Seattle HEMPFEST® Protestival - Volunteer Powered  since 1991! 

Fencing Crew

First Aid Spotters

Ecology Crew

Ecology Crew

Kev and Meril

Safety First!



 call us; (206) 364-4367  or message us; http://www.hempfest.org/about/contact/

Please join us, because we want to celebrate our 25th Hempfest with you!

Four days of setting up, three days of the World’s largest Hempfest, and three days of packing it all up.

YOU can have your pick from our 80 different Crews,

experiencing all aspects of event production and choosing your own shifts.


GENERAL Crews:  2016 sign ups will be open in… January, probably.

If you have a password for an INTERNAL Crew sign up in 2016!

Don’t want to miss a second of the Protestival? Sign up for Set Up or Tear Down crews;


Check out how awesome volunteering for Seattle Hempfest is:

Watch this! You’ve got 5 minutes

& If you haven’t watched our 10th Anniversary Rockumentary, you’re missing out!

Volunteer News:

What a challenging Hempfest we had- thank you so much to all our hardworking, dedicated volunteers! Please join us for the Staff Recognition Hempy Potluck on September 13th- see the ‘Volunteer Events’ tab above!

hempy potluck june 2015https://www.hempfest.org/events


potluck cahe 2015

Last year we had 907 volunteers, signed up for 1,800 shifts!

Check out the Hempfest News and Education YouTube channel;


huge crowd shot

General Crews:  2015 Sign-ups open now!  Convince all your friends to join you… you can even sign up for the same crews and work together ;)

Internal Crews

Seattle HEMPFEST® now has 80 “Internal” crews which require certain skills or certifications – you may be qualified, don’t be afraid to ask! email volunteers@hempfest.org with questions about any crew.

If a coordinator gave you a password for their Internal crew;

Sign up here now!

Hempy Potluck Sunday, September 13th, 1-6pm, @ Meridian Park in Wallingford, Seattle.


You are cordially invited to join us as we bring unity to our community and increase our peace at this year’s Seattle Hempfest Volunteer Potluck Picnics.

potluck cahe 2015


This group has been meeting at Meridian Park in Wallingford every summer since 1989.

This is a potluck picnic- feel free to  bring a dish to share! Please mark your dish with a label, ie: Meat / Fish / Dairy / Vegetarian / Vegan / Wheat-Free, etc.

We provide grills, meat and vegan burgers and dogs, BBQ condiments, and all the compostable utensils, napkins, and dishes you can shake a stick at. Please do not bring any plastic utensils or non-compostable plates/cups, etc. We are serious about composting at our events ;-)

 Come join us at Meridian Park in the Wallingford Neighborhood of Seattle.

Meridian park is located at N. 50th st. and Meridian Ave. N. in Wallingford.
Via Metro, catch the #16 bus. If you are driving on I-5, North or South, take the 50th St. exit, and head West to Meridian.
If you are driving on Hwy 99 (Aurora Ave.), take the 45th St. exit and head East to Meridian, turn Left and head North. The park entrance is between 48th and 50th streets on Meridian Ave. N.   http://maps.yahoo.com/#mvt=m&lat=47.63371&lon=-122.325935&zoom=13&q1=seattle%20wa&q2=4649%20Sunnyside%20Ave%20N%20seattle%20wa%2098103
 This is a potluck picnic- feel free to  bring a dish to share! Please mark your dish with a label, ie: Meat / Fish / Dairy / Vegetarian / Vegan / Wheat-Free, etc.

We provide grills, meat and vegan burgers and dogs, BBQ condiments, and all the compostable utensils, napkins, and dishes you can shake a stick at. Please do not bring any plastic utensils or non-compostable plates/cups, etc. We are serious about composting at our events ;-)

We want everyone to have a good time, so please respect our rules;

All pets must remain on a leash. No alcohol, no drumming. Tobacco smokers please use designated cigarette smoking areas, to respect those with allergies.

Feel free to  bring your family!

huge crowd shot

Seattle HEMPFEST® Event  Minor’s Volunteer Policy:
Persons under the age of 18 years may volunteer for the Seattle HEMPFEST® event only with parental permission
AND with parental supervision. This means one of your parents must be onsite at Hempfest with you when you are volunteering for Hempfest, and you must be under their supervision.
Supervision will be defined as age-appropriate. Minors will only work daylight shifts. Minors will not be scheduled for Safety, First Aid, or Operations crews. Minors will leave the Parks before dark.
You and your parent(s) are encouraged to sign up together to work on the same crew!

Please email: volunteer@hempfest.org for the Minor’s Volunteer Application before August 1st.


There is, unfortunately, NO CAMPING at Seattle Hempfest.

Please do not attempt to sleep in the parks, or in the surrounding streets.

Below is a list of campgrounds, hostels, hotels and bed & breakfasts. 

You might also check;  https://www.couchsurfing.com/

https://seattle.craigslist.org/ or http://www.helpx.net/index.asp


The Seattle HEMPFEST® organization has a block of rooms at the Homewood Suites, the hotel nearest the park.  Password is Hempfest VIP and you can reserve the rooms HERE


At campground

Camping is disallowed in Myrtle Edwards and Centennial Parks. There is no camping in vehicles, parking lots, sidewalks or streets allowed in Seattle City Limits. You are welcome to camp at one of the following campgrounds. We suggest making reservations a few weeks in advance as these campgrounds tend to fill up during summer time.

At bed and breakfast

At extended stay or residence suite

At hostel

At hotel or motel


We want to thank everyone who completed a Crowd Management Training Certification last year! There is a new certification training program we are using for this year- it’s free and it only takes a few minutes! Even though your certs are still good for a year or two, we want to ask everyone to please complete this new, additional certification process, because it is more detailed than the last one, even though it is still centered on an indoor crowd emergency.

We need to inundate the City with as many completed certs as possible, so we can glide through the permit process without any additional hassle. Also, good lifesaving information is contained in the training process, tools that you may use one day to save your own life, or the lives of others.

Please go to:

“Register New Account”

You will get an email after doing that which will say:

“A new account has been requested at ‘EOPSS Training and Certification’
using your email address.

To confirm your new account, please go to this web address:….”
Click on that link.

Then choose “Enroll me”

Then choose “New Page”

Click on #1 Crowd Mgr. Video

Click Enter

View then close window

Take Crowd Manager Quiz

You can close and continue anytime

Send your completed cert to Vivian at:

vivian@hempfest.org with the subject header “Crowd Cert”

Thanks! Safety is no accident!

2015 Volunteer’s Frequently Asked Questions


Where is Seattle Hempfest? Since 1995 Hempfest has been held on the 3rd weekend of August in Myrtle Edwards Park on the beautiful Seattle waterfront, just North of Pier 70 at the corner of Alaskan Way and Broad street. The event spans three Seattle waterfront parks: Centennial Park (North Entrance,) Myrtle Edwards Park (Central Entrance,) and Olympic Sculpture Park (South Entrance). Seattle is in Washington State, on the Northwest corner of the United States in North America. Interstate 5 runs North-South from Vancouver BC to San Diego, CA. From Interstate 5 North or South you can’t miss Seattle, and when you get to the city just take the Mercer street exit to Seattle Center. [Home of the Space Needle.] You will end up heading West on Broad street. When you hit the water [Puget Sound], you’re there!

To beat the crowds, use the north entrance by crossing the Amgen Helix Pedestrian Bridge off of W Prospect Street at Elliott Ave. https://www.google.com/maps/place/Elliott+Bay+Trail+%28Terminal+91+Bike+Path%29/@47.628608,-122.371062,17z  It has an elevator and is wheelchair accessible, placing the avid attendee just north of Seattle Hempfest’s North entrance.

