Northwest Folklife Festival


photo by Christopher Nelson

Volunteer FAQs

Q: How do I apply to be a volunteer?

A: All volunteers are processed via an online application, which you can find here. – link needs to be corrected to 2019 general application


Q: Where can I find descriptions about different volunteer positions?

A: There is a link to our job descriptions on the volunteer page of our Festival website.


Q: Is there an age requirement to volunteer?

A:  If you are under 18 years of age, the signature of parent or legal guardian is required to volunteer. Please bring a signed Code of Conduct form to Volunteer Registration on your first day.


Q: Where do you need the most help?

A: Our greatest need is for Greeters at our entrances. We also sometimes have a hard time filling shifts in the evenings and on Monday of the Festival.


Q: Can I earn Community Service hours while volunteering at Northwest Folklife?

A: Of course! Bring your paperwork with you to Volunteer Registration and the Volunteer Coordinator can fill out and sign your forms. If you need a formal letter from the Volunteer Department stating hours worked, please make that note under the “General Information” section of the application or email the volunteer department at


Q: Is there a volunteer training meeting?

A:  Volunteers will be trained onsite at the Festival so it’s important to show up on time or even a little early! Greeters will have special training before their first shift.


Q: I applied to be a volunteer but haven’t received my schedule!

A: The average turn around time is about 2 – 3 weeks. If you have not received a schedule within this time frame, please email the volunteer department at


Q: I received my volunteer schedule and there’s a mistake!

A: When scheduling 1,400 volunteer shifts, there are bound to be a few mistakes! Please email us at with any questions or schedule changes.


Q: What should I bring?

A: Bring food or money to purchase food, a water bottle, comfy shoes (preferably close-toed) and layers (you never know what’s going to happen with this Seattle weather!) IMPORTANT: If you are under 18 years of age, you must have a parent or guardian sign a “Code of Conduct and Waiver Form” and bring it with you when you check in for your first shift.


Q: Is there a dress code for volunteering?

A:  Please use your best judgment and dress appropriately for the weather! Greeters are encouraged to bring their finest top-hats and clown shoes- dressing up is a part of the fun! Layers are important as many positions take place outdoors rain or shine.


Q: Is there free parking for volunteers?

A: Although we greatly appreciate our wonderful volunteers, we are not able to provide free parking. There are, however, a number of buses that come right to Seattle Center. Please visit the Getting Here page of our Festival website for more information!


Q: Where do I check in?

A: Check in at Volunteer Registration, located in the Armory on the 3rd Floor in Loft 2.


Q: What time should I show up for my shift?

A: Please check in at least 15 minutes before your shift of each day you are volunteering so that we have time to train you and get you to where your job location is. Greeters will need to check in 30 minutes before their first shift!


Q: I can no longer make my shift, what do I do?

A: If you can no longer make your shift, please email the volunteer department at as soon as possible! For same day cancellations, please text or call Xaviera at 206-446-4806.


Q: My friend wants to volunteer too! Is it too late?

A: We take volunteer applications via our General Volunteer Application year-round, and this can be found online. However specifically for Northwest Folklife Festival, anyone is more than welcome to walk into Volunteer Registration during the Festival and see what shifts we have open!


Q: Aw shucks! I can’t make it to the Festival, are there other volunteer opportunities?

A: Yes! We have several Pre-Festival and Post-Festival shifts available! We also have year-round opportunities to volunteer for mailings as well as Our Big Neighborhood events Movin’ Around the World in February and April, Seattle Children’s Festival in September, and Global Playground in August. Email the Volunteer Department at for more information!