists, or other credentials, Volunteers will wristband participants and may provide them with informational material. Volunteers will use radio to contact department lead and event producers as necessary. In coordination with other departments, Gate will help ensure that participants drop their belongings off and return to park their vehicles in a timely manner.

Parking: Parking volunteers are responsible for ensuring that participant vehicles are parked in a manner that makes good use of space and maintains vehicle access. Participants will park their vehicles after dropping off their belongings at their camp locations. Volunteers will direct participants to appropriate parts of the parking area and monitor conditions by periodic inspection of the area. Volunteers will assist with any possible event efforts to mark or otherwise identify vehicles. Volunteers will use radio to contact department lead, event producers, greeters, and/or placement department. Volunteers will ensure that fire lanes and other relevant areas are kept clear at all times according to event fire safety plan.

Grass Guardians:

Grass Guardians will operate 24 hours a day, working 6 hour shifts. If you are familiar with Forest Guardians at What The Festival!? and Rangers at burner events, this is sort of like a mix of the two. While it is helpful to have prior experience, it is not required because there will be pre-event training(s) and people will be partnered, as much as possible, with someone with experience.

The main overall task of the Grass Guardians is participant safety.
Grass Guardians will:

  • Attend a required pre-event training
  • Be sober, alert, and rested for their shifts
  • Roam the event field in pairs while equipped with radios
  • Watch for wristbands
  • Monitor the event perimeter
  • Talk to participants about fire safety and enforce designated smoking areas
  • Answer general event questions and act as an information resource to participants
  • Help solve problems
  • Respond to emergencies and help get the appropriate resources to the scene
  • Help mediate disputes in a non-confrontational and objective manner
  • Listen to participants who may be having a particularly rough day
  • Wear distinguishable green Grass Guardians shirts
  • And so much more!

Greetz: Fully Staffed

You are the welcome wagon for the Volcano!  Greetz team will greet people coming from gate with a smile!  Welcoming excited folks fresh into the event can be fun yet challenging.   Participants are so happy they are easily distracted and forget to pay attention to signs, maps or the rules of the Volcano.  Greetz team objective is to interact (5 min or less) with each car coming from gate and helping them get the lay of the land. Topics include:

  • 5 MPH when driving anywhere on SHIFT land! Stress this over and over again!
  • Writing the time on the window, explain where the camping and parking areas are.
  • Leave No Trace Event
  • Hand out map and covetted SHIFT 2018 attendee sticker, ya!
  • Hugs, high fives, fist bumps if you’re into it! 🙂
  • Bubbles and rainbows encouraged!

Ice Cap: Fully Staffed

The Ice Cap team; manages the ice trailer, provides access to staff as needed, and sells ice to participants.

Physical Requirements for Ice Cap: Interact and communicate with participants in selling and slinging bags of ice from trailer to participant’s hands. One person will collect payments and the other will keep their hands sanitary and sling the ice!

Info Booth: Fully Staffed

YOU ARE THE GO TO PERSON! Provide information to festival participants and volunteers, including performance times, daily music lineup, workshops and activities, restroom locations, parking locations.  Knowledge of emergency evacuation plan. Assist other areas of operations as needed. Check-in volunteers prior to each shift. Relay communication of information to Festival volunteers, rangers, gate/greeters, medical and leads.  MUST like giving out genuine heartfelt hugs and compliments with a bullhorn.

LNT: Leave No Trace! Fully Staffed

Hello future SHIFTer! Thank you for your interest in the LNT team. In the Burning Man spirit, SHIFT aims to be a true Leave No Trace event by leaving the event site as it was– or better! The LNT team is in charge of keeping the event site looking just as pristine as it was before the festival. This includes engaging with attendees during the event, and staying on site after event close to perform “MOOP sweeps”.  Asking attendees questions like “Do you you all know what leave no trace means? Do you know how to line sweep together? Do you know where the Designated Smoking Area is?” as well as “ This is a pack it in-pack it out event and Leave no trace please”

Teammates will:

  • Roam the event site and campsites, and talk to participants about LNT
  • Clean the music stages and surrounding area of debris every morning, process lost & found, and take to Info Booth
  • Attend the end of the pond parties to ensure participants clean up after themselves-including rafts and other floaties, trash, clothes etc.  Help close down the beach and set up signs for night time rules. There, inevitably, will be some trash and that can go to the Plates kitchen, where Tectonic’s trash and recycling will be located.
  • Some teammates will stay on site after the event ends to perform “line sweeps”.