Our newest entrance, The West Thomas Street Overpasshttps://www.google.com/maps/place/W+Thomas+Street+Overpass/@47.6210486,-122.3607401,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x5490155b5978caf3:0xd40a97678fb40a0e  is accessible at 3rd Ave W & W Harrison Streets, just West of Seattle Center. This new entrance has great parking potential, being just 4 blocks West of Key Arena.  The bridge will take you right across the vehicle-filled Elliot & Western Avenues, and drops you right in Munchie Market near the Main stage!

There is very little parking at W Prospect Street, some can be found on Elliott and on lower Queen Anne Hill, near the The West Thomas Street Overpass. So your best bet is to walk, bike, or take a metro bus to those locations. Take metro bus 18 to North entrance, and 15 to South entrance. Downtown Seattle has several parking garages. You can find much more direction, transportation and lodging info here; http://www.hempfest.org/festival/attendees/


Where can I park? There is no parking at Myrtle Edwards Park. There are pay parking lots nearby in downtown and Queen Anne-don’t be surprised if they have higher “event” rates. Street parking is free after 6 p.m. in most areas [ http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/parking/paidparking_hours.htm ] and all day on Sundays. Access the North entrance from Elliott Avenue by crossing the DNA pedestrian bridge at Prospect Street. Limited unmetered parking can be found along Elliott Ave. W., or on lower Queen Anne near the The West Thomas Street Overpass. We strongly suggest Carpooling, taking the Metro Bus, riding your bike, or walking to Hempfest!


Is Hempfest Free? Do I have to be over 21 to attend? Seattle Hempfest is a constitutionally protected free-speech event, therefore Hempfest cannot restrict access based upon age or admission fee. There are no age restrictions for attending Seattle Hempfest. We suggest that minors wishing to attend Hempfest discuss the matter with the appropriate parent or guardian. The passage of Initiative I-502 did not change the admission policy of Hempfest. Admission to Hempfest is FREE, but please encourage everyone to donate $$ at the gates-unlike most large events we do not have any giant corporations sponsoring us, and we have to pay for all that stuff!


Can I get paid to work at Hempfest? Nope. None of our staff gets paid a cent to work at Hempfest- not the General staff, not the Crew Coordinators, not the Directors. We are all volunteers, and this is a labor of love! We’ve been busting our butts for 24 years to end the drug war, and we can’t put on such a huge show without the help of over 1,000 general staff volunteers who work the week of the ‘Fest, so please sign up to volunteer and encourage your friends and family to join us! We also have a Core Group of 140 people who meet each and every month of the year to plan Hempfest.


What do I get for volunteering? Besides a sense of self-worth, a gallon of good karma, many new friends, and our undying gratitude you will also receive loads of Special Event Production experience, and a highly-prized and attractive Staff T-Shirt, as well as a fabulous meal and free caffeine (and as much water as you can drink!) for each shift you work. We also invite all our volunteers to 3 staff picnics in Seattle each summer, with all the trimmins.


How do I volunteer? The best way to sign up to work Hempfest is to fill out the Online Volunteer Staff Application, located at:  https://signup.hempfest.org/volunteer

After submitting your Volunteer Application and selecting your shifts, you will receive an email for EACH shift you’ve signed up for. Please write down or print your selected shifts- This is your reminder of your volunteer commitment!

If you need to change, add or delete any shifts, you can do so any time by logging into the website and going here;  https://signup.hempfest.org/myschedule

Minors can request a printable application by emailing; volunteers@hempfest.org if you will be under 18 years of age during Hempfest 2015. Please be sure to mail it in by August 1st. Your parent or Legal Guardian will need to be onsite while you are volunteering.

The staff orientation meetings, directions to the park, and other information are below.


Why do I need to fill out a profile? That’s how our application program works, nobody volunteers anonymously.


What is Hempfest gonna do with my info? Nothing except give you information about Seattle Hempfest events. We will not give, sell or trade your profile info to anyone. Our Database volunteers sign a binding Non-Disclosure agreement.


Do I need to fill out the volunteer app again if I volunteered in the past? Yes, every year is a new application, with changes to Crews and Shifts- we need you to sign up for this year’s shifts, even if you are working the same Crew as last year. Your profile will be saved, but please check it each year to make sure it’s updated!


What if I created a profile in the past, but forgot my user name and/or password?
If you cannot remember your password, go here to request a new password;   https://signup.hempfest.org/user/password                                       

If you cannot remember your user name (hint: was it your email addy? or your name? “first.last”) email; volunteers@hempfest.org  and we can look it up.


Why is the Online Application so much BETTER than just showing up as a walk-in Volunteer?

1. Our busy Volunteers at Hempfest don’t have to type in your information when you do it yourself — this saves literally HUNDREDS of hours.

2. You get the shifts/crews you want, the earlier you sign up. Last year we did not accept any Walk-In volunteers for six out of the ten days!

3. More time to ask and get your questions answered.

4. You don’t have to wait in the slow line of “Walk-In Volunteers”, and your check-in goes faster when your application is already in the database. 

Some people are uncomfortable about signing up online. The database we enter you into on-site at Hempfest is the SAME database, protected by the same stringent security systems and firewalls. We don’t give or sell your info to ANYONE. Our database staff signs a binding Non-Disclosure Agreement. If you’re still nervous about signing up as a volunteer, then don’t bother — Just enjoy the ‘Fest!


How do I get a Password if my Crew is listed as “Internal” on the Volunteer Staff Application? If the Crew you want is listed as “Internal”, please contact your Crew Coordinator for your Crew’s password, or email Staff Services at: volunteers@hempfest.org and we’ll get you in touch with your Coordinator, who will make sure you have the skills needed for that Crew.


The password I got for my Internal Crew last year is not working… We change them every year! Contact your crew’s Coordinator or email volunteers@hempfest.org


How do I know I’ve been accepted as a volunteer? We need so many volunteers, we’re not in the habit of turning folks away! In the event that a particular shift is filled up, the Online Application will ask you to pick another shift. When you fill out the Volunteer Staff Application you are SCHEDULING YOURSELF for specific shifts that YOU choose. You are making a commitment to show up for those shifts, and we don’t have the person-power to call everyone and remind them of their shifts. Please write down your selected shifts in your calendar! This is your reminder of your volunteer commitment. After submitting your Volunteer Application and selecting your shifts, you will receive an email for EACH shift you’ve signed up for. If you need to change, add, or delete any shifts, you can do so any time by logging into the website and going here; https://signup.hempfest.org/myschedule


What if I find out I can’t make it there for my shift? You can delete your shift, even at the last minute! Our event schedule is live in real-time, and your changes will be seen immediately, so we will know that we need to cover that shift with another body. If you don’t delete your shift, we will just be waiting for you to show up, it’s much more helpful when we know you are not coming. Go here to add/change or delete shifts; https://signup.hempfest.org/myschedule


How do I get off the Stand-Down list? Please email volunteers@hempfest.org for more info.


When and Where are the Staff Orientation Meetings? Please help us recruit more staff by bringing friends and family with you! Staff members are required to attend an Orientation meeting at Myrtle Edwards Park on one of the following dates:

Saturday, August 8th, 5-7 pm. at Munchie Market – Myrtle Edwards Park is located on the Seattle Waterfront, just North of Pier 70 at the junction of Alaskan Way and Broad St. We will meet near the 3 Big Rocks Sculpture at the end of the The West Thomas Street Overpass; https://www.google.com/maps/place/W+Thomas+Street+Overpass/@47.6210486,-122.3607401,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x5490155b5978caf3:0xd40a97678fb40a0e Chances are, the weather will be pretty nice for these meetings, but if it’s POURING, come to the next scheduled Orientation meeting. 

