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Become a Volunteer

How to Become a Volunteer - Online applications available October 1, 2014.

Our MerleFest volunteers make this special Wilkes Community College Endowment Corporation fundraiser a big success year after year.

Click headings to reveal answers on how to become a MerleFest Volunteer.  You will also find answers to our most frequently asked questions.

Volunteer Requirements

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Conscientious
  • Energetic
  • Courteous and polite
  • Application and recent photo on file
  • First-time volunteers must send a $35 deposit check with your application

How To Apply

MerleFest 2014 will begin accepting volunteer applications beginning October 1, 2013. You may apply on-line or request a volunteer application by mail by contacting the volunteer coordinator at merlefest.volunteer@wilkescc.edu, or by using the contact form and selecting Individual Volunteers from the drop down.Volunteer applications will be taken through April 11, 2014. ALL volunteers are required to send a recent photograph. Photos may be sent to the address below or emailed to merlefest.volunteer@wilkescc.edu. Anyone who has never worked as a MerleFest volunteer, or has failed to report to a scheduled volunteer position in previous years without notifying MerleFest, must send a personal check for $35 made out to MerleFest to the address below. Checks and photos must be received within two weeks of application submission. Please mail photo and $35 checks to: MerleFest, Attention: Volunteer Coordinator, P.O. Box 120, Wilkesboro, N.C. 28697. After all volunteer shifts are successfully completed, the deposit will be returned to the volunteer at Flattop's Getaway. Volunteers will receive their volunteer schedule no later than six weeks after we receive the application.

CANCELLATION POLICY FOR ALL VOLUNTEERS - Notification of cancellation for MerleFest 2014 must be received by 5:00pm EST on April 11. New volunteers who cancel after that date or fail to successfully complete any volunteer shift, will have their deposit check cashed by MerleFest. Neither new volunteers nor veterans who cancel any shift after April 11 will be considered for volunteer positions at MerleFest 2015.

What A Volunteer Needs

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Warm clothing for cool nights
  • Rain gear
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun block/sunscreen lotion
  • Flashlight (if on duty at night)
  • A ready smile

Volunteer Responsibilities

  • Be on time for shift check-in and work assignments. Plan enough time for transportation to and from campus.
  • Check in at 3 volunteer locations
    • Volunteer Check-In at the Box Office/Main Gate
    • Flattop’s Getaway at least 30 minutes before your shift begins
    • With team leader at assigned work location
    • Failure to check in at all three locations will result in a no-show status 
  • Work your entire shift. If released by the team leader or stage manager, check in with the volunteer team leader at Flattop's Getaway for reassignment during your shift.
  • Notify the volunteer team leader and Flattop's Getaway immediately if there are any changes in your availability to work your assigned shift once the festival begins.
  • Be familiar with volunteer job descriptions and guidelines.
  • Attend the Volunteer Kick-Off Party and Training event prior to the festival (preferable) or on-site during the festival. Pre-festival training will be held Wednesday, April 23, 2014, in the Mayes Pit-Cohn Auditorium in Thompson Hall at 6:00 p.m. 
  • Stage crew may be scheduled for other duties in addition to stage work. Stage crew have been selected based on specific skills and experience, but schedule changes and evolving general festival needs may make it necessary to change assignments in order to meet needs of a successful festival.
  • Please be prepared to check in with a stage crew team leader at least 30 minutes prior to your first festival work shift for orientation and training.
  • Stage crew volunteers must wear MerleFest Volunteer Stage Crew tee-shirt while on duty. Only one shirt will be provided, so it is suggested that the shirt be worn only during scheduled hours. Stage crew volunteers must wear close-toe shoes, no sandals.  Stage crew relief volunteers are also required to wear close-toe shoes. 
  • Complete the volunteer survey and return to the suggestion box in "Flattop's Getaway" at the end of each shift.
  • Make arrangements for child care prior to arriving on duty. Children are not allowed to accompany their parents to work.
  • Please recycle plastic beverage bottles in the appropriate bins and encourage and help attendees to do so as well.
  • Food Service Hospitality volunteers must wear a hat, hair-net, or hair restraint if handling food. No tank tops or sleeveless shirts allowed. No sandals or open-toe shoes.
  • All relief volunteers must wear close-toe shoes since you may be placed in locations tat require close-toe shoes for safety reasons.

