Thanks for your interest in Getting Involved with SHIFT Festival!

Please read all the information below for the available Volunteer departments!


Our department is responsible and in charge of Flame Art and Flame effects, such as the Tectonic Sign, Volcano Poofers, Fire Reeds and other event-run fire effects. We help restock propane daily and make sure all fire effects are up to standards and have sober and safe people running the effects. Fire Safety training is required (we will provide this on site) and sobriety while on shift is a requirement as well. 

List of Tasks:

  • Attend fire safety training at the event
  • Set up and test flame effects
  • Monitor flame effects and keep everyone safe
  • Pass the Poofer buttons around!
  • Help refill propane (during the day)

When this work is done: during the day (propane refills), but mostly at night into the morning.


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 and IDs. 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 an orderly manner in the parking lot that makes good use of space and maintains vehicle and emergency 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 the event fire safety plan.

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

Physical Requirements Gate/Parking:

  • Able to stand and walk for the entire shift.
  • Able to communicate verbally over radio.
  • Able to use a tablet computer.
  • 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. If you have concerns or questions, please discuss this with the department lead in advance.  

When this work is done: Pre-event open and during event hours. Gate/Parking is usually open 10am-12am.

Grass Guardians:

Grass Guardians will operate 24 hours a day, working 6 hour shifts. If you are familiar with Rangers at burner events, this is sort of like that with some fire safety thrown in. While it is helpful to have prior experience, it is not required because there will be on-site coordination and people will be partnered, as much as possible, with someone with experience.

The main overall task of the Grass Guardians is participant safety and being the eyes and ears of the production staff, helping us all keep our community safe.

Grass Guardians will: 

  • Be sober, alert, and rested for their shifts
  • Roam the event field in pairs while equipped with radios
  • Talk to participants about fire safety and enforce designated smoking areas
  • Watch for wristbands on everyone at the event
  • Monitor the event perimeter
  • Answer general event questions and act as an information resource to participants
  • 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 or other provided attire (optional)
  • A pre-event training may be offered. 

When this work is done: Around the clock, during event hours.


Are you welcoming, positive, friendly, and great at concise verbal communication/interactions (in 5 min or less)?  Then Greetz is the volunteer job for YOU! 

SHIFT greeters are the welcome wagon for the Volcano!  With an enthusiastic smile, welcoming energy, and maybe some consensual hugs, Greetz interacts with each car filled with distracted and excited festival goers coming from the gate. You will help folks get oriented and remind them to follow the event rules. You will also hand out goodies and information about SHIFT.

List of Tasks:

  • Greet participants as they arrive to the event, prioritizing consent
  • Gift participants their welcome items
  • Give directions to the parking lot, camping areas, and offer general information about the speed limit 
  • Remind them about fire safety
  • Offer brief SHIFT cultural information

When this work is done: When Gate is open, usually 10:00 am – 10:00 pm

Cubez & Info

Be a part of the team that provides useful information to participants and sells ice! You will help answer people’s questions, find things on the map, direct them where they need to go, and sell them ice! This team will also be responsible for gathering and storing Lost & Found. 

List of Tasks:

  • Provide information to festival participants and volunteers, including performance times, daily music lineup, smoking areas, restroom locations, and giving out directions!  
  • Distribute volunteer shirts.
  • Relay communication of information to festival volunteers, rangers, gate/greeters, medical and leads on a radio.  
  • Collecting, documenting, and storing Lost & Found. 
  • Interact and communicate with participants in selling and slinging bags of ice from storage to participants’ hands. 

When this work is done: During the event, usually 10am-6pm

LNT: Leave No Trace!

Hello future SHIFTer! Thank you for your interest in the LNT team. In the Burning Man spirit, SHIFT aims to be a 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 (or better!) as it was before the festival. This crew works during the event and post-event.  This includes engaging with attendees during the event, and staying on site after the event ends to perform “MOOP sweeps”.

LNT Vollies will:

  • Perform Daily event sweeps, which includes walking the roads, checking the music stages, and clearing the surrounding public areas of debris every morning. 
  • Processing any lost & found, and delivering it to Info Booth
  • Quick check of each porto-potty for any serious situations 🙂
  • Sweeping Designated Smoking Areas
  • Roaming the event site and talking to participants about LNT or elevating to the productions team where there is an issue
  • Post-event LNT and Moop Sweeps to ensure the site is left as good as it was when we found it.

When this work is done: During and after the event, during the day. 

Water Guardians:

Lifeguard shifts at the pond will be during daytime & evening hours. You will be acting independently, 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.

Most importantly, YOU will be the superstar of our beach party! You will have your own lifeguard chair and buoys! And you will have sun-safe fluffing tools such as a water mister, sun screen & aloe vera gel for consenting beachcombers. 

Skill Requirements:

*Must have (or have had) lifeguard/ first aid certification and/or EMT/Medical qualification.

*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, consenting attitude!

When this work is done: During the event, Friday-Sunday, when people are at the beach. Some pre- and post-event shifts possible.


Like to lift heavy things? Werx is looking for YOU! Werx is the festival infrastructure team. We are the hardcore backbone of this event. SHIFT absolutely cannot happen without Werx volliez. We need you! 

