The Woodford Files 2014-15: Save The Last Dance Or Beer For Me, January 2015

The Volunteer Party is like a baffling market selling ice cream and fruit dessert in tall glasses: a trifle Bazaar
The Volunteer Party is like a wondrous market selling ice cream and fruit dessert in tall glasses: a trifle Bazaar

As the sun set slowly over Kilcoy, we bade farewell to the last performance at Woodford Folk Festival as Fantuzzi reggaed the crowd into a fervour.

Actually, the sun was long gone by the time Fantuzzi closed out proceedings. And as they finished their last number, the vollys were just getting going and took responsibility for their own entertainment.

I was professionally torn. My obligations were long since dispensed with. I wanted to capture some vision of the band, but……….

A Punter’s Perspective 15 — We Couldn’t Do It Without You: The Pros And Cons Of Volunteering


A Punter’s Perspective

Random observations on the wide, weird world of folk from the side of the stage

#15 We Couldn’t Do It Without You: The Pros And Cons Of Volunteering
First published in Trad and Now magazine, April 2009

Ok, this could get messy.

‘Messy’ is a service I do often provide.

And if the only ‘Messi’ you’re interested in plays for the Argentinean football team, it may be best to fast forward a couple of pages.

I’ve been thinking a lot about volunteerism lately. And in choosing to write on the topic, I realise this is not a new subject, and it’s been covered substantially. Including in the pages of Trad and Now magazine in the last 12 months or so by others.

But I’m choosing to delve and dive a little deeper, as the hypnotist said to the snorkeller. And look at motivations, experiences, and the treatment of volunteers.

It didn’t come out of the blue. It comes off the back of a couple of rather trying personal experiences.

And for that I apologise now for the use of personal pronouns. It’s something I (pardon me) usually shy away from, but it fits the subjective nature of the topic.

Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes, and in all levels of commitment, application and motivation.

Disclaimer: I am a volunteer. If you cut me in two, you’ll find a volunteer’s wristband and a couple of unused complimentary festival beer tickets. Always sad to find the latter.

There’s nothing necessarily noble or virtuous about being a volunteer. For serial helper-outerers, it’s just the way we’ve been hard-wired, often from an early age.

Volunteerism motivates us and drives us, sometimes in many worlds. For me it’s mostly (but not limited to) music, entertainment, and the arts.

I know there are hundreds of others who put in far more effort than what I get up to.

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