It Takes a Village to Build a Village: Sparks.Network Shows Us How

Photo by Aline Kras

This year, there are some big things happening with our volunteer experience. We sat down with Stephen Debaun, Managing Director at Sparks Volunteer Network, to talk about what those changes mean and how their take on volunteering is changing the festival industry.

Are you still looking to apply to the Lucidity Festival Volunteer Program? We’ve got your link right here!

What is Sparks and how does your system change the volunteer experience?

You know how easy it is to order a pizza or book an Über online? The Sparks.Network is making it that easy to get involved with festivals, community events, and other cool opportunities.

We’re putting an end to the more endless emails back and forth, trying to figure out when you’re working, what you need to bring, and all those details. You sign up for a Sparks.Network project online, and everything is handled through the app. You get to see exactly what you’re signing up for, all the different teams you can work with, and you even get to pick your own shifts.

Photo by Aline Kras

Can you describe the symbiotic relationship between throwing a festival and participants helping to actually run the festival? 

Projects like Lucidity just wouldn’t happen if it weren’t for the people from the community that step up to offer their time and creativity.

To me, that’s the really big difference between events like Lucidity, and big corporate events like Coachella. Lucidity has a few dozen paid staff. But ultimately, it depends on hundreds of people who care enough about the mission to raise their hand and say “YES.” 

I think it’s an amazing way to show people that their contributions matter, and what they does makes a difference in the world.

How do you balance expectations of participants with the needs of the event? 

So have you ever volunteered for a festival that worked you like a rented mule and didn’t show their appreciation at all? That’s what we’re fixing with the collaboration between Sparks.Network and Lucidity Dream Makers. 

Our projects balance out the “Energy Exchange” between festivals and the people who volunteer to help. Our projects weigh the time you contribute against all the benefits you get from participating, including:

  • A huge ticket discount
  • Early Arrival
  • Meals
  • The kickoff party
  • And a bunch of schwag that’s only available to Dream Makers.

We make sure that you’re getting a fair exchange for your contribution.

In what ways is Sparks in alignment with Lucidity’s values?

Lucidity is exactly the kind of festival we love working with. The people involved have a very strong commitment to their community, to their values, and to making their event something that is bigger than just music and camping. As one of my favorite authors said: “It’s not my revolution if I can’t dance to it.”

Photo by Aline Kras

What’s next for Sparks?

We’ve got a ton of stuff coming up this year, and lots of ways for people to get involved!

We’re working closely with a handful of events this year to bring them the Sparks.Network magic. In addition to Lucidity, you can join us at Boogaloo Festival and Northern Nights Music Festival to be part of the magic that they make!

We’re launching our platform to the public sometime this year. When we do, you’ll be able to use the Sparks.Network yourself to organize anything you want! If you’re interested in organizing an event sooner, sign up for our closed beta program.

Do you have an event that fits our values and principles? Ask us about running a Sparks.Network project for you this year!

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