A BARGAIN DON’T MATTER WHEN YOU’RE PINCHING PENNIES
I’ve attended Jazz Fest for many years now, but for 2014 I had a chance to peek behind he scenes and earn free admission in the process. Although the daily price continues to climb–$70 at the gate as opposed to $20 when I first came in 1998—it’s still a bargain when you consider that not only do you get to see headliners like Bruce Springsteen who charge over $100 these days for nosebleed seats, but you get a full day’s worth of music on eleven stages beforehand as opposed to some lame opening act you didn’t even choose. Still, I’ve been pinching pennies the past year so when a friend suggested I volunteer in exchange for free admission I jumped at the chance.
THIS IS NEW ORLEANS, THOUGH
The orientation material I received a week before Jazz Fest sounded very strict: you must arrive fifteen minutes before your shift or you won’t be admitted, you must return your signed slip and volunteer pin to the trailer immediately upon the end of your shift, no loitering at your station afterwards and drinking the water provided for staff and volunteers, your bag will be thoroughly searched, etc. Uncertain if they were serious, I worried about being late—a bad habit of mine—as well as completing four five-hour shifts on both Saturdays and Sundays; I didn’t want to wear myself out working in the sun before my day began. I should have known, though… [Read more…]