3 Iowa Music Festivals You Don’t Want to Miss

This summer, don’t fly over the Midwest – party right on through it. Here are three rockin’ music festivals in Iowa that you definitely don’t want to miss.

Low on cash? Lucky for you, they’re all offering free admission for volunteers. So round up your posse, pair up those party pants with your giving galoshes (sorry, we had to) and head out for some happy volunteering!

While you’re perusing, be sure to check out VolunteerLocal’s Music Festival Spotify playlist, showcasing our favorite songs from this year’s headliners of all three major Iowa music festivals!

80/35 Music Festival

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July 10th – 11th, 2015

For many in Iowa’s capital city of Des Moines, the 80/35 Music Festival is a summertime staple. Aptly named for it’s unique (and rather convenient) location along the intersection of Interstates 80 and 35, this festival has earned a stellar reputation for luring high-profile headliners into the heartland. Included in 80/35’s roster of past performers are The Flaming Lips, Bright Eyes, the Wu-Tang Clan and the Avett Brothers.

2015 Headliners: Weezer, WILCO, St. Lucia and Talib Kweli

 

Hinterland Music Festival

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July 31st – August 2nd, 2015

If you’ve ever lived in, or visited Iowa in the wintertime – you’ll probably get the joke. Playfully dubbed Hinterland, Iowa’s newest festival is out to prove that this Midwestern state is anything but an unchartered, vast and wintery terrian. Set against the backdrop of Iowa’s gorgeous Water Works Park, Hinterland seeks to integrate elements of art, sculpture, craft vendors and cycling into a traditional music festival format.

2015 Headliners: Old Crow Medicine Show, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes

 

Gentlemen of the Road 

Volunteer Opportunities: Coming Soon!

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June 19th – 20th, 2015

This one may sound like a fancy affair, but trust us: no dress pants allowed. Waverly, Iowa was announced as the second stopover city on the GOTR nationwide tour earlier this year, and attendance is expected to triple the population of Waverly for two whole days. No joke. Want to get in on this action? Sign-up for our Happy Volunteering newsletter and we’ll make sure you’re one of the first to know when volunteer opportunities go live.

Headliners: My Morning Jacket, Mumford & Sons, The Flaming Lips, Dawes

 

 

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FloydFest

Your phone is buzzing, the tablet on your lap is lighting up, emails are flowing in by the minute and the last thing you need is “an app for that.” You’re experiencing what we like to call technology fatigue: an overdose of push notifications and status updates, selfies and snaps. Luckily, there is a cure – and in Floyd, Virginia, they call it FloydFest.

FloydFest is a five-day music festival that takes place in Virginia’s scenic Blue Ridge Mountain range. This event features an 80-acre campground, two sunny beverage gardens, live musical performances on nine different stages throughout the venue, a frisbee golf course and plethora of family-friendly workshops. This massive event has earned it’s nickname as the Telluride of the East by providing a safe refuge to recharge, unwind and celebrate life. And it’s not just for adults; the coordinators for this event offer programming, open mics, workshops and even childcare for toddlers and teens.

“VolunteerLocal is very user friendly and the volunteers understood the information, sign-up process and all processed their application fees upon registration, which was nice.” – Leah DeLuzio, Volunteer Coordinator for FloydFest

In the spirit of all things stress-free, FloydFest volunteers got to experience a new scheduling platform this year: VolunteerLocal. This new system meant no usernames, no passwords, and a simple payment platform to submit the application fee at the time of registration. Password protected jobs allowed Leah DeLuzio, the Volunteer Coordinator for this event, to launch an early-bird sign-up page for veteran volunteers. Hidden fields from the administrative portal gives her team the opportunity to recognize those hard-working volunteers who go above and beyond.

Sound cool? There are volunteer spots still available! Register to volunteer today!

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USA Triathlon & VolunteerLocal

It’s a match made in triathlon heaven, folks. 

VolunteerLocal and USA Triathlon are officially partnering in 2015 to provide a streamlined and simple volunteer management solution to triathlons across the nation.

