Students are a part of festival
The Voodoo Experience 2012
Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 2, 2012 20:11
“Watching Florence Welch warm up – that was the most enchanting experience,” 2012 Loyola graduate Katie Peters said about her experience volunteering at Voodoo Festival two years ago. “I sat with her harpist while he was playing on a harp, and she was meditating. You saw the artistry and the aesthetic.”
Peters is one of many Loyola students, past and present, to help out at one of New Orleans’s largest music festivals. This year, over 40 Loyola students volunteered their time for The Voodoo Experience.
Peters worked in an area called Artist Relations. She's full of stories, from Ozzy Osborne needing his oxygen tank, to Weezer’s manager forcing her to tears. Her job was to drive artists around on a golf cart whenever her walkie-talkie told her to.
Peters was extremely lucky to have gotten these experiences because the majority of Loyola students work in an area called Festival Services.
Music industry junior Joy Cornay managed this section of Voodoo this year and recruited students as volunteers. Her actual job, aside from watching over her volunteers, was to be “the extra hand,” she said.
“When anyone from any other part of the park needs something, they radio me,” Cornay said. “We have very interesting interactions at the front gate; we’ll collect boxes of illegal substances. And there’s always people trying to jump the fence.”
The Loyola volunteers she recruits have a separate job. Some work the information booth and others work as front-gate greeters.
“The greeters are the first people you see at Voodoo – the smiling faces that hand you a program when you walk in,” Cornay said. “Information booth workers are located a little past the entrance, and it’s the first tent on-site.” English literature junior Nikki Navarez worked as a greeter last year. “I had to do a lot of talking and smiling, being social,” she said. “You see a lot of weird people, everyone
Catherine Pugh, mass communications junior, agrees that she encountered some strangely costumed individuals at the front gate. “But that’s just a part of Voodoo,” she said. “Volunteering was fun. This was my second year, and I’ll definitely do it again next year.”
The volunteering experience has several benefits for students, including free entry into the park for that day.
“That’s why I did it,” Navarez said. “I didn’t have enough money to pay for a ticket, so that was my opportunity.” Ticket prices range from $90 for a one-day pass to $175 for all three days, according to Voodoo’s website.
Cornay said that as a music industry major, she looked to volunteering to get experience and make connections. “I volunteered three years ago for the first time,” she said. “I was a lowly volunteer, and now I’m in charge of a volunteering group with many other jobs on site. It’s definitely worth it.”
Cherie Lejeune can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org