Volunteer FAQs

Events & Festival Info

All events with HeadCount are free to attend. However, when applying to work at large events such as festivals, you are required to have a credit card on file. If a volunteer cancels within two weeks of an event, is a no-show or attends the event but does not fulfill their volunteering requirements, then HeadCount reserves the right to charge that person for the value of a general admission ticket. This policy ensures that all volunteer spots are used to support our mission. 

Approximately six hours each day (in shifts of two or three hours). At some lightly staffed events, it can be up to eight hours. In addition, you need to participate in training, setup and takedown. When not working, you must still abide by HeadCount’s festival policies.

You can sign up for a festival just like any other event. But there are several differences between festivals and regular shows. For one thing, at multi-day festivals you usually need to arrive the day before the music starts (especially if it is a camping festival). You also will need to provide a credit card as a deposit. If your plans change and you need to cancel, you will need to do so at least two weeks in advance of the festival, or your card will be charged the price of a general admission ticket.

For a concert or single-day event, you are free to leave the show early as long as you stay until the HeadCount table shuts down or are excused by your Team Leader. If you have a reason you expect you’ll need to leave early, please communicate that with the Team Leader before being confirmed for the event.

You must be 100% sober when volunteering at a HeadCount booth or on a volunteer shift. No alcohol or drugs can be consumed before or during the time you volunteer. Once your shift is done, please remove your HeadCount t-shirt if you plan to consume alcohol.If you enter an event or festival with us, you are always representing us - as such, our policies strictly forbid being openly intoxicated or using hard drugs whenever you are at an event where you gained entry via HeadCount. 

No, we’re afraid you’re on your own for getting to and from the venue. For festivals we encourage volunteers to carpool together, and will try to help you arrange that when possible.

We can’t say that happens regularly. The artists we work with are very supportive and from time to time our volunteers get to meet them, but this is unusual and not something to plan on.

No. Being late is a guaranteed way to create a difficult circumstance for everyone involved. If you are late and miss the opportunity to enter the venue with your team leader, you very likely will be denied access to the show.

We encourage you to invite friends to also sign up for a show you’re volunteering at. If you have friends signing up with you, be sure to let the Team Leader know so they can do their best to confirm you both. However, you can not bring friends unless they are confirmed as a volunteer.

We require you to look respectable and non-partisan. This means you can dress any way you wish within the following limitations:
* Absolutely no partisan pins, t-shirts or statements may appear on your person

You sure can! On HeadCount’s events page, you can see all the upcoming shows in your area and sign up for only those you’re interested in volunteering for. You’ll need to log in to sign up for shows, and then can pick any you wish.

This will vary, but typically we shut down the HeadCount table after the headlining artist begins their final set. On rare occasions, a venue will not allow our volunteers access to the venue area and we do not get to see the show. But this is unusual. Generally speaking, you can expect to see most of the show but will probably miss some portions of it. We suggest that people never volunteer if their favorite band is playing, because you need to be prepared to miss some of the music.

In almost all cases, yes. Generally you’ll receive access to the general admission or standing area at the show, or a “working pass” that allows you access to the venue. Note that you will usually miss all of the opening acts while registering voters, and may miss some of the headliner’s set in some circumstances. For this reason, we discourage anyone from volunteering when their absolute favorite band is playing. There are also rare instances where, because of venue rules, we are not able to see the show at all (this is extremely rare and we try to avoid it, but it can happen). But yes, seeing live music (for free) is a huge part of the HeadCount volunteer experience.

General Info

Visit www.HeadCount.org/volunteer and sign up for another show. You also can stay in touch directly with your Team Leader and let them know what shows you want to work, but you must also sign up through our website.

We’re pretty confident that if you try your best and pay attention to the training, you’ll register a few people. Plan for success!

Check our Jobs & Internshipspage to learn more about all volunteer and paid positions within HeadCount. We're growing fast, so check back from time to time and see what openings we have. In addition to full-time jobs and paid gigs, HeadCount is often seeking new Team Leaders and Regional Coordinators, who are eligible for stipends of up to $1,500 per year. Being a Team Leader is a great way to get started with HeadCount. You're the one in charge of our voter registration tables at concerts and events in your local area!

Volunteers, or as we sometimes call them “Field Volunteers,” register voters at concerts but have no responsibility beyond the events they sign up for and work. You can sign up for any shows or create a volunteer profile by visiting www.HeadCount.org/volunteer. Team Leaders and Regional Coordinators have larger responsibilities that involve overseeing and organizing other volunteers on an ongoing basis. Click on each position to get a better description and learn how to apply for these roles.