VolunteerLocal will also serve as an Official Supplier of USA Triathlon, providing online services to help organize volunteers at three USA Triathlon-owned National Championships (Age Group, Duathlon and Youth and Juniors) and other events throughout the year. An easy-to-use, flexible volunteer scheduling platform that was built to serve sporting events of all sizes and types, VolunteerLocal will also provide USA Triathlon race directors with a 10 percent discount.

“I’m excited for this. It will absolutely help us with our events this year!” – Jess Luscinksi, NCAA and Collegiate Triathlon Coordinator at USA Triathlon

See the offiical press release on USA Triathlon’s website.

About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 races and connects with nearly 500,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

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Santa Barbara Triathlon

The Santa Barbara Triathlon’s stunning scenery, flawless operations and ocean-front transition area and finish line make this event one to remember. “We offer children’s beach activities, a fabulous sports expo and convenient on-site dining,” says Robin Stevens, Office Manager for the Santa Barbara Triathlon.

Established in 1981, the Santa Barbara Triathlon is one of the longest running triathlons in the world. In that time, the event has grown to include something for everyone: unique divisions to the sprint course, including a traditional co-ed option, a women-only division, and a parent-child division. “Our challenging Long Course race also offers an Aquabike division for those who don’t run or can’t due to injury,” adds Stevens.

“This is our first year using VolunteerLocal, but so far it has been very user-friendly and I would recommend it to others.” – Robin Stevens, Office Manager for the Santa Barbara Triathlon

Each year, the Santa Barbara Triathlon partners with a nonprofit organization (selected by the community) to be the recipient of charitable donations made by athletes and their friends.

Photo Credit: Presidio Sports

Registered participants for the Santa Barbara Triathlon create personal fundraising pages,” says Stevens. “If every Santa Barbara Triathlon participant gets seven friends to donate $5 each, we will raise $50,000 for our beneficiary.”

Thanks to Montecito Bank & Trust, participants and partners, the Santa Barbara Triathlon has raised over $450,000 for local charities since 2002. This year’s designated nonprofit is the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) of Santa Barbara County. “Our community is fortunate to have an organization whose goal is to prevent abused, neglected, and abandoned children from becoming lost in the Juvenile Dependency system,” says Stevens. “Everyone can make a difference.”

Sign up to volunteer at the Santa Barbara Triathlon!

 

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SunFest 2015

Shake off those winter blues and get ready to groove at this year’s SunFest in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida. SunFest began in 1982, and has since grown to become Florida’s largest waterfront music and art festival, attracting over 175,000 attendees to the sunny shores of West Palm Beach annually.

Photo Credit: Chris Salata, WPTV5

This five-day event features a full line-up of live musical performers, a juried fine arts & crafts show (featuring work from over 140 national artists) a 5K walk/run and a number of family-friendly activities (dubbed “SunFestivities”) scheduled throughout.

As a nonprofit organization, SunFest also gives back to the greater community year-round through a program called SunFest 365. Their mission? To create and support projects that promote or enhance culture and the arts, youth education, and/or provide assistance for other nonprofit organizations and the environment.

Over the past ten years, SunFest has helped nonprofit organizations raise over $800,000 to support their causes.

Each year, SunFest contributes complimentary tickets to area charities, schools, synagogues and other organizations for distribution to individuals who otherwise would not be able to attend the festival. SunFest also donates tickets for fundraising purposes to eligible event/causes whose activities enhance the greater community. Over the past ten years, SunFest has helped nonprofit organizations raise over $800,000 to support their causes.

As you might imagine, an event of this magnitude (and with a heart this big) requires many helping hands. Volunteers for SunFest receive a free ticket and a free meal – all while participating in one of the state’s biggest and most impactful festivals. Sounds like a sweet deal to us. Registration goes live in February: http://www.sunfest.com/volunteer/volunteer-opportunities.

Feeling inspired? We are, too. There’s a lot to celebrate at SunFest – so put on your best dancing shoes (okay, flip-flops) and meet us at the beach, Happy Volunteers!

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The Louisiana Marathon

VOLUNTEER FOR THE LOUISIANA MARATHON


Baton Rouge: a playful, lively city, known by many for it’s dazzling performing artists, rich cultural traditions and colorful nightlife. It’s also home to the annual Louisiana Marathon, an event that brings together a unique blend of sporting enthusiasts and local francophones – all in an effort to celebrate a passion for running alongside the vibrant culture of their community. That’s why they call it the Louisiana “Running Festival.”

