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You asked for it: Free music fests

Volunteer at Pitchfork, North Coast and Dave Matthews Band Caravan for free entry.

Photograph: Max Herman

My goal this summer: see lots of bands without paying crazy music-fest ticket prices. I’m too much of a goody-goody to try sneaking in or jumping a fence, but I heard that if you put in a few hours volunteering for a festival, you can get free admission. Is that true? And if so, where do I sign up?!—F.G., Lakeview

Dave Matthews Band Caravan (Lakeside, Friday 8–Sunday 10)
Befitting this crunchy carnival, Portland’s music-minded environmental nonprofit Reverb is taking volunteers to set up and man the Eco-Village education booth and distribute literature about its “greening programs.”
Minimum contribution
four hours for general admission after your shift

Pitchfork Music Festival (Union Park, July 15–17)
Like Lollapalooza, P-Fork’s initial volunteer recruitment—which uses local orgs like 826CHI and Open Books to round up helping hands—already ended. But unlike Lolla, you can still register on a P4K waiting list for last-minute shifts taking tickets, applying wristbands, managing access points and the like.
Minimum contribution
six hours for one full day at the fest

North Coast Music Festival(Union Park, September 2–4)
North Coast organizers require an application, a $10 registration fee and a $50 deposit refunded when a shift is completed “to ensure that volunteers are serious about exchanging their time for free entry.” (Yikes!) Volunteer team leaders, info-booth assistants and security positions are in demand.
Minimum contribution
ten hours in exchange for a full day of fest-going

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