JAIPUR LITERATURE FESTIVAL 2023 – VOLUNTEER PROGRAMME
The excitement of being back on ground and finally being able to meet, train and work with you all in a physical space is tenfold!
Described as the ‘greatest literary show on Earth’, every year, the Jaipur Literature Festival brings together a diverse mix of the world’s greatest writers, thinkers, humanitarians, politicians, business leaders, sports people and entertainers on one stage to champion the freedom to express and engage in thoughtful debate and dialogue.
The last few years, despite being challenging, have presented us with many opportunities. From a purely on ground festival, we have evolved into a hybrid festival catering to a wider audience base, dissolving all geographical boundaries.
Volunteers form the backbone of the Festival and we are looking for enthusiastic, hardworking and double vaccinated individuals who are keen to learn about production and hospitality. The Festival attracts some of the biggest names in the world of literature, culture and politics but we still need our volunteers to be focused on the job rather than get distracted.
If the prospect of meeting celebrities and authors is your key motivation for volunteering, we suggest you apply to attend as a General Participant.
Over the last decade, the size and scale of the Jaipur Literature Festival has increased by leaps and bounds and it wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and support of our volunteers. The Festival requires the help of almost 300 volunteers; however, we cannot guarantee all applicants a position. For the 2023 edition, we once again require an amazing army of volunteers who will be the interface between us, the audience and the authors! As a volunteer, you will get the opportunity to work closely with the Festival producers and directors, artistes and educators as well as students and audiences. Most importantly the volunteers will be the eyes and ears of the festival and we as a team will be collectively responsible for upholding all festival protocols.
Your responsibility will be to receive the audience and check identity cards/documents as well as register our Friends of the Festival, authors, press and artists separately. You’ll be the ‘face’ of the Festival, making first contact with our audiences and speakers as they make their way to the venue so if you’re tech savvy, quick to learn, calm under pressure and can keep a smile on your face, this is the job for you!
Logistics (Transport & Accommodation)
One of the most stimulating albeit most challenging departments, this job requires meticulous time keeping and organisational skills. Our self-motivated volunteers are responsible for taking care of our authors’ travel itineraries, having them picked up and dropped to and from specific locations and making sure their accommodation is ready for their arrival. Volunteers working in this department will need to be quick on their feet, ready to tackle any problem and of course, be courteous at all times.Information Desk
Volunteers working at the Information Desk will be required to literally know-it-all. But without the attitude of a know-it-all! You’ll need to know the venues and schedule like the back of your hand and keep up to date with any programme changes. You will also manage the sale of brochures as well as the lost and found.
Your main responsibilities will be to make sure your assigned venue is ready prior to every session and help your Venue Managers with managing the crowds and any other task that may arise. As with most other roles, you’ll need to be quick on your feet, patient and courteous, crowd management is going to be one of the key tasks allocated to you as a venue volunteer. While you may have a front row seat to watching some of the world’s greatest writers and thinkers, you will have to prioritise and ensure your venue functions smoothly.
Volunteers in this department will receive the author(s) and ensure they are prepared and at the venue for their session. You will be based in the Authors’ Lounge, offering warmth and hospitality and ensuring the age-old Indian adage ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ (‘the guest is God) by making sure our authors are comfortable and relaxed.
Each venue has a dedicated book signing area where speakers will arrive following their session to sign books for their legions of fans. It will be your job to make sure the area is ready and equipped with everything required. You will also need to make sure orderly queues are formed and that the signings proceed calmly.
Volunteers are assigned different venues where they will coordinate with the venue managers, technical staff and the sponsorship team to make sure that branding as promised to sponsors is displayed correctly. This is a great opportunity for Marketing students or those with similar experience.
Press & Media
Press and Media volunteers will be based at the Press Terrace where they will work closely with the Festival PR team to coordinate interviews with the speakers. You will also be responsible for assisting media persons with any festival-related queries. In addition, you’ll also need to make sure the Press Terrace is ready to receive authors for their interviews.
Jaipur Music Stage
Volunteers will be responsible for ensuring the set up of the Jaipur Music Stage and sound checks are carried out according to schedule. Music Stage Volunteers will also be the Artist Liaisons for the morning music programme at the Jaipur Literature Festival.
You will be the eyes and ears of the Jaipur Literature Festival by ensuring there is smooth coordination and interaction between the security guards, bouncers and the audience attending the Festival and the Jaipur Music Stage where artist security will take prime precedence. The Security Volunteers will work with Security agencies and assist their team members and Teamwork Arts Security Head during VVIP visits and be aware of any unwanted or anti-social activities.
