The Volunteer Team Behind Bluesfest (VTBB)

Here you can find answers to our most frequently asked questions.


Popular FAQs

When and where will ottawa BLUESFEST 2024 be taking place?

Next year Ottawa Bluesfest will take place at LeBreton Flats from July 4-14, 2024!

You can check out this year’s event specific information on our festival website: 

What are the public health guidelines for this event?

The safety of everyone at the festival is our top priority! We will be following provincial health guidelines that are in place at the time of the festival.


Registration FAQs

Why should I consider volunteering with the Volunteer Team Behind ottawa Bluesfest(and Cityfolk!) (VTBB)?

We are proud to host many volunteers at our events every season, and are always looking for enthusiastic and qualified volunteers to join our team. We have many different volunteer opportunities, both on and off the festival grounds, and we work directly with volunteer leaders to ensure our community is well-supported, trained and supervised effectively, and given ample opportunities to connect with each other in a fun, exciting, and memorable way.

I want to volunteer at ottawa Bluesfest — when and how can I sign up?

Our sign-up process is going to look similar this year as we are remaining with the current volunteer management software (Bloomerang, previously named InitLive). Public registration opens in May. Details will be added to our volunteer website as they become available—thank you in advance for your patience!


We are so excited to welcome you back to live events as a member of the Volunteer Team Behind Bluesfest (VTBB). Please ensure the following email addresses are in your Safe Senders list so you don’t miss a message from us!

Applications are NOT YET open for Ottawa Bluesfest 2024. 

All volunteers, whether new or returning, will need to create a Bloomerang (previously named InitLiveaccount in order to access Opportunities with our Organization. If you’re a new volunteer, we’ll let you know when applications are open, but in the meantime, you can read more about Bloomerang’s Privacy Policy HERE

To see video demonstrations on how to register with Bloomerang follow this link:

Additional Bloomerang Training:

What is Bloomerang (previously named InitLive)?

Initlive is now Bloomerang!

We are always looking for the best ways to manage our volunteers’ information and make registration as easy as possible, which is why we have switched our software to a local Ottawa company, Bloomerang (previously named InitLive). If you’re looking to learn more about how Bloomerang manages the data collected, you can find all the information links below. 

Read Bloomerang’s Privacy Policy HERE 

Read Bloomerang’s Terms and Conditions HERE

I want to sign up with someone — friend, child, partner, sibling — is there anything special that we need to know?

No problem! We often have volunteers working together in areas throughout the festival site. To increase the chances of this happening, you and your friend or family should sign up for the same shifts at the same time, using separate computers. However, because volunteers are placed where they’re needed within an area, we can’t guarantee that you’ll work together; your Crew Leader may need you to work separately during your respective shifts.

As a volunteer, do I get access to free shows at ottawa BLUESFEST?

Definitely! This is one of the many perks our volunteers get! To keep your access to free shows throughout the festival, you must attend all of the shifts that you sign up for and make sure that you otherwise stay in good standing. If you are a new volunteer – you must either attend the July 3rd onsite training, or complete your first shift to be “Free Show Eligible”.

Why can’t I volunteer in more than one Area?

Having our volunteers work all their shifts in one area helps us to keep things consistent and means that you don’t have to learn the ropes for a new activity every time you come in. Our Area Leaders also depend on the experience of their team to keep things running smoothly, and to help new volunteers get the hang of the day-to-day activities and expectations of their Area.

If, however, you thrive on new experiences and get tired of doing the same things day in and day out, check out our Alternates team to get the chance to work all over the festival site!

What to do if i'm blocked from the festival?


Specialized Recruitment FAQs

Why are some Areas privately-recruited?

Some areas are specially recruited because they require volunteers to have additional experience in that area. These areas might also have additional responsibilities than the average area. Typically, specialized positions are staffed from within, or they require volunteers to interview for the position in order to highlight their relevant experience. 

How do I apply for specialized positions if they're not open during Public Registration?

