SOAK openings for new Department Leads! Apply by Nov 22.

Do you want to make a difference at the event you love to attend? SOAK has openings for new Department Leads! SOAK is 100% volunteer-led and volunteer-run, and joining the Leads team is a great way to give back to our community, develop new skills, and make an impact at our Regional Burn.

We’re looking for Gate, Art, and Placement Leads. Please read the descriptions below for information about time commitment, benefits, and requirements!

Apply by Nov 22

SOAK*2019 Department Lead: Role Descriptions

This year we’re looking for new Leads in the following departments:

Gate (1 opening): Coordinates, trains & supervises staff who manage the event entrance and perimeter, manage wristbands, conduct vehicle searches, manage traffic in and out of the event; helps direct event exodus. Sets up shift schedules and enters timesheets for large (~50 people) volunteer crew. Requires significant coordination with Box Office, Parking, and Ambassadors. Will co-lead with returning lead Spraypaint.

Placement (2 openings): Acts as theme camp liaison and coordinates theme camp registration & placement as a primary function of overall event layout; coordinates theme camp requests for Directed Group Sale access and Early Arrival. Primarily works pre-event but some onsite work is also required, very early in the event. Sets up shift schedules and enters timesheets for small volunteer crew. Requires significant coordination with Site Coordinator, Art Intake, Box Office, Pathlighters, DPW, Comms, and Producers. Will co-lead with returning leads Joshy and Red Wizard.

Art Intake (1 opening):  Acts as artist liaison, tracks art piece submissions; coordinates artist requests for placement, Directed Group Sale access, and Early Arrival. Sets up shift schedules and enters timesheets for small volunteer crew. Requires significant coordination with Box Office, Placement, Comms, Precipitation Northwest Artist Provisions Coordinator.

Reports to



  • One (1) free ticket to SOAK*2019 plus access to purchase one (1) ticket via a Directed Group Sale
  • Free attendance at the two-day Leads Retreat, including all meals
  • Occasional snacks & swag
  • Fuel reimbursement for pre-event/post-event site visits and for the Leads Retreat

Position summary

Work under the direction of the Producers to:

  • Attend 2-day Leads Retreat (February 9-10, 2019; night of Feb 8 is optional)
  • Attend planning meetings with the production team, in person or via videostream
  • Collaborate effectively with department co-lead (where applicable) and act as point of contact for department logistics
  • Vet, train, schedule and manage department volunteers, before, during and/or after event, as needed
  • Plan and lead team meetings, trainings and social functions as needed
  • Delegate work to department volunteers as needed and oversee work quality
  • Track volunteer hours worked, and log them in our Event Management software
  • Keep accurate records and documentation of all expenses and planning materials for department, within the provided budget
  • Act as mentor and mediator to team members under the direction of the Producers
  • Understand and evolve department mission based on experience and feedback

Knowledge, skills and experience

  • Has attended SOAK at least 1 year
  • Has volunteered with a SOAK infrastructure team at least 1 year
  • Understands the 10 Principles
  • Has a good sense of how business and event decisions are made in accordance with the 10 Principles (or a willingness to learn)
  • Able to work effectively with others of varying backgrounds, skill levels and perspectives
  • Able to remain calm and balanced in stressful situations, and able to use sound judgment when making decisions
  • Has personal computer, a mobile phone, access to the internet, and ability to use Google Drive tools (or willingness to learn)
  • Has not been dismissed or disqualified from volunteer service at a past Regional Event or at Burning Man

Working conditions

  • Regular monitoring of our email channel is a requirement. Participation in other discussion channels is optional.
  • Some time is spent at the Burner Barn (SE Portland) for meetings, trainings and work parties.
  • Some local travel and errands may be required.
  • SOAK attendance is mandatory:
    • All Leads must attend daily production team meetings at the event.
    • On-call duty is required for many Leads during department operational hours at the event.

Time commitment

These estimates are generalized across all departments; each department is slightly different based on the timing and volume of its workload. If you have a question about the commitment for a specific department, email

  • Jan ‘19: up to ~3 hours per week
  • Feb ‘19:  2-day Leads Retreat and up to ~5 hours per week
  • Mar ‘19 – Apr ‘17: up to ~10 hours per week
  • May ‘19: up to ~15 hours per week
  • During event: most Leads are on shift or on call for part of the event
  • Jun ‘19: up to ~5 hours per week

If you have questions you’d like answered before submitting an application, don’t hesitate to contact us:

Apply by Nov 22:


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