Volunteer Benefits

  • All volunteers who work one shift a day will receive a one-day volunteer wristband for that day.
  • MerleFest volunteers can enjoy the festival before and after working assigned shifts.
  • Volunteers receive a commemorative pin gift at the end of their required shifts.
  • Light snacks and drink will be available at Flattop's Getaway (volunteer headquarters) on the day you volunteer.
  • Volunteers from MerleFest 2013 are invited to the annual volunteer reception held at the Walker Center March 6, 2014 at 5:30 p.m
  • Attend the Volunteer Kick-Off and Training event prior to the festival (preferable) or on-site training during the festival. The pre-festival Volunteer Kick-Off and Training event is held on the Wednesday before MerleFest Opening Day. The Kick-Off is at 6 p.m. in the Mayes Pit-Cohn Auditorium in Thompson Hall

Volunteer Check-In

Volunteer Check-In is located at the main entrance. There you will receive your entry wristband. All volunteers are directed to Flattop's Getaway to check in for their volunteer shift 30 minutes prior to their shift beginning. Flattop's Getaway will provide you with information/training needed to perform your volunteer duties. Check in with the team leader at your work site. Falure to check in at all three locations will result in a no-show status.

Where To Store Your Stuff During Your Shift

MerleFest volunteers should leave items at Lost & Found /Overnight Storage located in The Shoppes at MerleFest. This is a secure area and there is no cost. Volunteers may store personal items beginning at 7:00 a.m. This area closes each night 30 minutes after the last performance on the Dance Stage. If you will need your belongings that night, be sure to pick them up before closing time.

Emergency Contact Phone Number During The Festival

In case of emergencies, volunteers may be contacted by calling the Visitors Center at 336-838-6199.

Location Of Services

  • Volunteer Check-In is located at the main entrance. After checking in, volunteers should proceed to the Express Line.
  • "Flattop's Getaway", volunteer headquarters, is located in front of Hayes Hall across from the fountain.
  • Handicapped seating accommodations are available with two weeks advanced notification by calling 336-838-6185.
  • Handicapped parking is available in the Blue Lot - Bus Stop H.
  • Information is available in The Shoppes of MerleFest and the Visitors Center.
  • The First Aid tent is located across from the Visitors Center. The Wilkes Rescue Squad is there to assist you.
  • Restrooms are located throughout the festival grounds in college buildings.
  • Port-a-johns are available at locations around campus.
  • Lost & Found/Overnight Storage is located in The Shoppes at MerleFest (near tennis courts).
  • Audience Information is located near the center of the Watson Stage audience area.

Festival Policy

 MerleFest is held rain or shine - We recommend bringing clothes for all seasons!

For your safety and the consideration of all guests and our campus, the following are restricted from MerleFest:

  • All tobacco products (including chewing tobacco)
  • Alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs
  • Pets
  • Unauthorized ATV's, golf carts, segways and bicycles (on campus or campgrounds)
    Note:  Bike racks are available at the festival entrance for storing bicycles
  • Unauthorized video or audio recording
  • Glass containers
  • Tents or canopies in concert areas

No one is permitted backstage without proper credentials (wristband).

Flattop's Getaway

Named after our official festival mascot, Flattop the Raccoon, Flattop's Getaway is an exciting volunteer headquarters and gathering area.

Flattop's Getaway is located in front of Hayes Hall near the flagpole. Look for your volunteer friends and pick up your assignments here. Any volunteer questions can be answered by team leaders located in Flattop's as well.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering, and we look forward to seeing you at MerleFest 2013!