If you can’t make it to the 1st Orientation, a second meeting is also scheduled for right before the ‘Fest, meeting at Main Staff Check-In: Thursday, August 13th, 3-4 pm.


What if I live far away and can’t make it to either of those Orientation dates? Please let us know at Staff Check-In and we will give you a hardcopy of the Staff Manual to read before you start! Also posted above under the “Staff Manual” tab.


How do I find Staff Check-In? The new West Thomas Street Overpass;   https://www.google.com/maps/place/W+Thomas+Street+Overpass/@47.6210486,-122.3607401,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x5490155b5978caf3:0xd40a97678fb40a0e   starts at 3rd Ave. W. and W. Harrison st., on the South-West side of lower Queen Anne hill, and ends up right in Munchie Market at Myrtle Edwards Park. Main Staff Check-In is located about 1 block South of Munchie Market, East of the pumphouse building.

When entering Myrtle Edwards Park from the South end (at the junction of Alaskan Way and Broad street, aka Olympic Sculpture Park), head North into the park and travel on the water-side path about 1/8 mile. Just after a small hill with several trees on it you will see a small building on your left, along the water [this is the Pumphouse] and a fenced-in area filled with tents on your right, on the East side of the park. That’s where you’re headed, to the tents. There will be a gate into the fenced area, with a large sign that reads; “Staff Check-In”.

When entering Myrtle Edwards Park form the North, through Centennial Park, [Prospect St. Pedestrian Bridge,] walk South along the water-side path until you see a small building on your right, along the water [this is the Pumphouse,] and a fenced-in area filled with tents on your left, on the East side of the park. That’s where you’re headed, to the tents. There will be a gate into the fenced area, with a large sign that reads; “Staff Check-In”. Or ask anyone working in the park.


My 1st shift starts during the event- how do I skip that 2-hour long attendee line? If you are entering from the South, go to the fountain at Alaskan Way and Broad St., where you will see a booth for Members/Staff/ADA. If someone tries to redirect you just tell them you are staff and you Pre-registered online. If you are Pre-registered using the Online Volunteer Application, and working in the North End [Centennial Park] you may use North Staff Check-In to check in for Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday shifts.


Why do I have to bring my Photo ID with me to Staff Check-In? Two reasons: First, we must make sure that volunteers under the age of 18 have permission to volunteer from their parent or legal guardian. Second, we need to have your legal name on your volunteer application for liability and insurance reasons. We are the largest Hempfest in the world and one of the largest special events in the State of Washington, and we must adhere strictly to the laws in order to retain our status as a Constitutionally-Protected Free-Speech event. In other words, there wouldn’t BE a Hempfest if we didn’t follow all the rules and jump through all the hoops! We’re only looking at your ID to check your name and age.


What if I’ll still be under 18 years old by the time Hempfest rolls around? You will need to fill out a Hardcopy Volunteer application (request one from volunteers@hempfest.org ) and have your parent or legal guardian sign where indicated under the “Your Info” section. They will also be asked to list their contact phone # so the Staff Director can call them and verify their permission and answer any questions they may have about Hempfest or your volunteer work. You will need to mail your Hardcopy Application to us by August 1st – NO minors will be allowed to sign-up as Walk-In volunteers, as the Staff Director must contact your parents BEFORE Hempfest for confirmation.
Persons under the age of 18 years may volunteer for Seattle Hempfest only with parental permission AND with parental supervision. This means one of your parents must be onsite at Hempfest with you when you are volunteering for Hempfest, and you must be under their supervision. Supervision will be defined as age-appropriate. Minors will only work daylight shifts. Minors will not be scheduled for Safety, First Aid, or Operations crews. Minors will leave the parks before dark.
You and your parent(s) are encouraged to sign up together to work on the same crew! Please email:
volunteers@hempfest.org for the Minor’s Volunteer Application before August 1st. (Can’t talk your parents into coming down while you volunteer? Don’t worry- you are still welcome to attend the show on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as long as your parents are cool with it.)


Can I work on multiple crews? Sure! As long as your chosen shifts don’t overlap or conflict with each other. Lots of people work on two or more different crews.


Can I work multiple shifts? Sure! As long as you get enough breaks, sleep, showers, food and water you are welcome to fill as many shifts as you like.


What should I bring with me? Your Staff Manual has a list, [see Staff Manual Tab right up there ↑] but basically bring layers [it can be hot or cold on the Seattle Waterfront, and windy, and the weather can change rapidly,] snacks and water, flashlights for Night crews, hardhats, gloves, and safety shoes for Construction crews, your own coffee cup/water bottle/chopsticks, etc. to save disposable products. ALL Setup and Teardown Volunteers must wear CLOSED-TOE SHOES and a Hempfest Safety VEST while on site. This means ALL Volunteers onsite on Aug. 10-13 AND Aug. 17-19, 2015.


What can I leave at Staff Bag Check? You can leave a bag with your extra clothes and stuff at either North or South Staff Check-In while you are on shift. [Safety Crews have their own Bag Checks at Draper and Helix.] We need you to pick up your bag on your way out of the park, even if you are coming back the next day, so that we will have room for other Volunteers’ stuff. You will need to show your ID to the Bag Check staff, and you will be given a numbered ticket to claim your bag. Please check out the Limits below!

Staff Bag Check Limits:
Weight limit 30 lbs. max
Item length/width 3 ft. max
No hazardous or illegal items, no weapons
No camping equipment
No protruding items [sticks, poles, etc.]
Not responsible for loss or damage
Keep valuables with you


Why can’t I bring my pets?

1. You’ll be working.

2. Pets are not allowed at Hempfest.

3. Pets have gotten lost at Hempfest.

4. It’s gonna be busy, hot, and crowded, with lots of big trucks and heavy equipment.

5. There will be no safe place to tie up or leave your pet.

6. Dogs, especially, have been problematic in the past, and our special events permit requires us to BAN dogs from Hempfest. DON’T EVENT THINK OF LEAVING THEM IN YOUR CAR! Washington State Service Animal laws are observed at Seattle Hempfest. No pets are allowed in any of our staff compounds.


Why can’t I bring booze? Alcohol is NOT allowed at Hempfest. Please wait until after you shift and after you’ve left the park.


Why can’t I smoke pot while on shift? Marijuana is still illegal in the United States, despite legislation in the majority of states to change that! Myrtle Edwards Park is a City of Seattle Park, and all parks in Seattle are registered as DRUG FREE ZONES, meaning all penalties [jail time, fines] are DOUBLED. Anyone caught doing anything illegal while working for Hempfest [ie; on shift/wearing your staff shirt, wristband &/or pass] will be summarily dismissed from our staff.


What if I’m a legal Medical Marijuana user in compliance with RCW 69.51A? We still cannot have volunteers partaking of [Federally] illegal substances while working for Hempfest [ie; on shift/wearing your staff shirt, wristband &/or pass]. It is also a misdemeanor for a Medical Marijuana patient to use Marijuana in “public view.”


What about I-502? I thought pot was legal in Washington State now? Nope. Possession of 1 oz by adults had been decriminalized in the state, but smoking in public, buying, selling, or even sharing [“distributing”] pot is still illegal. Our special event permit and our internal policies require our staff to be legal and sober. Educate yourself about I 502;    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Initiative_502_%282011%29


Is it safe to buy drugs and ganja treats at Hempfest? Nope. Here are some of the many reasons it’s best to take care of your own needs:

1. Hempfest is crawling with authority figures- local, state and federal. Many not in uniform, some posing as stoners, vendors, or fellow volunteers. Remember that all penalties are doubled in a park!

2. There is no quality control with illegal sales. Is there mold? Cat hair? Pesticides? Poison? Hep C? Salmonella? Ecoli? Unexpected drugs? No one can tell, and you might be one of the unlucky ones!

