Volunteer for an Event
Our organization is run 100% by volunteers, including our events; no one is paid for their hard work. Please help us continue to bring these events to the community by volunteering. You can volunteer before, during or after the event. You can even help transport some of the big art!
Regional events are run by a steering committee. An Event Lead is self-nominated and sanctioned by the DRF Board of Directors based on experience and dedication to the role. Leads for all departments are also self-nominated and bear full ownership of the role they choose.
The steering committee enthusiastically supports and guides all Leads in the successful implementation of their role. We work to actively develop succession planning and prefer each Lead to have an assistant that not only helps to make the current event happen but prepares to take over as Lead in the future. We are a TEAM dedicated to creating amazing events in our local community!
Meetings are held in Denver starting months before the event and increase in frequency as the date approaches. Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend. The meetings are typically posted on facebook and identify what aspect of the event is being voted on at the meeting. Anyone who attends the meeting in person is allowed to vote. Meetings are SHORT (1 to 1.5 hours) and FUN!
Leads and Departments
It takes energetic Leads to stage a successful event and manage hordes of volunteers! While some Leads carry over from event to event, if you feel your experience fits the department description below, contact us at Info@DenverBurners.org or just show up at a meeting. We actively promote succession planning and guarantee we can find something for you that fills our needs and suits your interests.
We also welcome suggestions for new departments! If you see something we could do better, STEP UP AND DO IT!
Current Lead Role Descriptions
Below is a list of current roles. As stated above, if you feel a specific role is missing from our line-up, please feel free to contact us to discuss further. Who knows-maybe you could be the newest volunteer lead!
Art Grant Committee/Lead: Art Grant Committee members are responsible for all aspects of the art grant process, from creating the grant application, setting dates and deadlines for the art grants and their disbursements, arranging for pick up of disbursements, reading, reviewing, and voting on all art grant proposals, announcing granted projects, and generally encouraging the community to apply for an art grant by spreading information about the availability of art grants. They work directly with other art grant committee members to identify priorities for granted artwork and choose artwork that reflects the overall needs of the event.
Bookkeeping: The pusher of numbers…the keeper of books…
Budget: The Budget Lead maintains moneys allocated for various event needs.
Comm Lead: Responsible for communicating to the community the official messages of the Steering Committee for both the Denver Regional Decompression (DeCOmp) and the Colorado Burnal Equinox (CBE). Messages should be sent using official channels in a responsible, yet fun tone. Information in the comms should be curated based on the timeline, with more specifics being included closer to the event date. The Comm Lead is also responsible for looking for and correcting misinformation as well as replying to direct inquires. Sometimes, the Comm Lead creates a Who What When Where (WWWW) poster that contains a map of the space, placement of art projects, and schedule of performers (music/sound, fire, performances). Sometimes, the leads for those departments do that individually instead. If the Comm Lead does create the WWWW, it should be available online as well as in print on-site.
Decor: Reach out to the community well in advance for those wanting to bring anything. Browse through pics of Colorado art that has been at any of the Burner Events in the last few years, looking for possible pieces to have INSIDE, and asked the artists if their art still exists/could come to DeCOmp. Work with Placement to ensure art pieces have placement, then fill in any gaps. This includes stages. Set up prior to the event and tear down afterwards.
Event Lead: Event Lead(PMS) is responsible for making sure the Event occurs. They are in charge of scheduling both deadlines for all Leads as well as meetings. This person will run the meetings efficiently while gifting the entire community a forum in which to artistically participate and voice concerns. The Event Lead is responsible for staffing the Leads and assisting in the development of the team personally and professionally. If any critical role is not filled, it is up to the Event Lead to deliver the requirements for a safe, legal and ethical event within the guidelines of an Official Burning Man Regional Event. The Event Lead will also interact with the Board of the DRF to insure the interests of the Board and the Event remain paramount.
Fire Safety: Obtain supplies for safety perimeter, work together with planning team to setup perimeter in correct location, decide how many volunteers are needed based on performance times and space needed, schedule volunteer shifts, keep people and fire performers from doing something unsafe during the event.
Food and Bev Lead (if applicable): Depending on the venue, the Food and Bev Lead will need to work with the kitchen (if one is available) and bar (if one is on-site) to ensure product is available for attendees and volunteers. It is preferable a food to be available for most of the event either from on-site staff and/or via food trucks on/off-site. If necessary, the Food and Bev Lead will need to work with the Placement Lead to ensure there is space for any food truck(s). If there is no space available from the Placement Lead, on-street parking will need to be procured. The Food & Bev lead will need to work with the Decommodification Lead to ensure logos are kept to a minimum, if any at all. Working with the venue manager, satellite bars should be arranged to service the attendees and volunteers in several areas of the venue, if possible. Ensure all codes are abided by well in advance of the event (ie: water available for staff). By working with the Permitting Lead, information can be obtained from them.