Every year at the Jaipur Literature Festival, we showcase our very own library and bookstore. Book inventory, helping the audience locate their next read, manning the bookstore as well as making sales will be your responsibility. This role can be more physically demanding and requires being on your feet.
Food and Beverage and Lounge Management
Volunteers in the department will need to ensure our lounges are stocked with refreshments, venues provided with adequate bottles of water and meals laid out on time. Volunteers will also need to help manage crowds during peak hours. This is an ideal role for hotel management and hospitality students.
Volunteers will be responsible for managing the merchandise store, which includes assisting the vendors in setting up the store, billing, making payments, and ensuring smooth running of a cashless system. This is a great opportunity for people with a design and/or marketing background. This role can be more physically demanding and requires being on your feet.
In addition to sessions at the main festival venue and the Jaipur Music Stage, there are additional events hosted by the Festival, which in the past have included performances at Amber Fort and Albert Hall. Volunteers assigned to this role will need to get the venue ready, usher people in and help manage crowds and invites.
Do you live and breathe social media? This is a great opportunity for you to work alongside our digital team and hone in your photography and content writing skills. Volunteers will be required to work on ground to capture the ambience of the Festival, behind the scenes activities and key sessions to generate online content for the Festival. Applicants with a background or interest in photography, advertising, branding and digital media are encouraged to apply. Having a DSLR is an additional advantage, so please do mention this in your application form!
The primary objective of the Outreach Programme is to widen the scope of the Festival by reaching out to educational institutes through comprehensive sessions and workshops with authors with the aim of cultivating a penchant for reading among children. The Volunteers will be required to coordinate with the school, authors and logistics team to ensure that the process is carried out smoothly.
This department is key in running and connecting the Festival to the world. Volunteers will be required to work with the IT representative from Teamwork Arts to ensure technical errors don’t hamper the Festival and there is internet connectivity at all times. If you are pursuing B.tech specialising in computers and electronics, this is an ideal position for you!
Digital Payment Solution
In this day and age, it’s all about going cashless. The department was introduced in 2018 and saw the Festival go cashless across the board. Volunteers in this department will be required to work with unwavering focus and attention as they will be dealing with transactions.
Friends of the Festival Management
The Friends of the Festival experience that is offered at the Festival is one-of-its-kind. Volunteers will be responsible for managing the guest lounge and ensuring that Friends of the Festival are looked after. This includes manning the enquiry desk in the lounge, closely working with Food and Beverage volunteers, and escorting them to the Transport Desk. Volunteers may also be assigned the responsibility to go to the Heritage Events.
Registration for volunteering is open till 5PM, October 31, 2022.
Please note that if we meet our volunteer requirement on or before October 31, 2022, we will cease accepting applications for positions for the 2023 edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival.
Only applicants OVER 18 years old will be accepted. Applicants that have not turned 18 on or before December 31, 2022 will NOT be considered.
Only applicants who are double vaccinated against covid with any of the recognized vaccines will be reviewed to be part of the volunteer programme. Applicants will have to upload their final vaccination certificate in the application form.
Please ensure the details you have entered are correct and read through the form thoroughly before submitting.
A personal group interview will take place in Jaipur following the first round of selection. Shortlisted applicants will be requested to go through the Festival’s history, previous programmes, directors and organiser.
If you are an outstationed applicant (i.e. from anywhere outside of Jaipur), your interview can be conducted in Delhi (if you are in Delhi – NCR) or over a zoom call.
If you are an outstationed applicant, our first preference would be to allocate you to our online social media team. If you are keen for an on ground role, please mention this in your application.
First preference when selecting volunteers goes to those residing in Jaipur. Chosen volunteers from other cities will have to manage their own accommodation, travel and transport.
Interviews with shortlisted applicants will take place between SEPTEMBER – DECEMBER 2022.
All key communication will be done via email. Applicants who fail to respond to emails/reminder phone calls from organisers during the selection process and training will NOT be considered and their position will be offered to another deserving candidate.
There will be a MANDATORY 3-4 day training programme for all shortlisted applicants, prior to the festival.
Once selected, you will be asked to sign an undertaking.
Lunch will be provided to all volunteers at the festival venue. Volunteers are advised to carry basic refreshments like biscuits and fruits from home.
We would appreciate a 10 DAY NOTICE PERIOD if you wish to back out following selection.
The festival will provide a certificate and basic honorarium crediting you for your efforts.