3. Illegal drug sales hurt Hempfest. Do you want Hempfest shut down?

4. People who sneak illegal stuff into Hempfest are making money off an all-volunteer event and NOT KICKING DOWN. The paying vendors bring in almost half the $$ it costs to produce the event, please spend your money on legal vendors.


Is it OK if I use the Seattle HEMPFEST® Protestival, Hempfest, Protestival, Seattle Events, HEMPFEST® Business, or Hempfest Central names, logos, or images for anything, without prior express written permission from the Hempfest Steering Board? No, sorry, that would not be ok.


Can we camp at the park? Nope. We wish! However, it’s city park, and it’s not allowed. We ask that ALL staff not scheduled to work a Night Safety shift leave the park before dark. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CAMP IN THE SURROUNDING STREETS! Here is a URL for info on local transportation, lodging and camping, and directions to Myrtle Edwards Park: http://www.hempfest.org/festival/attendees

You might also check;  https://www.couchsurfing.com/ https://seattle.craigslist.org/ or http://www.helpx.net/index.asp


Any other questions? Want to receive the Hempfest Staff E-Newsletter? Please email Staff Services via: volunteers@hempfest.org

2015 poster

Seattle Hempfest 2015 Staff Manual

Thank you for volunteering to help produce the 24th annual Seattle Hempfest. We come from an incredible variety of backgrounds, ideologies and cultures to produce the largest and most respected drug policy reform event in the country.

Welcome / Staff Services / Stuff to Bring / Important Stuff for Everyone to Know / Hempfest Evacuation Management Plans “HEMP-VAC” / Lost Child Protocol / Code Adam / First-Aid Information / Crisis Information / In and Out and Overnight / Vendor Load-In & Out / Special Notes for Stage Crews / Special Notes for Volunteers Issued a Radio / Frequently Asked Questions / Gratitude / Open Book Quiz

Welcome Hempfest Staff       

Hempfest is a Non-Profit Organization produced by volunteer efforts. All the money taken in at Hempfest goes directly into paying the bills and, if anything is left, into next year’s Hempfest. So, speaking for the Core group: Thanks for joining us- we couldn’t pull this off without your volunteer efforts!
We all come from different backgrounds, but we come together as a family to achieve a common goal. We want to treat everyone who comes to Hempfest like respected family members; Vendors, Staff, Performers and the Public attendees. Please strive to be friendly and kind to everyone!
Remaining calm is always our goal, we want to fix problems, not make mountains out of molehills. If you feel grumpy or angry you are probably tired and dehydrated; take a break and drink water! When conflicts arise between people, try to understand the situation.
Remember that all sides think they are right. Don’t try to tell them otherwise; listen to both sides to understand the situation, and work out a compromise whenever possible.

Take care of yourself: Don’t put yourself in physical danger.
Get back-up in stressful situations.
Drink LOTS of water and carry snacks with you.
Wear closed-toe shoes and our provided safety VESTS.

Staff Shirts

Wearing your staff shirt indicates that you are on duty. Wear it during your shift. Take it off when you are off shift, and keep it in a safe place- don’t let it get stolen; Everyone Gets ONE Staff Shirt ONLY! Shirts are usually passed out on Thursday of set-up.

The ONE RULE to Rule them All:
Don’t do anything illegal while wearing your
Hempfest staff shirt, wristbands or passes.

This means if you are taking a “break”, please remove and hide everything that identifies you as a Hempfest staff person.

Staff Services

Main Staff Services is located North of the Hemposium Stage, next to Operations. [If your shift is in the North end you may check In at North Staff Check-In Thurs-Sun]. The Staff Services compound houses Staff Check-In, Staff Bag Check, Staff Lounge and Staff Hospitality. NO smoking is allowed inside Staff Services Compound or in any other designated smoke-free areas. Butt cans are available outside.
Smoking pot in public is still illegal, please be discrete and keep away from Hempfest booths. And please hide your Staff Shirt/Wristband/Passes before consuming.

Staff Check-In

We require PHOTO ID at Staff Check-In. We have to have your legal name and we need to make sure all volunteers under age 18 have parental permission to volunteer. It’s super important to check in every day you are working at Hempfest!

Please come to Staff Check-In at least 30 minutes before your shift starts. You might have to wait in line. If your shift is at the North end of the park, you can use North Staff Check-In Thurs through Sun. Closed-Toed shoes are required for all Construction and Deconstruction days.

We also have new wristbands for all staff; designating SET-UP, SHOW, and TEAR-DOWN shifts…collect all three at Staff Check-In. Check-In is faster if you sign up for your shifts online! https://signup.hempfest.org

Staff Kitchen   

Coffee, tea and water should be available 24 hours. Staff Hydration & Caffeination stations are also set up behind Main stage, behind Starborne Stage, and at Helix/N. Staff Check-In.
Our Staff Kitchen serves four meals per day at approximately:

• Breakfast: 8:30-10:30 a.m. • Lunch: 1-3 p.m. • Dinner: 7-9 p.m. • Supper: 11 p.m.-4 a.m.

If the Kitchen is closed and you need food, please come to Staff Check-In. For those unable to leave their posts at meal times, your coordinator can call in meals needed and send a runner or request delivery. Most meals have a vegan option. Please be kind to the kitchen staff; they are under tremendous pressure, and all of our staff are volunteers.

We do our best to make substitutions in our meals for people with food sensitivities, but if you have severe allergies please bring your own food with you. Everyone should also bring yourselves some snacks from home, and your water bottle.


Volunteers are entitled to a meal at our Staff Kitchen per shift you work. There will be no meal without your volunteer wristband, make sure to keep it safe! Wristbands are only available from Staff Check-In.

Staff Bag Check

Staff Bag Check is next to Staff Check-In. Hold on to the little blue ticket we give you; it helps us find your stuff again! You may have In/Out privileges. Safety Crews have their own Bag Check at Draper and Helix Safety compounds.

Staff Bag Check Limits:
Weight limit 30 lbs. max
Item length/width 3 ft. max
No hazardous or illegal items, no weapons
No camping equipment
No protruding items [sticks, poles, etc.]
Not responsible for loss or damage
Keep valuables with you
Please take your items home when you leave!

Stuff for Staff to Bring

Seattle Hempfest has many folks doing different things. This List is what we suggest you bring with you regardless of position or shift. You may be asked to switch positions at any given moment. Please come prepared!

ALL Set-Up and Tear-Down Staff must be wearing CLOSED-TOED SHOES & VESTS at all times on site.

Personal Protective Equipment

(PPE) Personal Protective Equipment (i.e. hearing protection, eye protection, falling object protection, fall protection) is available at Quartermonster or stages. If there is any question as to whether there may be a hazard, please talk to your supervisor and procure the proper protective equipment. Individual crews are briefed as to what any hazards may be present in the course of your duties. They will suggest PPE that may be appropriate.
All volunteers must wear vests onsite during set-up & tear- down. A safety vest will be provided for you. Please return vests at the end of your shift. These vests are vital to our safety while in the park during set up and tear down, and are not souvenirs.

Don’t overlook the small items that can keep you safe. Sunscreen is a must and provided Staff Services and First Aid, put it on early before you get busy. Keep water with you and remember to drink it. A large brimmed hat keeps the elements off you. Sunglasses keep your eyesight from getting strained.
A cheap rain poncho is a good thing to keep with you.