Food Drive: Contact and schedule pick-up of Food Drive Bins from Food Bank of the Rockies. These bins are free. Day of the event, bring bins to the event. After the event, return all food and bins to Food Bank of the Rockies.
GATE: The Gate Lead is responsible for several duties before, during, and after event. For pre-event: map out event borders and determine where and how posts are to be manned by volunteers, determine shift times for volunteers, coordinate with security contractor for after-hour coverage, coordinate radios for other departments needing radios. During the event, hand out radios to departments as necessary, coordinate with Volunteer Coordinator on where Gate Homebase is located, walk border/fence for security weaknesses, check in/out volunteers, train as necessary, and stay at event location until hired security arrives. After-event: return radios and ensure all bills are paid by coordinating with the Bookkeeper.
Graphics: Responsible for managing the design and execution of the online, print, signage, and other needed graphics to support the local Colorado Burning Man events for promotional, social media, and website mediums.
Greeters/Greeters Lead: The Greeters are responsible for welcoming participants to the event by spreading awareness to guests on the importance of consent, safety, and of course the 10 Principles (oh yeah, and lots of hugs!). During the event, the Greeter Lead is responsible for coordinating the number of volunteers per shift/length of shifts, communicating shift schedules along with “Greeter Team Important Info” to the Greeters, distribute “NO PHOTO” bracelets to Greeters to hand out, inform everyone know where Safety 3rd is, attend Decompression meetings and report updates, happenings and hours worked to committee members, and finally, give Greeters many hugs and many THANK YOUs because without volunteers this event wouldn’t happen!
Leave No Trace (LNT): Lead and coordinate LNT volunteer participants before, during, and after the event in actively maintaining zero MooP (Matter Out Of Place).
Operations (permitting, insurance, closures): Contact and schedule delivery of the following fencing and Porta Potties, as needed. The Operations Lead must be on site for Delivery and Set-Up one day prior to the event. Procure Fire Permit from the Fire Dept. Obtain, complete, and submit the special events permit well in advance of the event. Along with the permit, the Operations Lead will need to coordinate with the Art Grants and Placement Leads for specific rules and regulations which are required with the permits. The Operations Lead is a very active lead which will require a lot of time before, during, and after the event.
Perimeter Establish and Dismantle Team (PEDT): The Perimter team is responsible for assembling and dismantling the fence around closed-off streets and/or other areas. They need to work with the Operations Lead to ensure the fencing company will drop off and pick up within permit requirements. The PEDT Lead will need to recruit volunteers willing to set up/tear down fencing, and ensure this is done in a timely manner.
Performance Art Lead: Collect, categorize, and organize the performers to make a fun line up pre-event. On the day of the event, the Performance Art Lead is responsible for setting up the outdoor green room, setting up the fire performance area, heard performers to make sure they are on stage when they need to be. There are 2 co-leads to take rotating stage manager shifts with the Performance Art Lead on the day of the event.
Photography: Manage all communications with photographers leading up to event, coordinate with volunteer lead to ensure photographer inclusion in volunteer lists, manage schedule all event photographers, provide support as needed during event, both as photographer and lead, coordinate timeline for photo edits and posting to social media, attend regular steering committee meetings, and coordinate with media leads for photo warehousing and posting to CO regional websites.
Placement Lead: The Placement Lead plans, coordinates, and directs all aspects required to the physical location of any modular items deemed necessary for the successful implementation of Decompression. These locations are based on four requisite points of reference: Latitude, Longitude, Altitude, and Time. As the Placement Lead is not omnipresent, it’s recommended that one or more Co-Leads, Back-up, #2, or minions function in parallel to the Placement Lead.
Pleasers: Stop, there! It’s the Please Department! The Please Department aims to please all of the fabulous volunteers of our community. You can spot then with their giant staffs, as they roam through the crowd making sure all volunteers have snacks, water, pee breaks, and other forms of joy!
Project Lead: The Project lead is responsible for creating the project timeline, ensuring the steering committee has enough leads/volunteers, scheduling and running committee meetings and keeping the team on track to make sure the event happens as planned. Create and manage project timelines, create and distribute meeting agenda, follow up with leads in between meetings, road block removal, resolve personality/productivity conflicts, and support the team when they need it.
Rangers: Rangers are participant-volunteers who attend to their fellow artists, using the community’s trust modestly and soberly to provide public safety, peer counseling, conflict mediation, and to interface with emergency professionals. Excellent rangering is more art than science. Communication, creativity, and calm are key tools. The scope of crises that Rangers have resolved over the years is remarkable, and Burners have come to expect the Ranger logo means someone who can act responsibly as the eyes, ears, and voice of the event. Rangers on duty are supported by the Ranger Lead, whose seniority and judgement make them ideal backup for Rangers in uncertain circumstances.