Now in it’s fourth year, the Louisiana Marathon offers up a little something for everybody: runners can choose from a 5K, quarter marathon, half marathon, full marathon and even a kids marathon (for the little gunners of the pack)!

The Marathon course follows a scenic river trail through downtown Baton Rouge, weaving past University Lakes, the Louisiana State University campus and historic river town neighborhoods. Spectators, runners and volunteers alike can enjoy local food, beverages and live music at the finish line. Laissez les bon temps roulez!

Of course, an event of this magnitude requires the helping hands of many community volunteers. Those interested can sign-up individually, or as a member of a charity group. Volunteers will receive a “Race Krewe” t-shirt, an early-bird discount to register for any race next year at The Louisiana Marathon, and a discount to this year’s Pastalaya dinner. Spots are still available online – sign-up today and #GEAUXRUNLA!

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Des Moines Social Club

VOLUNTEER AT BASH TO THE FUTURE

 

Before you commit your New Year’s Eve festivities to the standard song-and-dance (you know the drill – champagne, sequins, kisses and confetti), consider this: live music, visual artists, art installations, decor, food, comedians, and aerial acrobats. Intrigued? It’s all going down on December 31st at the Des Moines Social Club’s New Year’s Eve Bash – and it’s one party you don’t want to miss. This year’s theme is ‘Bash to the Future.’

“Volunteers, after all, are the reason we can do any of the things that we do!” – Mickey Davis, Program Manager at the Des Moines Social Club

“We had always thought of doing a Back to the Future themed NYE, and this year seemed like the perfect time to do it,” says Mickey Davis, Program Manager at the Social Club. “As we started planning, we moved a little bit away from throwing a party based on the movie and instead are planning a party that showcases music, art, and decor in the past, present, and future.”

Attendees of this year’s event will find items based on the years 1965, 2015, and 2065 throughout the event.

The Des Moines Social Club (DMSC) is a multifaceted nonprofit arts organization that exists to create unprecedented community engagement through the arts. “More than anything else, the Social Club acts as a resource for new and developing artists to not only experience other art but also show the things they may be working on,” says Davis. “Incorporating both classes and performance, we hope to encourage artists to continue to develop their craft.”

The New Year’s Eve Bash, says Davis, “is almost a microcosm of all of that.” Through the many mediums of artistic expression which will be on display at the event, the Social Club hopes to provide a snapshot of what’s happening in Des Moines, both socially and artistically. If you’d like to get involved as a volunteer, you can sign-up today through VolunteerLocal.

Photo credit: Des Moines Juice Magazine

“VolunteerLcoal has been a great resource both in recruiting and managing volunteers,” says Davis. “Things change pretty quickly in the run-up to big events, so being able to talk to my volunteers in such an easy manner has been crucial in making sure we’re as prepared as possible for these big events.”

Davis adds, “Volunteers, after all, are the reason we can do any of the things that we do!”

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The Santos Great Bike Ride for Charity

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The Santos Great Bike Ride for Charity is one of Perth, Western Australia’s premier cycling events. Celebrating 10 years in 2014, the ride has 3 routes, a 10km family Ride, 53km Challenge Ride and 96km Ultimate Ride taking in the beautiful Swan River. It was started by the Rotary Club of Perth as a fundraising ride for St John of God Health Care and more recently St John of God Horizon House project.

The St John of God Foundation works to raise funds in response to identified needs of people and communities which are not met by traditional means or government funding. The Foundation contributes to many hospital developments in local communities and to Social Outreach services and cancer research.

“VolunteerLocal has been fantastic in helping to manage our [300] volunteers.” – Claire Levett, Campaign Coordinator at the St John of God Foundation

One of these initiatives is the St John of God Horizon House, which provides accommodation, care and intensive support to young people aged 16 to 22 who are vulnerable, homeless or at risk of homelessness.