MÄKZ: Fully Staffed

  • 1. Fixing and Making Tectonic Art:

MÄKZ is a crew of builders who will be making art and infrastructure before the event. There will be a few build parties for volunteers to get their hands dirty. Mostly painting and finish work will be the tasks at the parties. This department will be a great additional source of hours for for your schedule!

-Paint and sand pre-event

– Some finish work on wood

-Use of a tape measure

  • 2. Tectonic Structure Build/Teardown Onsight: Fully Staffed

Help make the magic happen!  While the Werx crew is tackling all of the infrastructure of the event itself, this crew will be responsible for raising the volcano from the ashes of last year.  Tasks will likely include some pre/post events of loading/unloading our box truck in Portland, while the rest of the work will be performed on site.

  • Load box truck – pre event  (possible crossover event with Werx)
    • Load all necessary items onto box truck for transportation to event site from Portland
    • Credits may be worth 1/2
  • Assemble and Erect (boom! phrasing) the tectonic structure, stages, ambiance, & art
    • Build will take place the weekend prior to the festival and some items will occur on the weekdays prior to the festival opening
  • Tear down will begin on Monday of the festival and will continue on Tuesday (if necessary)
  • Unload Box Truck – Post Event (possible crossover event with Werx)
    • Unload All The Things!

Plates:  (KITCHEN CREW) Fully Staffed

Thanks for feeding the all the workers volunteering their time to make this event happen!  Together the crew must be able to read the recipe, prep, cook and clean up (including leftovers) a pre-planned meal during their assigned shift.  These kitchen shifts will have non-permanent positions within each shift that include preparation, cook, dish and grey water/LNT and maybe a wandering waiter/server to deliver meals to gate, lifeguards and/or other stationary positions that may need food/drink.

Knowing and accessing the readily available snacks like PB & J and fruits as well as maintaining the beverage station with water, Gatorade, and coffee will be required of the crew as well.

  • People with kitchen experience are preferred. Must be comfortable with knives and hot flames. You must be sober for your shift.  Clothing and safe shoes must be worn in the kitchen.
  • We will maintain a bus tub wash, rinse and sanitize area for diners to clean their own eating ware.  Our pots and pans will be washed in a separate area.
  • Some food prep may be done in Portland, OR and participating may be an option in exchange for a shift.   Stay tuned for more details
  • The meals will be vegetarian if not vegan.  Meat and cheese will be in the kitchen and served separate for those that want to eat it.

Sparx: Fully Staffed

Set up generators, run 3-phase distribution lines from generators to load centers and/or spider boxes, run cabling from spider/distro boxes to user endpoints, trenching, calculating and balancing load per phase on generators, watching fuel levels, connecting and monitoring smaller generators for needs not in the main grid area.

Requirements: Experience working with electrical distribution, main and sub panel wiring, generators, grounding, electrical code, and electrical safety. Volunteers for SPARX must first be interviewed and approved by the department lead.

Werx: Fully Staffed

Werx is the festival infrastructure team.  Work comes in four phases…

  1. Loading and Transport: Volunteers will meet at Tectonic headquarters for loading of the Werx main manifest in to cargo vehicle(s). Equipment includes base camp structural components, car ports, staking and marking materials, communications technology, and finally hand tools. Werx will also provide loading labor for the other volunteer groups as needed. Transport duties involve driving cargo to site and also includes pickup of any rental gear and heavy equipment. Hours are only worth 1/2 credit in this phase. However, driving of vehicles will count as full credit.
  2. Setup Weekend: Volunteers spend the weekend on-site, staking-off the perimeter, erecting base camp (and Werx) structures and car ports, porto placement, and marking smoking areas. Volunteers will be trained in use of rental equipment and will provide support labor to the other groups (mainly Sparx). Hours are worth 1/2 credit.
  3. Event Support: Volunteers will assist with any last minute setup of the event the night prior to it opening. During the event, volunteers will be on call and must respond to Werx assistance requests from other groups. This will involve operating heavy equipment (such as generators, UTV, trencher), so familiarity with it will be critical. Return of transport or rental equipment may happen, so volunteers must be capable of driving. Offering to use your personal vehicle for equipment transport is appreciated. All hours during this phase are worth full credit.
  4. Tear Down: Takes place the on Monday and Tuesday, July 23-24. Volunteers will deconstruct all relevant structures and repack it into designated cargo vehicles. Volunteers may also be instructed to assist with deconstruction of other camps depending on the level of progress of Tectonic tear down. Retrieval of cargo vehicle rentals from the nearest town may be required. This phase is absolutely critical and hours are worth 1.5x credit. Due to scheduling and previous labor levels these shifts will have the highest capacity of volunteers assigned.