Volunteering for the Fringe Festival
We will begin recruiting volunteers for the 2023 festival towards the end of 2022. If you are interested in being part of the team, sign up to our newsletter to learn about opportunities to get involved!
Read on to find out a bit more about what volunteering with us is like!
The Dunedin Fringe Festival is an experimental, boundary-breaking festival that welcomes one and all, endeavouring to build a programme with something for everyone. The Dunedin Fringe is a big machine with a lot of moving parts, and vital to this ecosystem are the volunteers who generously bless us with their talent and care, devoting their time and energy every year to the success of the festival.
We even won an award for our volunteer programme at the 2021 Dunedin Volunteer Awards!
Be a part of a thriving creative arts scene, watch the city come alive, make friends and connections to last a lifetime, get experience, and get empowered to do your own creative work! Our volunteer coordinator is also happy to provide references to those who want them, or to be a referee for the future.
While the bulk of volunteer roles are during the festival in March, there are several events leading up to the festival that require your help, such as the Programme Launch in February, distribution of guides and posters to help promote the festival, and market days such as Thieves Alley.
*The festival is an ever-changing landscape, therefore, the roles and responsibilities on the following list may differ or change from the description. Additionally, if you feel you have experience that would be a great benefit to the festival, let us know and we may be able to find a unique role/position for you!
Front Of House (Emerson’s Festival Theatre)
This role involves taking and selling tickets to shows at the festival club, answering basic queries from the public and assisting with odd jobs at the venue. Having a basic knowledge of and being willing to promote Fringe events is a bonus. Volunteers in this role will be taking and selling tickets; basic numeracy and cash handling, customer service skills, like communication and a helpful attitude towards customers are essential.
Front of House at external location
This role is exactly the same as the FOH at the Festival Theatre except for the fact that this will be at an external location for specific shows. Therefore, the volunteers for this role need an extra helpful attitude, as the artist may request their help with other aspects of their show.
Usher (Emerson’s Festival Theatre)
This role will involve showing people their seats, assisting with any health and safety procedures if needed and doing the odd job at the venue. The usher is there to help direct people to the emergency exits in the unlikely event of an emergency. In between shows the usher helps moving chairs and assisting the Festival Club manager. It is therefore important that the usher knows how to handle stressful situations, is able to give and follow instructions and is preferably able to help with moving chairs.
Box Office / Office Angel (Fringe HQ)
This role involves selling tickets to shows at the Fringe HQ, answering questions, promoting shows, direct marketing (knowledge of Fringe events is a bonus but not essential) and helping out with odd jobs around the office. General tasks: answering questions, selling tickets, promoting the shows; direct marketing, public interaction, polite manners, customer service, basic cash handling, ticketing and eftpos (training required). The volunteers in this role need to remember they are the face of the Fringe and therefore be polite and enthusiastic. Their task is to be a friendly information giver.
Crew (also known as Pack in / Pack out / Runner)
This role is a broad term that essentially means that the volunteer is an extra pair of hands for the team in operations or logistics. For example, it could mean setting up/decorating spaces for events or venues (like the Emersons Festival Theatre), tidying/deconstructing a space after events and at the end of the festival, assisting programmes, interacting with audience as part of programmes, or being a runner for the production manager and events manager to assist them with their tasks. A ‘get stuck-in’ attitude and the ability to follow instructions are all that’s required.
This role involves working with the Bar & Duty manager to work behind the bar, selling and serving drinks and food at the Emerson’s Festival Theatre and assisting with odd jobs at the club to ensure that the bar/kitchen runs smoothly. Enthusiasm and a good attitude are a must! Hospitality experience is really helpful but not essential as volunteers can be trained on the job. Volunteers in this role also need to be able to handle cash/eftpos & need to be able to work under pressure.
This role involves delivering flyers, posters and guides to local businesses around Dunedin. This is a really important role, consistently underrated and surprisingly hard to consistently fill. It covers distribution of festival guides and artist posters/flyers and stickers to the public and to businesses and sponsors around Dunedin in order to build knowledge and customer base. Distribution is carried out through a variety of means, direct marketing, events, hot spots, and flyer bombs. Volunteers need to have a vehicle or the ability to walk, patience, diligence and polite manners.
The Black Box performance is a pop up performance space in the Fringe HQ. This way pedestrians walking past the Fringe HQ can enjoy a wonderful Fringe performance for free!
This role consists of helping coordinate the Black Box Performance Space, making sure the audience members are safe and the artists can find some refreshments, and assisting with the technical set up. The Blackbox assistant volunteer is there to assist the production manager. The volunteers in this role need to be able to follow instructions and be hospitable.
The showcase requires a handful of switched-on volunteers. This role includes re-setting the stage in-between acts, manual handling, working with others and answering general questions from artists. Some tech setup may also be included (for which basic training will be provided if necessary). Any volunteers working backstage should be able to work closely in a team, follow instructions quickly and carefully and keep a cool head in stressful situations. Previous stagehand experience is a bonus but not essential.
The Dunedin Fringe Festival is the world’s southernmost Fringe Festival. Initiated in 2000, Dunedin Fringe aims to bring experimental contemporary art to a wider audience and to support the work of emerging artists. Dunedin Fringe is an annual event which happens every March timed to coincide with other fringe festivals in New Zealand and Australia.
Dunedin Fringe Arts Trust
PO Box 1331
03 477 3350