Stuff to Bring if You are Going to Work Outside in the Hot Sun

• Water Bottle!
• Hat
• Shades
• Sunscreen
• Appropriate Clothing, According to the weather. [Remember it gets very chilly at night, and this is Seattle. It could rain at any time.]
• If working at or near a stage, pick up ear plugs, they are available at any stage or Staff Services.
• Food for Shift, remember you may be at your station for a while. Bring trail mix, power bars, or something to keep your energy up. Avoid too much caffeine, and drink at least a quart of water per shift. Dehydration saps your energy!
• Your cool Staff Shirt, [Staff Check-In has these.] Passes, [if your position requires a pass, your coordinator has them] and your PHOTO ID [Golfcart drivers and Radio users will be required to leave copies of their driver’s license at Quartermonster]
• This Manual and an Event Program for quick access to information.
• A Watch or Cell Phone, So you know when to report for your shift.

Stuff to Bring if you Work on a Night Shift        

It gets very cold on the waterfront at night. Come Prepared.
• Flashlight, and extra batteries.
• Water and Munchies, keep hydrated and energy up.
• Coats, hats and other outerwear to keep warm and dry.

Some Additional Stuff We Suggest to Bring with You

• Your reusable Coffee cup/Water bottle
• Small Notebook and pen
• Your Family and Friends [we want more staff!]
• If you bring your bike, remember your lock & helmet. Bike rack in Staff Services.
• If working any type of Construction position (i.e.: Stage Construction) please bring the following items with you:
• Work Gloves
• Closed -Toed Shoes
• Anything [i.e.: Tool Belt, Tools, Hardhat, 9/16” deep socket wrench, etc.] you may have that could be of use during construction.

Seattle Hempfest is not responsible for loss or theft of personal items. Please label and keep track of your stuff!

Stuff that Should be Left Behind

Your Vehicle cannot be parked on site. Parking meters are free after 8pm on Saturday and all day Sunday. Carpool or take the bus, ride your bike! Park free on Elliot Ave W. and walk over the Prospect St. Bridge, or the W. Thomas St. Overpass, at 3rd Ave W. and W. Harrison Streets.
Your Pets need to stay at home or at the babysitter’s. Hempfest is not a safe place for critters, too much activity and way too many people. In addition, PETS ARE NOT ALLOWED at Hempfest on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as per our Special Events Permits. Pets left in cars can easily die. Service animals trained for assistance with a disability are exempt.
Service Animal vests are highly recommended.

Our event is in a City Park and therefore a “Drug Free Zone,”
so all penalties and/or fines are DOUBLED.

No torches. No alcohol.

Weapons of any kind will NOT be tolerated.

WE DO TOLERATE differences of opinion, ethnicity, gender, orientation, dress, physical abilities, etc. Please practice tolerance, we are here for a larger purpose and all need to work together.
Lost and Found Stuff During Hempfest, items should be taken to the nearest Info booth. Before/After the show, take them to Operations. After Hempfest, email lostandfound@hempfest.org or call (206) 364-HEMP.
Hempfest will make every effort we can to reunite items with their owners. After 30 days, unclaimed items are donated to charity.

Important Stuff for Everyone to Know

Remember, your safety and the safety of the attendees is the first concern of the event! We at Seattle Hempfest are committed to safety. We stress that you as volunteers keep this in mind. Please read and carry with you these instructions on how to recognize and handle a crisis or other emergency situations.


Hempfest has an Emergency Plan, the “Hemp-VAC”

Please make sure you read and understand this before you start your shift.
An emergency is a situation where there will be immediate, strong, negative consequences unless decisive action is taken.

Examples of an Emergency

• Potentially violent or hazardous situations: Belligerent drunks, heat exhaustion, loud arguments, sexual harassment/assault.
• Dangerous or hazardous situations: Brandished weapons, physical altercation or assault, fires.
• Medical Emergencies: Head injuries, heavy bleeding, broken limbs, and life-threatening injury.
• Earthquakes: In the event of a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, remember to Drop, Cover, & Hold. DO NOT RUN! This is how most injuries occur! Please stay where you are, and help those around you to stay calm, we don’t need a stampede. If folks see someone in a staff shirt running, the crowd may panic.
Operations will pass on information and instructions on what to do via the radios and stages.

Emergency Radio Procedures

• In the event of an emergency, Operations may restrict radio use.
• All non-emergency traffic on the radios will cease immediately.
• All communications on that channel will be directed by Operations.
• Operations may assign you to another channel – if so, please do so immediately.
• Operations will declare the emergency over and normal radio traffic can resume at that point.


Hempfest Evacuation Management Plan “HEMP-VAC”

There may come a time when the immediate evacuation of Hempfest is necessary. Only if guests and attendees are in imminent physical danger will such action be taken.

How will you know an evacuation has been called?

There will be an evacuation announcement from all stages, and on all radios. Safety Patrol will be making announcements via bullhorn.

What will you do in the event of an evacuation?

• Seattle HEMPFESTevent staff is instructed to leave their posts and begin to assist in an orderly public evacuation using the nearest exit, unless otherwise instructed.
• No vehicles or people, except for emergency vehicles and emergency workers, are allowed to enter the park.
• All vehicle traffic must stop to make way for emergency response vehicles coming in or out.
• Normal radio traffic continues, radio traffic for Code Adam emergency is upped to emergency Safety Channel. All stages stop regular programming and will immediately begin broadcasting the evacuation scripts provided in the HEMP-VAC as directed by central radio dispatch, unless other instructions have been dictated by Hemp-Vac or Evac-Man.
All barricades that impede exit of foot traffic from the park are removed.
• Stay out of the way of emergency first responders (Police / fire / medics) and follow all reasonable instructions.

“Shelter In Place” Procedures

In the event that an emergency dictates that those present “hunker down” and stay put, a “Shelter In Place” command will be issued by the Evac-man. All present will remain where they are in the park(s) until the Shelter In Place command has been rescinded. At this time either an Evacuation Order will be issued or an “Event Clear, Emergency Over” command will be issued.

How will I know if the evacuation is over?

There will be an “Event Clear, Emergency Over” announcement

If there is an evacuation where do you go?

Evacuation Meeting Locations:

• All staff evacuated from the South exits will meet up immediately at the Spaghetti Factory Parking Lot in back of the building at 2801 Elliott Ave., off of Alaskan Way, across the street from the South exit.
• All staff evacuated from the North exit will meet at parking lot on 16th Ave. W. at West Galer Street.
•All staff evacuated from the Thomas Street Overpass exit will meet up immediately at the Spaghetti Factory Parking Lot in back of the building at 2801 Elliott Ave., off of Alaskan Way, across the street from the South exit.
If those areas are in the emergency zone, all staff meets on the lawn at Seattle Center on Broad Street, by the Space Needle.

Staff Reminders:

• STAY CALM. DO NOT PANIC. DO NOT RUN. Your professionalism will instill calm in the Attendees and will mean the difference between an orderly evacuation and induced panic.
• Reiterate to Attendees the directions and instructions given by the Evac-Man, but do not make any comments or give out any information other than as provided by your supervisor (or a Board of Directors member). Never spread a rumor.
• Assist Attendees with a quick and orderly evacuation and provide them with assurance that actions are taken for their safety.
• Do not let the crowd congregate near the entrance gates… keep them moving. The crowd should exit the event site in accordance with instructions given by Emcees and Evac-Man.
• Keep any entrance ramp and emergency lane clear to allow access for fire equipment. Anticipate emergency vehicles coming through the Hempfest and be ready to assist them or direct them to the threat location if necessary.
• Assist disabled Attendees, the elderly, and lost children off of festival grounds. Stay with a lost child until handed off to parent or authorities.

After an Evacuation:

When the emergency has passed, and after consulting police/fire and the determination has been made that the event is safe for staff and attendees to be present, an “Event Clear, Emergency Over” command will be issued by the Evac-man. At this time Hempfest returns to normal functions. Special care will be taken by ADA staff to assist the disabled that may be returning to Hempfest Staff leaders will check in on all staff possible to assess their composure levels and provide moral support in the event of a serious emergency.

Safety-First Tips:

-Keep yourself safe first in a crisis. – Know your limits. – Notify Hempfest Staff (with radios) first. – Let the Seattle and Port Police and EMT’s deal with real emergencies.  Walk, don’t run, to or from a crisis.


2015 Lost Child Protocol a.k.a. Code Adam  

This procedure describes how to respond to incidents involving minors who have been separated from their legal guardian. These steps also apply to situations involving disabled or vulnerable persons. In this document, that person shall be referred to as “the child”. The parent, caregiver, or legal guardian shall be referred to as “the parent”.

In Case of: Lost Child

If the parent reports a lost child 12 years or younger:
1. If you have reason to believe the child has been abducted, have them call 911.
2. Record detailed information about the child’s name, age, appearance (height/hair color/skin tone/clothing.) Ask about the child’s last known whereabouts and their direction of travel.
3. Report the Code Adam to Draper Dispatch. (All Black Shirts have radios.) Include your position.
4. Follow instructions from Draper Dispatch, who will confirm the information.
5. Although park entrances will not be shut, gate personnel should ask those with children matching the description to voluntarily wait.
6. After 15 minutes, escort the parent to the nearest information booth.
7. Dispatch collects the parent’s contact information and physical description.
8. Note the names of anyone else onsite who should (or should not) take custody.
9. Use stage PA systems and radios at full volume to ask the crowd for witnesses.
10. Once the child has been located, escort the parent to the child’s location.

In Case of: Found Child

If a child self-reports as being lost:
1. Record detailed information about the child’s name, age, appearance (height/hair color/skin tone/clothing). Inquire about his or her parent’s name, last known whereabouts, and direction of travel.
2. Report the found child to Draper Dispatch. Include your position.
3. If no parent arrives within 15 minutes, find a partner and escort the child to the nearest information booth. Do not leave the child unattended for any reason.

If a person appears and claims to be the Parent:

1. Confirm the child knows this person and record the info listed on the person’s ID.
2. Report back to Draper Dispatch.

Code Adam Clear

Once Draper Dispatch can confirm that the parent and child have been reunited:
1. Dispatch will announce “Code Adam Clear” over the radio.
2. Gate staff will dismiss any detained parents and thank them for their help.
3. Dispatch Safety Patrol will complete an incident report for Staff Services.

Railroad Tracks

If at any time you see folks about to cross the railroad tracks and jump the fence into the park, please yell at them to Stop! Don’t go on the Tracks! People have died by being hit by trains, and we don’t need that happening during our ‘Fest! If they make it over the fence, we must have Safety stop them and escort them to the Chutes to come through the right way.

First Aid       

The health and safety of our volunteers, attendees, civil servants and anyone else in the park during our event is important to Seattle Hempfest and it’s staff. Please help each other prevent injuries, heat exhaustion, and dehydration. Always ask for help if you need it!

We have 3 First Aid Booths- at Munchie Market North of the Pumphouse, at the North end of the Rose Garden, and at Helix/North Ops.

How to Handle a First Aid Incident

If you encounter a situation where an injury occurs; Assess, Call and Stabilize.

Assess the situation. If position of victim is placing the victim in greater danger, move the victim to safety as carefully as possible. Do not place yourself in danger to do so.

Call for help. Find the nearest radio and call first aid to come to you. If the victim’s complaints seem minor, you can take them to a first aid booth if feasible. First aid booths are at map grids B-19 (HF first aid @ Draper Compound); A-22(Medic One/Red Cross) and E-58 (HF north end first aid booth, limited hours). Make sure to accompany them to the booth to ensure their safe arrival.
If you cannot find a radio or the affliction appears to be serious, find a cell phone and call 911 immediately. Call Hempfest Operations at (206) 678-6895 immediately after calling 911. If the injuries do not seem to be life threatening but you need a responder, call Operations at the number above to get first aid.

Stabilize. If you are certified in first aid and are confident you can handle the situation then do so while waiting for help. If you do not know first aid, or are not confident you can do what is needed to treat the victim, seek help from the crowd. Ask loudly if anyone knows first aid or is a medical professional. DO NOT leave the victim until help arrives. Try to identify the victim and find out if they are with anyone.

Heat Exhaustion

It is important to keep hydrated. Hempfest happens in August which can be very hot. If you come upon someone that is flushed, seems disoriented or is complaining of heat or thirst, call for First Aid. After you call First Aid, offer them water. Water is available for free for anyone that is in need at the water sales booths and at Staff Hydration (A-17) Draper (B-19) First-Aid (A-22) and Operations (A-18). The water truck is located on Blueberry Hill (A-22) for everyone to fill their water bottles. Be aware of exposure. Sun can lead to sunburn. If you see someone that is getting pink or perhaps full-on red, send them to First Aid or Operations to get sunscreen. Better yet, keep sunscreen on you so that you can offer.


Hempfest is mostly very warm. Sometimes, especially at night, it can become downright cold. If you come upon someone that is shivering, complaining of being cold or displaying obvious signs of being cold, direct them Helix, Draper or Staff Services to get warm. If they are shivering, walk with them until they get to help.

Crisis Intervention Guidelines

A crisis is an emotionally stressful situation- like an argument, accident, harassment, or a theft. Intervening in a stressful situation with the intent of changing the outcome in the situation is called a crisis intervention.

Crisis Intervention:

1. Grounding: Use before entering crisis – Relax – Breathe – Get centered
2. Show Respect: Introduce yourself – Ask them their name – Show some respect to them.
3. Don’t corner a person, don’t surround them. – Don’t stand behind them – Always leave an ‘out’, for you and the person in crisis.
4. Do the Business: Politely do the business at hand – If needed, separate the ‘trigger’ from ‘reactor’ – Give cold water to ‘trigger’ – Let others talk to ‘reactor’.
5. Understand how the other person is feeling: Everyone has their own point of view. Try to be empathetic.
6. Have Fun: We are all here to have a good time, not a bad time.
7. Safety First: Keep yourself safe first in a crisis – Walk, don’t run to a crisis – Know your limits
8. Notify Hempfest Staff (with radios) as soon as possible or call Hempfest Operations (206) 678-6895
9. Let the Seattle Police deal with real emergencies
10. Separation: 2 arms length rule (so they can’t hit you) – 21 foot rule (weapons) -Make them comfortable – Don’t stand with arms folded – Take your sunglasses off while talking to people who are upset.

Event Contacts

If you need to contact someone for guidance, please go first to your crew Coordinator or supervisor. Please remember to ask when you come on shift who it is that you report to. If you are unable to find your supervisor, find someone with a radio and contact Staff Services. As it is often difficult to hear the radios, set your phone on ‘vibrate’ if near stages and use cell phones, text messaging or Skype to communicate whenever possible. Safety Team staff are trained to respond to incidents and to deescalate situations- call Draper for assistance. For emergencies call Hempfest Operations (206) 678-6895.


SPD: Will have officers on patrol throughout the park on horses, bikes, and on foot. Their Mobile Command Unit will be close to the South entrance of the park. We have spent 24 years building a good relationship with the Seattle Police Department. Please be respectful and stay out of their way. Please remember that unjust laws are our enemy, not the Police Officer. These are real people in a difficult position and many of them support our principles.
The police are here to protect us and respond to emergencies. They have broad authority to perform a wide variety of operations in the park during Hempfest. Seattle Hempfest Staff are prohibited from interfering in the operations of uniformed or non-uniformed police officers. If you feel that something is amiss, do not interfere! Write down any pertinent information and talk with Operations. Remember, the SPD officers are here because they requested Hempfest for overtime work. They usually have a great time, and often pose for photos!

Port Police: Port of Seattle Police also has broad authority on Park property. They are responsible for the North end of our event [Centennial Park.]. Please treat them as you would SPD officers. They will probably have a mobile command unit in the parking lot close to the grain elevator [North Centennial Park.]

Burlington Northern Police: Burlington Northern Police control the train tracks to the East of the park.

Department of Homeland Security: Positioned at our North Gate, on the East side by the Grain Terminal. Please stay away from them. Remember not to do anything illegal and be careful what you say- we are being observed 24/10.


Medic One will be on Highway 420, North of the Pump house, next to the First Aid booth (A-22). First Aid booths are also North of the Rosegarden (C-41) and next to Helix (E-58).


In case of fire please get a hold of anyone with a radio and report the fire. There will be radios at all Info booths, First Aid, Staff Check-In, OPS, Draper & Helix & all Stages. Be specific: How large a fire? Exactly where is the fire? What is on fire? If the fire is huge, or if people are on fire, call 911 immediately, then call Operations. All Stages and Operations/Staff Services/Draper & Helix have fire extinguishers. Also, most food booths will have a fire extinguisher.

Incident Reports

After ANY type of emergency, injury, altercation, or disturbance, please fill out an Incident Report as soon as possible. They are available from your Crew Coordinator, all Stages, Info Booths, Staff Services, Draper and Helix, and Operations. The information you have on the situation may be VERY important later.  Incident reports communicate any issues to the leadership of the event and protect you and Seattle Hempfest and help prevent issues in the future. Please turn in the Incident report right away. Take pictures if you can. We also have Incident Report Cards, which fit in your pocket and are quicker to fill out!

In and Out and Overnight

Hempfest is permitted from 8:30am Monday, Aug. 10th to Wednesday, August the 19th at 6pm. Vendor Load-in will start at 8:30 am on Thurs., 8/13. Load-in will follow the 2015 Traffic Plan. Load-out starts at 8:45 pm on Sunday the 16th. If you are helping with Load in, Load out or Traffic, we need you to read the Traffic Plan.

Load In/Load Out Info

Please help keep vehicles OFF the sprinklers- breakable and expensive! Please replace any sprinkler-flags that get pulled up.
ALL cars parked on grass MUST have WOOD UNDER THEIR TIRES!


Vehicles will be queuing up North at 16th Ave. West. We will be metering them in one at a time to the Vendor Load-In at Centennial Parking Lot.
We have CERTIFIED TRAFFIC FLAGGERS, and hired SPD officers-please do as they say. Vendors/Bands/Deliveries enter from the North, and exit thru the South. all vehicles need to stay off the grass as much as possible, watch those trees and bushes and sprinklers!
All vehicles must be out of the park by 11 am on Fri and 9 am Sat and Sun – unless they have an All Access Vehicle Pass.
The speed limit is [Very, Very SLOW] 5 MPH in all parts of all parks! There are lots of people, equipment & fragile plants/sprinklers everywhere. On Mondays Tuesdays Wednesdays and Thursdays, the parks are still open to the public—joggers, bikes and kids all over the place!
Bikes must dismount in the Parks on Fri/Sat/Sun during event hours!
If Hempfest Staff must ride bikes during the event, they absolutely MUST wear a Hempfest vest.

Bicycle Commuter Hour is Mondays Tuesdays Wednesdays and Thursday from 7:30-8:30 am. During this hour we will have NO VEHICULAR TRAFFIC to allow the bulk of bike commuters to travel safely through the parks.

Band Load In

All Bands should have their passes and vehicle passes- if not, they can get them from the Band Check-In booth in the North end at the corner of 16th Ave. W. & Galer St. (B-82)

Vendor Load In/Out Times

Thursday: 8:30am – 7:30pm
Friday: 6am – 10:15am / 9pm – Midnight.
All vehicles must be out of the park by 11:00 am on Friday!
Saturday & Sunday: 7am – 8:45am / 9pm – Midnight.
All vehicles must be out of the park by 9:00 am on Saturday and Sunday!

The 4 Event Entrances or “Chutes”

South Gate / Thomas Street Bridge / Helix / 16th Ave. W.

What can’t come in and why:

No vehicles of any kind [except police, fire, parks or emergency] after 9:00 am on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday [Event Days.] Not until the Public clears the park after the show [around 9pm.] Our permit only allows a very few vehicles left in the park during the show, these will have All-Access Vehicle Passes on their dashboard.
Booze, glass containers, or weapons. This is why we have the safest event in the City of Seattle- Staff Pro Security checks for these items at the Chutes.
Sellable merchandise without purchase of a vending pass, and placement by the Vending crew. Unauthorized vending is grossly unfair to our paying vendors [who pay for about half of Hempfest’s budget,] and folks who try to sell or sample any drugs or ganja treats are committing a felony.
NO DOGS. No pets are allowed at Hempfest, as required by permit.
Service animals are NOT required to be documented or wear any certification. We must take people’s word for it, but we can eject “problem” service animals. It is illegal to ask about a person’s medical condition, but we may ask what service their Service Animal is trained to provide. Puppies and other immature animals, or animals “in training” are not legal Service Animals.

The Huge Line to get into Hempfest

They’re excited, wound up, hot-n-thirsty and bummed to be in such a huge line! The line must be kept moving through the Chutes Corridors. We want to keep the public CALM, ENTERTAINED, AND OUT OF THE STREET. We will have Crowd Management Crew members and Safety hanging out and keeping the traffic flowing by reminding people to stay to their right.

The Sweep

The Sweep is the human chain that “sweeps” the park of the public at the end of the show. At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights the Sweep Crew gathers at the Rosegarden- Yellow C-40. We form 2 human chains the width of the park and walk slowly towards the chutes at the north and south ends of the parks. This is a gentle way of assisting the public out of the park to allow us to prepare for the night. Vendors and Staff will have Staff Shirts or wristbands that allow them to stay in.

We always need more bodies for Sweep! Sign up at Staff Check-In or just join in at the Rosegarden at 7:30pm.

Nightlife at Hempfest

Except for the Friday night VIP Membership party, nothing will be happening. No one should be onsite except for Night Safety, Traffic, and Hempfest Coordinators. Staff working Night Safety should remain alert and keep it quiet; sound carries at night to the nearby neighbors, and authority figures.

Special Notes for Stage Crews

Please Keep in mind that the space on and behind the stages is tight! If you hear the “All-Clear” call, get your butt out of the way. The stages are an excellent place to watch the crowd for medical or other emergencies. Please make way for First Aid staff and report any emergencies in the crowd immediately to the Stage Manager, First Aid, or Operations.
Remember- NOTHING is to be tossed from any stage or moshpit! Even something tiny that wouldn’t hurt a fly could cause a “crowd crush” that could end up with people getting trampled. Keep all pathways clear at all times. If you don’t absolutely need to be onstage or backstage, please vacate the space.

Special Notes for Volunteers Who are Issued a Radio

Radio check Out/In will be out of Operations. The folks who bring us the radios will check them out/in and train us all on Radio Protocol. Your ID will be copied at Operations when you have a radio. About 50 Hempfest Coordinators, Safety teams, all Stages, Info Booths, and First Aid booths have radios. Also, Homeland Security, SPD and Port of Seattle Police have their own radios and they monitor our channels, so remember: Always be Concise, Polite, and Discrete on the Radios-watch what you say! The radios are tools, not toys!
Hardcopies of Radio protocols will be passed out at Radio Check In/Out (Operations, Draper, Helix.) Please read these protocols carefully and follow them. Always identify yourself and your location and be Concise, Polite, and Discrete on the Radios.
Use cell phones, text messaging or Skype to communicate whenever possible, as it is often difficult to hear the radios. Please set your phone on ‘vibrate’ if you are near stages.


Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the questions the public may ask you the second you put on that staff shirt, and some helpful answers:
What is Hempfest? The Seattle Hempfest is the premier drug policy reform event in the nation. Now in our 24th year, we have 6 stages, 110 bands, 90 speakers, 400 vendors, 900 volunteers and about 150,000 guests.
When do you open? Hempfest opens the gates at Noon Fri. & 10 am Sat/Sun.
When do you close? Hempfest closes at 8PM. At 7:30 Hempfest Staff and Safety members begin a crowd sweep starting at the Rose Garden and sweeping both north and south to the ends of Centennial Park and Olympic Sculpture Parks. People who are not Vendors or Staff are asked to leave at this time.

>> We always need extra bodies on Sweep! <<

Where are the Info booths? There are three info booths: The Main one is South of Hemposium Stage; Red 14-A. #2 is at Bud of Seattle; Yellow 33-C,
and #3 is West of North OPS; Blue 58-F.
Where is the water? We have 5 water and pop booths where we sell fluids to make $$ to pay for Hempfest. Free water? There is one water fountain at Blue F-56, and we have a 4,000 gal water truck- on Blueberry Hill, behind Munchie Market. If you find yourself or others suffering from heatstroke or dehydration get to shade and water, or go to First Aid, or call for First Aid help. Carry an extra bottle of water for folks you come upon in the crowd.
What do I do with lost kids/grownups/car keys/etc? Lost Kids and Found Parents are escorted to the nearest Info Booth, after reporting to Safety and waiting 15 mins. (See the section on “Code Adam” in this manual) If you find a Lost Parent or Kid, please contact Draper Safety via radio (if you don’t have a radio, find someone who does) and wait for further instructions.
If there’s any item you’ve lost or found, you’ll want to check in with the closest Info booth. We always make a point of announcing lost people at the stages so folks know how to connect. At closing on Fri/Sat/Sun, lost items go to Operations. After Hempfest, email; lostandfound@hempfest.org.
Where are the ATMs? We have 5 ATMs. There is one at Hemposium Stage, one at Munchie Market, one in the Bud of Seattle; North of Liberty Lighthouse, one in Ganja Gardens behind McWilliams Stage, and one right next to Seeley Stage.
Can we camp here? Nope. Camping is illegal in Seattle City Parks.
How about over there? Please don’t bum out our neighbors and the police by camping on their property, or in the streets. If you’d like to camp safely and legally, there are plenty of resources outside Seattle City limits. A list is provided at; http://www.hempfest.org/festival/attendees/
Where can I get official Hempfest souvenirs? You can find Hempfest merchandise at the 420 Store in Stone Village- Orange B-21 and Hempfest Central Info Booths; The Main one is South of Hemposium Stage- Red 14-A. Central is at the Bud of Seattle- Yellow 33-C, and North is on the water-side of Helix- Blue 58-F. All kinds of shirts, hats, hemp twine, lighters, local art glass, posters, water bottles and other collectibles are offered!
Can I volunteer? Like, right now? Do you have your Photo ID? Clean clothes on? Are you sober? If so, then you sure can! If you’re under the influence of alcohol and/or narcotics, we can’t use you. Otherwise, we’ve got over 5,000 shifts to fill this year and we need all the help we can get! Get your hempin’ booty over to Staff Services, located North of Hemposium Stage, and get ready to be part of our super-hemptastic team.
Do I have to fill out a staff application? You guys know me, I’ve worked the last 20 Hempfest’s, you know, I just show up and help Viv out…. YES, everyone, even Vivian, must fill out a 2015 Volunteer Staff Application for three reasons:

1. Our Special Events Permit requires that we prove how many staff members we have on site.

2. We must have a legal document with your contact information and “signature” so that you will be covered by our insurance.

3. You won’t get a staff shirt/wristband unless you fill out the app and check in… and we can’t tell which crews need help if people don’t check in.

What about wheelchair users & signers for the deaf? Most of the ‘Fest site is wheelchair accessible. Operations or the First Aid crew can help anyone who needs assistance.  If wheelchairs need charging, North and South Staff Check-In have power. We have ASL Interpreters at Main and Hemposium Stages.
Where is first aid? Red Cross First Aid is located on Highway 420, just South of Munchie market, next to the Ambulance. We also have First Aid near Helix and at the North end of the Rose Garden.
Where are the bathrooms? We’ve got more Honey buckets than you can shake a stick at. No, really, there’s some right over there (then point either North or South) There is also a public restroom waaaay up north, next to the Fish-On bait shop.
When’s my brother’s girlfriend’s roommate’s cousin’s band playing? (Where can I find a program?) You can find out when and where your [favorite band / personal hero] is [playing / speaking] by checking out our handy-dandy Event Program. These can be found at any Hempfest booth like Staff Services and Info Booths. We also have lovely Greeters by the chutes that have lots of programs, and they want to give you one!
Can you sell me some weed? The sale of marijuana is still illegal, and we’re in a “Drug Free Zone” where penalties are doubled. Hempfest staff members are changing the law, not breaking it. Sorry, dude!
Really, I know you have some. C’mon, dude this is Hempfest! Kick down! Dude, really. By keeping the event safe and responsible we are helping to support the movement. Buying or selling illegal drugs at Hempfest hurts our cause. Don’t do it.
When do they throw out the free joints? What joints? Throwing objects in a crowd is dangerous.
Do you know where to buy any weed? I wouldn’t know. Please don’t buy weed here. It bears repeating: buying, selling or distributing drugs at Hempfest hurts the cause. Also, it’s still very illegal.
Can I buy your staff shirt? You’ve got to earn this staff shirt by kicking down your time and energy for the cause (volunteer). This shirt is not for sale.
Can I trade you this fat sack for your staff shirt? Dude, you can’t trade for it either.
Can I smoke weed here? Keep in mind that smoking marijuana in public is still illegal. There is no safety umbrella at Hempfest. If you choose to smoke out of civil disobedience, be aware of the potential consequences. We are in a “Drug Free Zone”, and penalties are doubled if you’re busted. So don’t do it in front of a Cop! TRY THE NEW 21+ LOUNGE at Hemposium!
Would you like to smoke this weed with me? No thanks, I’m working! Remember: anyone asking to buy/sell/smoke weed with you at Hempfest is possibly an undercover agent looking to bust you.
Where can I buy some brownies? Please don’t buy any food from anyone who is not a Hempfest Licensed Food Vendor even if they have different kind of ‘vendor pass’. If the food is not professionally packaged in a Commercial kitchen, it may not be what the seller promises, and it could be unsafe.

Gratitude                                                                                                                                                            Our gratitude goes out to all of you who give us your valuable time, and work so passionately for justice and freedom.

We appreciate you showing up, and also bringing us more volunteers! We always need more help, especially with Set-up and Tear-Down. We are here 24 hrs a day for 10 days, and you and your friends may sign up for additional shifts any time by coming to Staff Check-In, or signing up on our website. Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday after the event when we tear down are especially challenging, even if you can just make it down for a couple of hours, it will help tremendously!

Thank you for all your hard work and dedication, we could not produce the world’s largest Hempfest without you!

~Your Seattle Hempfest Core Group

Open-book Quiz:

Can we camp here? Y / N

Name 2 things required to volunteer;

Should you buy/sell pot or medibles at Hempfest? Y/ N

Name 2 things you should bring with you for your shift;

What is a Code Adam? Where do you report one?

Name 2 signs of heat exhaustion;


List the 4 chutes to enter/exit Hempfest;


What’s the name of the emergency evacuation document?


Can you bring your dog, cat, snake, rat, pig, bird, monkey, llama or other pet with you to Hempfest?

Y / N

Why does everyone need to Check-In once a day?