Volunteer FAQs

I’m just here to have a good time. Why should I volunteer in the first place?

Lakes of Fire is an entirely volunteer-run event. Without volunteers, the event would not exist. The more people that volunteer, the more participants we can have (within limits, land-space permitting) and the more things we can accomplish. We need volunteers to help us check people in at gate, keep our perimeter safe, remind participants to please-don’t-climb-the-fire-art, and make everyone’s experience the best it can be, just to name a few.

How do I sign up to volunteer this year?

You can sign up by filling out this volunteer application form.  Please be sure to purchase your ticket prior to signing up for a department’s shift.

When can I volunteer?

Volunteering is split into 3 different time frames:

  • Pre-event
  • Event
  • Postevent

Volunteers are in the highest demand during the event. Pre-event volunteer opportunities are scarce, and most of the time they go to volunteers who already have a relationship with their team lead. 99% of the volunteer hours we log are on site, so keep that in mind when trying to bribe us into finding you pre-event hours: they are rather hard to come by.

What kind of volunteer shifts can I do?

ALL THE KINDS! Seriously, there are lots of different teams you can sign up for.

If you want to read a little about each one, you can find out more via our Teams pages. If you are unsure, the volunteer coordinators can help to give you some direction – please let us know what kinds of skills you have so we can place you appropriately. We heard chicks dig skills; we do, at least. (There’s even a little section on our volunteer form for you to tell us about your mad skills.)

I have a disability or concern about my ability to fulfill volunteer roles. How can I become a volunteer?  Are there any departments that are accessible to folks like me?

Absolutely!  We have volunteer opportunities for ALL abilities and skill levels.  Literally everyone – some people might drive around with DMV’s taxi’s, do volunteer fluffing, walk a 2 hour LNT shift or hug at a Greeters station.   If you are uncertain where to start, please feel free to reach out to us, and we will find the volunteer role of your dreams.

Can I sign up for any shifts I want?

Yes! You can sign up to work around the clock through the whole event if that’s what tickles your pickle. Saying you have an interest in a specific team or working at a certain time does not guarantee you will be working that role or shift. Hundreds of volunteers sign up each year, and sometimes shifts fill up quickly. Make sure to reach out to your team leads if you have a really constrained schedule. Even if you really, really, really want a certain shift, we can’t guarantee you will get what you want. Some shifts are really high demand, others are not; le sigh.

When will my team lead contact me?

That actually varies by team. If you need to reach out to a team lead, you can contact them directly, or you can send the Volunteer Coordinators an email and we can try to help.

Please keep in mind that only the department leads can schedule shifts for their teams – please be patient. You might not hear back from them the day you sign up, especially if it is early in the year. Just give them a few weeks before you go on a rampage.

How many times should I sign up on the LOF volunteer page?

Just once! Please don’t fill out the form 10 times in rapid succession (we get that you are excited, but no need for overkill). Filling out the form 10 times doesn’t make you any more likely to get that spot. If you think your entry didn’t go through, you can email volunteers@lakesoffire.org, and we’ll check the master spreadsheet for your information. You can also email us to update your contact information or availability if it changed since you signed up.

I like to help people carry heavy loads of stuff. Does this count for volunteer hours?

Not automatically. It does if you’re volunteering with an official Lakes of Fire department and you sign in with a team lead.

I am a certified emergency response person, or I have CPR certification. Can I help with the medical tent?

Yes, please contact our Medical (ESD) department. Also, I  have this funny tingling in my fingers right now, and it happens mostly when I type informational FAQ forms. What should I do?

Can I come and camp early if I’m a volunteer?

The doors of LOF open on Wednesday to *all* LOF attendees. Some departments do require on-site pre-event work.  However, your department lead will let you know if there are any early entry openings available. Theme camps are also given a different time for entry – direct all theme camp related entry questions to our Placement team.

Can I stay and camp after the event as a volunteer?

Maybe. There are some departments, like Leave No Trace who love people excited to help in post-event restoration.  However, in order to stay late, you’ll need to connect with department leads directly to see if there are any post-event openings available.

