AUSTIN, Texas — South by Southwest (SXSW) is now seeking volunteers to help with its annual conference and festivals.
Those who sign up to volunteer can get the opportunity to help with the SXSW Conference and Festivals and SXSW EDU, both happening in Austin this March. The organization is looking for helping hands from all over to contribute their time, while getting a behind-the-scenes look at the events.
Volunteer signup opened on Jan. 17. Those interested can sign up online, pick their crew and select volunteers shifts online. Volunteers are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible to pick their preferred crew selection and shift availability.
SXSW offers two crew types and volunteers can choose from over 20 different crews supporting the production and operations of the conference and festivals. Crews include artist parking operations, banners and signs, ambassadors, stage crew, exhibitions, event transportation, line management, sessions and more.
Volunteers are asked to contribute a minimum of 24 hours during the event to receive an opportunity to attend SXSW or SXSW EDU. Both day and night positions are available. See a full list of how many volunteer hours are needed for different badges online.
Tami Richter with SXSW said they're looking for at least a couple thousand volunteers.
"Normally, we're sitting at around 2,500 volunteers each year, so we're looking to fill at least that amount," she said.
No experience is required to participate and volunteers must be at least 16 years old and have a working email address.
The organization is requiring proof of vaccination against COVID-19 prior to attending pre-event volunteer gatherings and before volunteers begin. SXSW said it accepts all WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccinations and encourages the volunteers get booster shots as well.
Volunteers are asked to comply with current health and hygiene rules, and SXSW’s guidelines regarding masking, proof of vaccination, SXSW’s Health Pledge, and any additional policies in place at the time of the event, according to a release. That may or may not include COVID-19 testing.
The organization will also host an informal volunteer fair where those who sign up can meet crew managers or get help with schedules. The volunteer fair will be held at the Austin Convention Center in Ballroom EFG on Jan. 23 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Attendees should be prepared to provide proof of vaccination and wear a mask while visiting the fair.
Organizers are planning a hybrid festival for 2022 after the festival was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a virtual festival in 2021. This year's festival will reportedly include virtual elements alongside in-person events.
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