Ask anyone who has ever attended Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, and they’ll probably agree: it’s an unforgettable experience.
Over the course of this four-day event, Great Stage Park (the name of the festival site) becomes the eighth largest city in the state of Tennessee – and a veritable township blossoms in the General Admission campground. Amidst a sea of tents and tarps, flags are hoisted high, lifelong friendships are forged, and the deep reverberations of bass guitar, the rhythmic pounding of drums, and the soulful echo of vocalists can be heard all through the day and night.
“We work year round to watch thousands of people come together and enjoy a complete experience. Not just the bands on stages, but the food, the campgrounds, the artwork, even the new flushable toilets, but especially the people all make this an incredible time.” – James Shinault, Vice President of Festival Projects and Fan Experience at AC Entertainment
A ticket to Bonnaroo grants attendees access to performances by world-class comedians and mega-stars in the music industry, alongside exclusive (early) showings of movies in the Cinema Tent, local artists in Centeroo, and many other miscellaneous attractions (an iconic fountain, a Christmas Barn and a Broo’ers Festival). The Bonnaroovian Code encourages all attendees to “radiate positivity” – and the good folks at AC Entertainment (aka the production wizards behind Bonnaroo) make that pretty easy.
AC Entertainment is internationally recognized as an innovative leader in creating, producing, booking, and marketing first-class live entertainment experiences. James Shinault is the Vice President of Festival Projects and Fan Experience.
“My job centers around making sure that our festivals are being executed at the highest level while maintaining a set budget and ensuring that our fans have an amazing time,” says Shinault. “A big part of that deals with fan interaction, which is where our volunteers come in.”
Each year, almost 2,500 volunteers participate in helping to make Bonnaroo the phenomenal experience that has become for so many. “Volunteers are extremely important to Bonnaroo because they are often times the most fan facing part of the event,” says Shinault. “They are some of the first people you interact with when you enter the site and they can be seen on each and every corner of the site ensuring that our fans are having a great time.”
“VolunteerLocal essentially acts as a one-stop shop for everything that I need to recruit the volunteers, organize them, and communicate with them.”
For a job this big, Shinault and his team trusted VolunteerLocal. “I’ve used pretty much every basic form of online recruiting from Google Forms and spreadsheets to just emailing to sign up, and I’ve even used other volunteer management softwares,” he explains. “VolunteerLocal is by far the most organized, consumer friendly, seamless way I’ve found for online recruiting of volunteers.”
We’re definitely feeling the love, too – Bonnaroo has become something of an annual company retreat here at VolunteerLocal. Look out for the #HappyVolunteering flag in Guest Camping next year!