Can I sign up to volunteer on site?

That’s affirmative. People seem to drop out last minute all the time. We might need a few shifts in any of our departments on a moment’s notice. The best way to see about any volunteer openings is to come to the Nexus, near the greeter’s station.  We will have current information on volunteer opportunities, where to go and how to sign up for them.

Please note: if you do sign up on site for a last minute opening, just make sure the team lead records your full name and correct e-mail information so you get credit for your hard work!

I heard that volunteers get early ticket access. Is that true?

It is true that volunteers from 2019 who worked more than 8 hours get access to pre–ticket sales for the next burn. This is only for volunteers who worked—not just signed up for—at least 8 hours of work with official LOF Departments.

Be sure to clarify with your team lead if your hours count toward that volunteer criteria.

I heard that volunteers get a discounted ticket. Truth?

Volunteers from 2019 who worked 16 or more approved hours qualified to purchase a ticket early and a were given a discount as an expression of our gratitude for their hard work.

We are trying to appreciate our volunteers in many ways, and offering a discount for Rockstar volunteers is one way we do that. If you worked in 2019, requirements for the next event year (anticipated 2022) will be the same: 8+ hours for access to a full-price ticket and 16+ hours for access to a discounted ticket.

LOF also has a special Low Income Ticket (LIT) program for folks who cannot afford a full-price ticket, kind of like the Burning Man Low Income Ticket system. The LIT program is not affiliated with volunteer tickets.

I volunteer at a theme camp each year. Can I get credit towards the 8 hours by working that?

Unfortunately not. The only way to log official volunteer hours is with one of our official volunteer-based departments. Your work for a theme camp is a gift for the community, and that is spectacular, and we thank you for it!

Can I get a volunteer ticket for the next burn if I sign up for an 8 hour ninja shift today? What about 10 hours?

Sorry guys, we don’t work on credit here at Lakes of Fire. You can only get a volunteer ticket if you worked the previous year for the stated hour requirements. We like to look at the volunteer ticket as a kind of pay-it-forward scenario: do your work this year, and it will come around to help you in the next one.

What kinds of perks will I get for volunteering?

You mean, aside from the inner nirvana you will feel giving back to the event you adore? There is always swag, really cool swag to proclaim your awesomeness as a Lakes of Fire Volunteer. The kind of swag depends on the type of volunteer shift you want to do – some teams offer a full bar, others offer swanky t-shirts or laminates.

Our Volunteer Team fluffers might bring you some fun snacks and cold water when you are hard at work, or you might find a nifty care package if you’re a night shift volunteer.

On Friday, we host a big old Volunteer Appreciation party. Did we mention that 8 hours of volunteering means you qualify for access to a volunteer ticket and jump the general sales line the following year?

Can I sign up to volunteer if I don’t actually have a ticket yet?

We’d prefer you hold off. If you just can’t wait to sign up and don’t have a ticket, please be very clear with your team leads that you’re still waiting for a ticket. Everyone who goes through that magical LOF Gate needs a ticket—even us. Signing up for a shift while still waiting for tickets (have faith! your wait list number will come up!) fills that volunteer slot, and Gate will not take pity on you if you arrive ticketless. Contact your team leads and sign up when you’re ready and ticketed!

I totally spaced and forgot to use my volunteer code to buy a ticket, and I just found out the window to buy is closed. Can you reinstate the volunteer ticket window so I can make my purchase?

Not even if you baked us a three-tiered cake that looked like our logo. Sorry guys, but we have no control over that. If you missed the window, you have to take your chances on the ticket lottery.

Is there anything more about volunteering  I should know right now?

SIGN THE SHEET NEATLY AND LEGIBLY.  WE WILL NEED YOUR FULL NAME AND CORRECT E-MAIL ADDRESS TO APPROPRIATELY RECORD YOUR HOURS.  When you get to your shift, make sure your name is written down and you have signed in in some form or another, and then double check your name is on there for the time you worked before you leave or sign out. Tracking down your team lead in January of the event year and getting them to remember you will be pretty hard if your name is John and you have brown hair and *didn’t* sign in.