Recycling(Greener): Before the event: Work with the venue to be sure recycling containers will be provided OR find appropriate containers clearly labeled for recycling (city accepts mix recycling as of May 2016, no sorting needed). Post reminders on event page for everyone to reduce trash ahead of time, bring a reusable cup, and LNT, recruit a truck driving person or two who can help get the containers to the recycling center the next day.
During the event: Decide on best placement for the containers to encourage use, check a couple of times to be sure containers aren’t overflowing, rotate in new containers as needed. After the event: assist with LNT of the venue to be sure all recycling is in the appropriate place, load trucks with the containers to be taken to a recycling drop-off (note: Denver city recycling is closed Sundays & Mondays as of May 2016 so be sure these people have somewhere to keep the containers for a day or two). If containers are reusable, clean thoroughly and store for next event.
Safety Third: recruiting, scheduling, defining roles, stocking needed supplies, organizing Safety Third area and oversight at event of all first aid occurrences/ needs.
Secretary: The secretary is responsible for attending all meetings in order to record when the meeting begins and ends, who is present, and a summary of all updates, discussions and decisions. If votes are held, the secretary needs to record the number of people voting for and against, as well as the number of people who abstained from voting. Participating in a vote is not mandatory for anyone, but presence at a meeting is mandatory in order to participate in a vote. Following the meeting, the secretary must provide notes to the website lead (ideally within two days) so they can be posted on denverburners.org.
Signage (DeCOmp Only):
Sound: The Sound Lead is responsible for planning and managing all sound art at DeCOmP. This includes attending meetings, recruiting stage leads, arranging for all needed sound gear, managing the artist selection process, ongoing communication with the team, artists, leads & venue, and onsite management. This person should have a passion for sound / music, be organized and enjoy working with artists.
Theme Camp Coordinator (CBE Only):
Visuals/Lighting: Work with the Placement Lead to find the best area(s) to project. Depending on the venue, work at least 2 weeks prior to the event with the venue lighting crew to ensure projections will not be drowned out by stage lighting. Either the day before the event or day of, set-up and assist lighting and stage crews as necessary. After the event, tear-down leaving no trace. If necessary, extra stage lighting might need to be procured. If possible, coordinate with the Graphic Designer Lead to create custom clips/logos specific to the theme.
Venue Lead: The Venue Lead is responsible for compiling options for the annual DeCOmP venue vote. They must attend early planning meetings, source possible venue options from the community and team, follow up, negotiate, present final options to the team, manage voting and follow up with the selected venue to introduce the team. This person should be organized, professional, and comfortable with negotiation.
Volunteer Coordinator: The volunteer coordinator works with team leads and volunteers to fill all needed volunteer shifts. They are responsible for compiling the volunteer schedule, promoting the idea of volunteering to the community at large, and communicating all logistics with volunteers that have signed up. During the event, the volunteer coordinator is responsible for making sure that all volunteers know how to fulfill their shift, that they get checked in, and that they are happy.
Volunteer Appreciation Party Lead(s): Oversees the Friday night Volunteer Party and “setup” for the main event, attend event meetings and report updates, happenings and hours worked to members, give number of volunteers needed to Volunteer Coordinator, maintains and discusses budget with committee members and appropriately allocates funds for the food and fun you plan to have at this event, meet with venue management regarding outside food/beverage, propane, grills, water, grease, power, licenses/permits, equipment, setup, etc. etc. ANYTHING and everything that is needed for your caterer, food truck, or delivery person to bring their stuff without any issues, help get the word out by creating a Facebook event and invite all our volunteers and send out an email with the event details, keep itemized list of expenses and submit expense report to be reimbursed after the event, and finally, hand out swag and give many thanks for everyone’s participation.
Website: To create and upload the most accurate and up to date information to the DenverBurners.org website and in a timely manner. This includes, but is not limited to: updating web pages with specific information for the current event, coordinating with the Communication Lead to ensure event-specific links are used for social media/communications, coordinating with leads to ensure their department’s information on the website is current and accurate, attending Steering Committee Meetings frequently, answering incoming info@denverburners emails and routing as necessary (and in a timely manner), coordinate with Photo/Media Lead on specific photos needed for the website (ie: specific department volunteers, performers, high-res, etc), serve on the Urgency Committee if needed, work with the Steering Committee to create a central repository for lead After-Burn reports and documentation for future leads to reference, work with leads and the Steering Committee well in advance of the event if any processes are changed in regards to the website (ie: volunteer/performer/artist registration process).
Website Tinkerers: Works with the Website Lead to ensure information on the DenverBurners.org website is current and up to date.