“The most recent house that we opened provides support to homeless pregnant girls,” says Claire Levett, Campaign Coordinator for the St John of God Foundation. Residents are supported during pregnancy, preparing for childbirth and in the months following childbirth until they are able to find stable, independent living arrangements. Levett adds, “In two years, we have seen the birth of 39 babies.”

Each year, The Santos Great Bike Ride is a tremendous opportunity for the St John of God Foundation to raise awareness about the important services they provide, while bringing together the community for a day of fun and fitness. With over 4,000 participants and 300 volunteers, it’s no easy undertaking.

“Last year was the first time using VolunteerLocal and it has made my job so much easier,” says Levett. “Before, we had hard copy forms that people would send back and we would allocate their role. Now, volunteers can select the exact role and time they would like, saving on confusion and database entry.” Less time managing individual volunteer schedules and more time advocating for services and programs to assist at-risk youth in Western Australia? What a ride!

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Des Moines Music Coalition

SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER AT LITTLE BIG FEST

 

Whether it’s a soulful woman’s crystalline croon as her hands dance across the keys of a wurlitzer piano, or the lyrical honesty of a frantically poetic acoustic guitar player, his heart illuminated in the yellow glow – there is something about live music that electrifies the night.

Artists like these live among us – and sometimes, they are hidden in plain sight. But thanks to the Des Moines Music Coalition (DMMC), an organization focused on cultivating and supporting Iowa’s music economy, performers in central Iowa have plenty of opportunities to showcase their hard work. One of these events is right around the corner: DMMC’s Little BIG Fest, an annual music festival which features roots, singer-songwriters, bluegrass, jam, world, blues, jazz, and soul music in Des Moines.

“VolunteerLocal makes it so easy to organize an event.” – Christopher Ford, Program Manager at the Des Moines Music Coalition

Angela Lee, Becky Migas and Jillian Sievel are three of the volunteers behind the 2012 Little Big Fest. Photo Credit: Des Moines CityView

“Little BIG Fest contributes to a growing culture of support for local artists,” says Christopher Ford, Program Manager at the Des Moines Music Coalition. “It’s an opportunity for people to come together to celebrate some of the great music that’s being created in our community and to show love for those individuals who are creating our culture.”

The festival traditionally takes place in November, with its location changing from year-to-year. “As with all DMMC events, local bands are heavily featured,” says Ford. “Though bands from around the U.S. also perform at the event.”

While the location, date and line-up may change each year, one thing never does: happy volunteers. If you’re looking for a free pass to see and hear some local talent, or perhaps just to feel a few of those invariably awesome “altruistic-fuzzies,” sign-up for one of the last remaining shifts at this year’s Little BIG Fest on November 20th and 21st.

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Variety, the Children’s Charity

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Variety, the Children’s Charity is nonprofit organization that seeks to improve the lives of underprivileged, at-risk and special needs children throughout Iowa. Although this organization coordinates a number of “fun”draising events throughout the year (including Telethons, golf tournaments and an annual Black Tie Dinner), Variety is perhaps known best for their Bikes For Kids program, which awards qualified children with a brand new bike, lock and helmet (plus some training on bike safety and maintenance!).

This Friday, community members and advocates have another opportunity to support the great work that Variety does for at-risk children across Iowa. The upcoming Beer, Wine & Food Expo, presented by Hy-Vee, has partnered with Variety to produce an event for the uniquely altruistic, yet cuisine-savvy Iowans across the state.

“The Expo will be a melting pot for culinary enthusiasts throughout the Midwest, offering the opportunity to discover the latest cooking techniques from local and regional culinary experts,” says Tiffany Egli, the Director of Activities at Variety.

“A portion of the event’s proceeds will be donated to Variety, the Children’s Charity.” – Tiffany Egli, Director of Activities at Variety, the Children’s Charity

In addition to the palate-refining, culinary expo, this event will also feature a VIP Shopping Experience on Saturday from 11am-1pm – tailored to the serious wine/beer connoisseur. Attendees for this event will get to sip some fancy wine, chat with chefs and local craft brewers, and learn a few tips to brighten up that Wednesday night casserole – all while supporting a great cause.

“Our success for this (and all our events) would NOT be possible without our dedicated volunteers,” says Egli. “Volunteering for Variety is the difference you make in a child’s life.”

 

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