To find out what positions are looking for new volunteers, what requirements each team has and how to apply, you can check back to our Opportunities page for newly available positions.


Youth Volunteers FAQs

How old do I have to be to volunteer?

While we accept any age over 18, our Youth volunteers are the youngest team of volunteers at the festival! Youth volunteers must be 15 years of age by July 4th, 2024 to participate. All youth initiatives and opportunities are designed for individuals between the ages of 15 – 17 years old who have the permission of their legal guardian to participate at the festival.

Where can I download the Parental Permission Form?

All of our Youth volunteers must submit a signed Parental Permission Form before their first shift. 

You can view and download the 2024 Parental Permission Form here.

Please have it signed and bring it with you to your first shift.

Can my time spent volunteering count for high school hours?

Yes! Make sure to bring your school-issued form with you and have your Area Leader sign it immediately following each shift.


Volunteering Training FAQs

Will there be an Orientation session for ottawa Bluesfest 2024?

Yes! The Virtual Orientation date will take place on Zoom at 6 PM on Thursday, June 27! There will be an onsite training session at 6 PM on Wednesday, July 3!

Here is the 2023 recording.

What is the Accessibility Standards Customer Service Training and why do I have to do it for the festival?

Accessibility Standards for Customer Service is a provincially-driven act created to increase awareness and services for people with disabilities. All organizations that provide goods or services directly to the public are affected by this act, and that includes volunteers for Ottawa Bluesfest. 

Do I have to complete the Accessibility Standards Customer Service Training before registration? How do I do that?

Yes! All volunteers are required to complete the Accessibility Standards Customer service. Training can be completed anytime between now and when the festival starts. The training takes approximately 45 minutes and is available for free online at:

*Please note, although there is a certificate for completing the training available, we do not require that you send it in to us. If you’ve done the training before, you do not need to do it again.


Volunteer Conditions FAQs

What happens if I can’t attend one of my shifts?

We can’t run the festival without our volunteers, so we’re counting on your attendance! It’s expected that you’ll show up for all of your scheduled shifts, even if you signed up for more than the minimum. In order to avoid missing shifts, make sure not to sign up for more shifts than you can commit to!

Remember: In order to keep your Free Show privileges, you must attend ALL of the shifts that you’re scheduled for.

Where can I find information about festival policies?

Reviewing and signing off on our VTBB Code of Conduct, Harassment Policy, and Terms and Conditions are a mandatory part of volunteering with us. You can review these documents HERE**

What should i do if i have something or someone to report while on site?

If ever you are on site and witness or experience a situation that you feel should be reported, but may not know how or who you should speak to. Visit our training page to review our Reporting Procedures document. The Training Page can be found HERE.

Please note that any and all incidents that occur on site should be accompanied by an incident report. Your area’s leadership team can help you with this process.


Fundraising FAQs

What do funds raised through the fundraising ambassadors tickets go towards?

These funds directly benefit two festival-created charities, Blues in the Schools (BITS) and Be in the Band (BITB). Both of these programs have been extremely successful and are sources of community pride.

  • Blues in the Schools is an award-winning educational program created to promote the history and culture of Blues music by bringing national and international artists and educators to local schools for two-week residencies.
  • Be in the Band puts young musicians in touch with other young musicians as potential bandmates, and recruits professional musicians to mentor and provide technical support and equipment so that participants can take full advantage of a quality ensemble experience..


Transportation FAQs

How do I get to the festival? Can I park onsite?

Your Volunteer Wristband gets you free OC transpo access between 2pm and 1am on festival days. This includes the LRT, which is operational until 1AM daily. You may need to show your wristband to a supervisor or use the support call button at LRT stations.

No, there is no volunteer-specific parking onsite. However, we are located centrally at Lebreton Flats, so we recommend using public transportation or walking/biking when possible. There are plenty of public bike parking places if you choose to ride your bike to the festival, along with our offered Bike Park. The closest public parking is across the bridge in Gatineau, which we have no affiliation with.

The Volunteer Team Behind Bluesfest