Are You Ready to Rock?! Volunteer for Music This Summer

Last week I had an itch.  I wanted to use the weekend to do something different, spontaneous.  I had watched one too many Law and Order reruns and had visited our favorite go-to sushi spot one too many times since arriving home from vacation a few weeks ago.  So, at lunch on a random Wednesday afternoon I asked my husband what he thought of going to Tennessee’s largest music festival, Bonnaroo, on a whim.

He was in.  Completing the entire L&O Criminal Intent series and being forced to move on to the original Law and Order episodes taped in the 90’s apparently had him looking for adventure as well.  Although locals describe Bonnaroo as a giant drug fest, I’m happy to report we thought otherwise and had an awesome time.  It was the perfect something different weekend activity.  We left sweaty and sunburned with enthusiastic plans to return next summer.

While our little adventure was the perfect antidote to the need-something-to-do blues, it was pretty pricey.  Factoring in concert tickets, transportation, food and doggy daycare for our two pups left us out a few hundred bucks.  I’m happy to report, however, there’s a way nurses, NP’s and PA’s can attend concerts, and especially large weekend music festivals for free (doggy day care not included).

Among the thousands of concert goers attending music festivals, some will undoubtedly require medical care during their stays, especially in the summer heat.  So, event planners offer EMT’s, LPN’s, nurses, NP’s, PA’s and physicians free festival tickets in exchange for working a few shifts at a medical tent.  Typically, event planners ask that you work one shift each day during the festival with one of these shifts being an evening.  Yeah, you will miss out on a few shows but you will save hundreds of dollars and still catch some great live music…and probably come home with some stories to tell.

Where can you find volunteer opportunities at music festivals and concerts?

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Rock Medicine

This organization out of the San Francisco Bay Area offers opportunities for healthcare professionals in California.  In it’s 40th year, Rock Medicine staffs over 700 events annually giving nurses, NP’s and PA’s loads of music related volunteer opportunities.  New grads and nursing students are welcome at Rock Medicine.  What better way to spend your weekend than getting some hands on patient experience and taking in a free show?

Work Exchange Team- Will Work for Music

The Work Exchange Team seeks all types of volunteers for music festivals across the country.  If your significant other or group of friends are looking for free concert passes as well, this organization would be a good way to go to accommodate the whole crowd.  Upcoming events include the All Good Music Festival and Campout in Thornville, OH and the Interlocken Music Festival in Arrington VA.

Harmony Event Medicine

Based in Oregon, this organization staffs medical personnel for events and concerts in the great Northwest.  Check their website for music-related volunteer opportunities if you live in Oregon.

Volunteer Match 

While not devoted specifically to music-related or even medical volunteer opportunities, Volunteer Match is one of the largest online volunteer opportunity databases.  They occasionally post listings for healthcare professionals at concerts.  Who knows?  You may discover another amazing opportunity while you are poking around their site as well.

Still can’t find a free concert ticket in exchange for a little medical work?  Check out websites for music festivals near you.  Most offer information about volunteer opportunities online.

Have you ever volunteered at a concert or music festival?  Tell us about your experience!


You Might Also Like: 5 Unique Volunteer Opportunities for Nurse Practitioners

2 thoughts on “Are You Ready to Rock?! Volunteer for Music This Summer”

  1. Rhonda Hertwig, PNP

    Hi Erin,
    While it was not a music festival, I have volunteered for the first aid staff at the Organic Growers School in Asheville for two years in a row. Yes, you might miss a couple sessions, but to attend at a discount or completely free(depending on how many shifts you sign up for) is pretty nice. So just another venue to check out! Thanks for sharing the music festival gig – might her aging out of that scene, but you never know. My son went to Bonoroo a few years back and really enjoyed the music and community of people.

  2. Thanks for the recommendation! The Organic Grower’s School looks like a great volunteer opportunity. I will be attending Bonnaroo this year (although not in a volunteer capacity) and can’t wait!

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