Work comes in four phases:

  1. Loading and Transport: Volunteers will meet at Tectonic headquarters for loading of the Werx main manifest into 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. This work happens prior to the event.  
  2. Setup Weekend: Volunteers spend the weekend camping on-site: erecting structures and carports, making stages and dance areas, staking-off the perimeter, porto placement, marking smoking areas, and anything else that needs done. Volunteers will be trained in use of rental equipment and will provide support labor to the other groups. This work happens Saturday & Sunday, July 15-16.  
  3. Event Support: Volunteers will assist with any last minute setup of the event the day & night prior to it opening. During the event, volunteers will be on call and must respond to Werx assistance requests from other groups. This work happens beginning Wednesday, July 19 and continues until the end of the event on Monday, July 24
  1. Tear Down: Takes place on Monday and Tuesday, July 24-25. Volunteers will deconstruct all relevant structures and repack them 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. This phase is absolutely critical. Due to scheduling and previous labor levels these shifts will have the highest capacity of volunteers assigned. 

**Full reimbursement of ticket with 16 hrs of work during tear-down!

All four of these phases are critical for SHIFT to run smoothly. Werx vollies can pick and choose the phases they would like to help with (i.e. you are NOT responsible for all of this if you choose to be a Werx vollie!!)

When this work is done: ALL THE TIME!


Fixing and Making Tectonic Art: MÄKZ is a crew of builders who will be making art and infrastructure before the event. We work very closely with the Werx and Buildz departments as well as others to ensure they have everything they need built ahead of time for their crews to run smoothly. 

There will be a few build parties for volunteers to get their hands dirty. Most shifts will be painting and finishing work at the parties. This department will be a great additional source of hours for your schedule!

If you are a skilled builder in wood or metal make a point to mention that in your volunteer form and we may seek you out for more specific tasks involving hands-on production of SHIFT infrastructure!

When this work is done: Pre-Event; lots of opportunities to get involved!



The DIREX department is in charge of signage at SHIFT, so that festivalgoers know where to find what! If you have interest in creating beautiful signs and/or working with the Direx Lead to place and remove these signs around the festival, please volunteer with us!

 *This work requires some hard labor, such as using a T-post driver to pound the fence posts into the hard ground. 

The DECOR department is in charge of making the beach stage beautiful. We need minions to do mindless tasks like glue mirrors on balls and create miles of garland. Maybe even help us install these lovely creations on-site.


  • Meet pre-event to create signs and decor as needed.
  • Install signs & decor before festivalgoers arrive. (Build-Weekend & the Wednesday prior)
  • Remove signs & decor post-event, after festivalgoers leave. (Tear-down Monday & Tuesday)



When this work is done: Pre-event, Build Weekend, Wednesday before event, Tear-Down after the event.


The Sparx crew keeps the lights on! We are looking for a few reliable volunteers to support our team and the work that we do. Sparx volliez will either work on trenching (SO much trenching!) and laying/removing cables, or they’ll be supporting Sparx leads primarily at the event. For the latter role(s), ideally we are seeking folks with experience working with electrical distribution, main and sub panel wiring, familiarity with wire gauge ampacity, generators, grounding, electrical code, and electrical safety. Volunteers for SPARX must first be interviewed and approved by the department lead. 

Sparx Team #1 

List of Tasks:

  • Work with one other vollie to trench, lay cables, and backfill trenches
  • Rip up and organize the cables after the event. 

When this work is done: One to two days before the event, and one day post-event. 

Sparx Team #2

List of Tasks:

  • Setting up generators and running 3-phase distribution lines from generators to load centers and/or spider boxes 
  • Run cabling/extension cords from spider/distro boxes to user endpoints
  • Balancing load per phase on generators
  • Watching generator fuel levels 
  • Connecting/monitoring smaller generators for needs not in the main grid area. 
  • Taking sober on-call shifts during the festival for problems that may arise.

When this work is done: Some pre-event, some during event. 


Thanks for feeding 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, cooking, dishwashing 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 maintaining the always-available snack area as well as refilling 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.
  • Food prep will be done in Portland and participating will be an option to earn vollie credits.   Stay tuned for more details.
  • To be as inclusive as possible, the meals will all be vegan-based with plenty of meat, cheese, etc. available on the side to add in for omnivores. Most of the main courses will also be gluten free, with GF options for the meals that are not. We’ll also strive to accomodate for any and all dietary needs/restrictions.

When this work is done: Before, during and a bit after the event.

Fire Circle: 

Fire Circle volunteers help provide and oversee a space for people to share and enjoy fire based performance art.

Volleys 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. 

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

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 is required to join this team)

List of Tasks:

  • Prepare the fire circle in the evening.
  • Ensure dip cans are topped off throughout the night.
  • Ensure performers agree to and follow the rules.
  • Ensure that performers are paired with safeties (possibly by being said safety).
  • Check that fire props meet quality and durability standards.
  • Prepare the stage for scheduled performances.
  • Pack up the fire circle at the end of the night.

When this work is done: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

Selected your Department(s)? Fill out the Survey below!

Volunteer Interest Survey