This could be free (in between volunteer shifts).
This could be free (in between volunteer shifts).
Miles Chrisinger

Seven Volunteer Gigs That Get You Into Music Events for Free (or Almost Free)

Not all music buffs have hundreds of bucks to sink into multi-day festival passes, concerts and season ticket subscriptions. But creative fans find ways to save some money and still check out the music they love. One of the best strategies: volunteering. Here are seven options for volunteering at music events.

Swallow Hill's summer concert series at the Denver Botanic Gardens.
Swallow Hill's summer concert series at the Denver Botanic Gardens.
Aaron Thackeray

Swallow Hill Music Association
All year
Various venues

Swallow Hill has been serving the music community since the ’70s, and volunteering at the organization's multi-theater and classroom venue on South Broadway is a good way to start reaping the benefits of helping out. The group also produces outdoor events in the summer, including a series at the Denver Botanic Gardens and another at the Arvada Center, where you can also volunteer. To find out how, go here.

Telluride Town Park.
Telluride Town Park.
Courtesy of Telluride Blues and Brews

Telluride Bluegrass Festival
June 15-18
Telluride

Telluride Bluegrass has been going strong for 44 years. The gorgeous mountain setting is ideal for a four-day, nonstop festival. This year's headliners include Jason Mraz, Norah Jones, Dierks Bentley and the Travelin' McCourys. After applying, you'll pay a $15 processing fee. You need to commit to working four hours for four days of the festival. Camping passes are not included. Apply here.

The Ride Festival
July 18-20
Telluride

The Ride Festival takes place in Telluride, but differs from the usual bluegrass festivals, instead showcasing rock, indie and folk acts. This year's headliners are Ben Harper, Beck and the John Butler Trio. You'll need to work two days of the festival with shifts between twelve to fourteen hours long for a two-day general admission pass. Learn more here.


Murder Pinchers at Three Kings Tavern.
Murder Pinchers at Three Kings Tavern.
Aaron Thackeray

Underground Music Showcase
July 27-30
South Broadway

Bands from across the local music scene will play various venues in central Denver for this extended weekend. You'll work five hours and have free admission for the day you volunteer. Sign up here.

Read on for more volunteer opportunities.

Fans at Planet Bluegrass in Lyons.
Fans at Planet Bluegrass in Lyons.
Brandon Marshall

Rockygrass Festival
July 28-30
Lyons, CO

This will be the 45th year for Rockygrass, and headliners will include bluegrass, roots and folk acts: Sam Bush, the Infamous Stringdusters and Del McCoury band. You'll need to commit to three days and work twelve hours total. There is a $12 application fee, and you'll have to pay for your pass, the price of which will be refunded once you complete all three days of volunteering. Don't forget that you'll need to purchase a camping pass, as it is not included for volunteers. Learn more here here.

Rising Appalachia workshop at Arise 2016.
Rising Appalachia workshop at Arise 2016.
Emily Healy

Arise Festival
August 4-6
Sunrise Ranch, Loveland

Arise, one of the few independent festivals in Colorado, is heading into its fifth year. Headliners include Atmosphere, Beats Antique and Tipper alongside eight stages of music, yoga, art and workshops. You'll work a minimum of fifteen hours total starting one to two days before and/or after the festival. You'll be refunded for your ticket purchase and need to pay a $20 application fee. Learn how to get involved here.

Elephant Revival at Folks Fest 2014.
Elephant Revival at Folks Fest 2014.
Michael Bialas

Rocky Mountain Folks Festival
August 18-20
Lyons, CO

Folks Festival is a full weekend of roots, folk and indie music taking place at Planet Bluegrass in Lyons. Headliners this year include Gregory Alan Isakov, Lake Street Drive and Josh Ritter. It costs $12 to apply to volunteer. Various shifts are needed for all three days of the festival. A camping pass is not included for volunteers. Find out more here.

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >