Department Lead Applications SOAK*2020

SOAK*2020 Department Lead: Role Description

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 a difference at the event you love to attend. 

Apply by Dec 15:

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

DPW (2-3 openings): Coordinates, trains & supervises staff that build SOAK! Manage transportation, set-up and takedown of SOAK infrastructure (trash fence, civic signage, etc.), and event site improvement. Sets up shift schedules and enters timesheets for large (~50 people) volunteer crew. Requires significant coordination with all departments and Barn manager to arrange for equipment pickup, structure builds, onsite repairs, etc. Cupcake will be returning as the senior lead.

Parking (1-2 openings): “Parks & Wrecks” handles parking lot management and controls traffic flow. Sets up shift schedules and enters timesheets for a volunteer crew. Requires coordination with Gate and Security.

Ambassadors (1 opening):  Welcomes participants to the event. Staffs the Info Booth, and manages Lost + Found at the Embassy location. Sets up shift schedules and enters timesheets for volunteer crew. Requires significant coordination with Box Office, Placement, Comms, Precipitation Northwest Artist Provisions Coordinator.

Reports to



  • One (1) free ticket to SOAK*2020 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 (Jan 31-Feb 2, 2020; night of Jan 31 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 (NW 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: up to ~3 hours per week
  • Feb:  2-day Leads Retreat and up to ~5 hours per week
  • Mar-Apr: up to ~10 hours per week
  • May: up to ~15 hours per week
  • During event: most Leads are on shift or on call for part of the event
  • Jun: 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 Dec 15: