SOAK is run by volunteers. Often through scheduled shifts, sometimes before or after the event, hundreds of people come together each year to make it happen. People who volunteer formally through SOAK departments may, in some cases, receive a ticket to the 2020 event, by accruing points. Here’s how that works.

Volunteers may accrue points with multiple departments; all department work accrues toward an event-wide total. Regardless of how many points are accrued in a festival year, only one ticket will be granted for all work performed in an event cycle. A volunteer must be in good standing with the event and have the approval of their Lead(s) to be granted a gift ticket. Tickets made available in this manner can be deferred to the following year (i.e. SOAK*2019 tickets earned for work performed in 2018 may be deferred once, to SOAK*2020).

Pre-event work: 1 hour = 1 point
Pre-event work is available for some departments, and occurs in the Portland-metro area in the weeks and months leading up to the event.

Most event work: 1 hour = 1 point
Event work is available for some departments, occurs at the site, and includes setup, shifts during the event, and onsite strike & cleanup.

High-demand event work: 1 hour = 1.5 points
On Saturday and Sunday nights from 8 pm to the following morning, shifts are particularly hard to fill, and volunteer resources are in high demand. Additional shifts may be deemed “high-demand,” based on agreement between Leads and Producers.

Post-event transit & cleanup: 1 hour = 1.5 points
Transport activities for DPW and Major Burnable Sculpture (MBS) occur in Portland immediately after the event and are considered event work, as are post-event cleanup, and organization of the Burner Barn.

Missed Shifts:
SOAK relies on volunteers for event operations. When a volunteer fails to show up for a scheduled shift, it negatively impacts the department Lead as well as the team that needs to fill in for the absence. At the same time, issues sometimes occur that cannot reasonably be foreseen, and missing a scheduled shift might have been the most responsible way of managing a situation. If volunteers are unable to make a shift commitment, they must notify their department Lead as soon as possible.

Leads track shifts and time worked, and they code all shifts in one of the following ways:

    • Green: Volunteer arrived on time and worked the shift as expected. Full points are earned.
    • Yellow: Volunteer was significantly late, failed to perform volunteer tasks adequately, or had an excused absence. No points are earned.
  • Red: Volunteer had an unexcused absence that hampered department operations, showed up intoxicated to a shift, consumed intoxicants while on shift, or substantially failed to meet expectations. No points are earned. Producers reserve the right to suspend future volunteering at current and future events, depending on the circumstances.

Points toward SOAK*2020 gift tickets
2019 volunteers are gifted SOAK*2020 tickets, based on points accrued:

16 points accrued = Free SOAK*2020 gift ticket. The ticket redemption instructions & options will be issued prior to the 2019 general sale.

Gift Ticket Usage

    • Volunteers can receive no more than one Gift Ticket per year.
  • If an individual with a gift ticket is unable to attend the 2019 event, or is receiving a ticket to the current event by participating as a first-year Lead, they may request to defer their gift ticket earned in 2018 to the following year. Tickets can  can only be deferred for a single year. It is acceptable for an individual to give their Gift Ticket to another person. It is not acceptable to sell or trade a gift ticket.