Volunteer Info

HeadCount welcomes folks of all ages to volunteer. Minors ages 13 to 15 should only be at an event when their parent or legal guardian also volunteer. We also recommend checking the age restrictions on a given event or venue. Any minor that volunteers at an event must have their parent or guardian sign a Minor Waiver. The adult should email this waiver to [email protected] for our record prior to the minor’s participation in any HeadCount events.

We encourage you to sign up for any show that interests you, but be prepared to get started with some weekday shows or shows by smaller bands. Our most popular events oftentimes have more volunteers sign up than there are spots available, meaning you may end up on the waitlist for some of these shows. Signing up for events other than concerts (community events) is also a great way to get started, as these generally have no limits on volunteer spots and will let your Team Leader know you are committed to the cause. 

It can. For volunteers in good standing, HeadCount is happy to provide any documentation you need.

No. No experience is required to volunteer at a show with HeadCount.

Volunteering for HeadCount is a great way to still participate in democracy and encourage others to make their voices heard, even if you are not able to vote.

If you personally don’t believe in voting or have never bothered, this probably isn’t the best volunteer opportunity for you.

YES! HeadCount is a non-partisan organization and we welcome people with all viewpoints and perspectives!

HeadCount welcomes folks ages 13 and up  to volunteer, with some limitations. Minors ages 13 to 15 can only be at an event when their parent or legal guardian also volunteers, and both are confirmed in advance.Those age 16 or 17 may volunteer with parental permission. Any minor that volunteers at an event must have their parent or guardian sign a Minor Waiver. The adult should email this waiver to [email protected] prior to the minor’s participation in any HeadCount event. We also recommend checking the age restrictions on a given event or venue, as all volunteers must abide by these.

Barring any state-specific laws, no, you do not have to be registered to vote to register other voters. Also, what better way to get registered yourself than at your first HeadCount experience!?

There is no requirement for how many shows you must volunteer at. You can sign up for whatever shows you’re available for. But when you do volunteer at a concert, you often need to arrive about one hour before the doors open to the show, which can be two or more hours before the actual showtime. Then, you will be registering voters before the show, during setbreak and sometimes after the show or during the music. So volunteering can be upwards of a five-hour commitment.

The main responsibility of a HeadCount volunteer is to approach people and ask “Are you registered to vote at your current address?” and then assist them as they complete a voter registration form. You need to be outgoing, a good communicator, and a true believer in democracy. You also need to work hard – volunteering is fun but it definitely requires high-energy and a can-do attitude. You’ll engage in this activity from the time the doors open to when the headlining act starts playing, and also be working set-break. In addition, you will participate in a training, plus set-up and take-down of the HeadCount table.

What our friends are saying

HeadCount has connected me with a community of people working to make the world a better place at both a national and local level. From slinging scoops of Phish Food on tour with the eponymous band, to gathering with friends new and old on LOCKN’ Participation Row, to voter registration drives, some of the best…

Brodie O’Brien • Ben & Jerry’s US Marketing Manager

Having worked in the children’s publishing space for over twenty years, I’ve always thought that the most important part of my job was to prepare kids to become great citizens of the world through reading and books. Partnering with HeadCount has made that connection even stronger.

Jed Bennett • Executive Director of Marketing, Penguin Young Readers

I’ve had the absolute pleasure of working hundreds of events with thousands of people, and the one thing that continues to inspire me is the quality of people drawn to this organization. I’ve had several titles with the organization, but the one I’m most proud of is simply being “JR with HeadCount”.

JR Wotring •Team Leader, Ohio

HeadCount truly brings in the most diverse crowd of like minded individuals that have one common goal; we want you to vote! Becoming a team leader for HeadCount has given me so much purpose & sincerely makes me feel like I’m making an impact in this huge world.

Lindi Smith • Team Leader, Virginia

Volunteering with Headcount has been one of the great joys of my life. We’re providing a service that many people have never even considered. Headcount is a great vehicle to do some good in the community I am proud to be a Headcount Team Leader.

Chris McDonald • Dallas, TX

My best memory of HeadCount is when Bob Weir and Michael Franti gave shout-outs during their performances. I literally got chills and was so proud to be part of an organization that is making a positive change. Sarah Duffany • Salt Lake City, UT

Sarah Duffany • Salt Lake City, UT

The HeadCount mission has fostered within me a true desire to promote positive change. The HeadCount community has provided me with the opportunity not only to meet but to forge strong and lasting friendships with some of the most interesting and genuine people I’ve ever known.

Brigid Tatlow • New York, NY

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