What are the steps involved in the volunteering process?
After filling out the application form on the website, individuals are shortlisted and contacted for a group interview session. If selected, roles and departments are assigned by the volunteer coordinator and communicated via email. Volunteers are then required to attend a 3 – 4 days training session preceding the festival. Once training is complete, the team leader assigns duties and the hard work (and fun) begins.
Why should I apply?
Volunteering boosts a person’s profile. The volunteers at Jaipur Literature Festival are exposed to a wide array of people ranging from the speakers to festival organisers to fellow volunteers who come from different backgrounds. It also provides an opportunity to understand the logistics behind putting together a festival the size and scale of the Jaipur Literature Festival.
Where will the interviews take place?
The interviews take place in Jaipur. Details on the exact venue, date and time will be shared with the shortlisted applicants via email. The interview of outstationed applicants will be conducted in New Delhi or over Zoom.
Can people from outside India also volunteer?
Yes, we accept applicants from across the globe. The interviews will be carried out over Zoom. However, if chosen, the volunteer will have to take care of their own travel, visa, local transport and accommodation, medical and travel insurance. They will have to be present for all festival training and orientation. Additionally, we may also consider you for an online social media role if you are not looking at coming to Jaipur for the festival.
Will I get to choose my department?
The volunteers will be assigned departments on the basis of their interviews at the discretion of the organisers and this will not be changed unless required. Please note that certain volunteer roles are outside the main festival venue such as the Transport Desk, which is located at the airport and festival hotels.
I have no past volunteering experience. Will this affect my application?
No, this will not affect your application. We recruit volunteers both with and without experience as long as you can impress us with your enthusiasm, skills and attributes beneficial for the Festival and your personal growth.
Do I need specific qualifications?
There is no specific formal qualification required in order to volunteer. We are looking for highly motivated individuals who like working in a challenging and dynamic environment. However, if for example you are a hospitality student and keen to work as a Food and Beverages/ Lounge Management, then highlight this during your interview and why you would be suitable.
I have applied to volunteer but have not been invited to an interview session. What should I do?
Due to the large amount of volunteer applications we receive, it may take some time to process them. If you haven’t heard from us yet (don’t forget to check your junk mail inbox too!) please be patient. We will get in touch as soon as we can. The applications are received on a first come-first serve basis and hence applying closer to the deadline could result in your application not being processed. If you do not hear from us by the end of December, it should be assumed that your application has not been selected.
Please keep in mind that a large number of applications do not meet our requirements/expectations and are rejected. Please read the roles and responsibilities carefully before applying.
How many volunteers are recruited?
We recruit 200 + volunteers that work across 25 departments.
Will I be asked to upload my CV during the registration process?
No, you will only be required to fill out an application form. Please make sure you read through it before submitting.
What is the age limit to apply?
Only applicants above the age of 18 will be accepted. Any applicant that has not turned 18 years old on or before December 31, 2022 will not be considered. There is no restriction on a maximum age limit though working on a festival such as Jaipur Literature Festival requires a lot of running around and some heavy lifting so volunteers are expected to be reasonably fit.
Do I need to know any local language for volunteering?
It is preferred that volunteers be fluent in English and/or Hindi. Knowledge of an additional language, Indian or international, is a bonus.
Is there an application fee?
No, you just need to complete the online application form in order to apply.
Will I get a letter of appointment or a separate letter for my college authorities to show that I am volunteering for the festival?
No, the department/role confirmation email sent to you from Teamwork Arts will serve as a formal confirmation of your volunteer application. Please note that any requests to make exceptions on this account will not be entertained. The certificate provided after the completion of your volunteering period will be proof of the activity undertaken.
What are my working hours?
Volunteers will be required for the duration of the festival from 8am to 8pm. Jaipur Music Stage Volunteers will be required until 11pm. *Working hours are subject to change depending on the responsibility assigned.
Can I attend sessions while volunteering?
Volunteering for the Jaipur Literature Festival is a full-time commitment. Please refrain from seeking permission from your team leaders and volunteer coordinators for watching a session. If your key intent to volunteer is to attend sessions, we suggest that you attend the festival as a member of the audience. Seats are not allocated for volunteers. Some volunteer roles involve being based at session venues and/or with a view of the sessions from time to time but it is important to remember that you are still working.
What is the period of commitment?
Volunteers will be required to attend a MANDATORY 3-4 day training workshop prior to the Festival. The Festival itself takes place over 5 days. There is a closing get together for volunteers on the day after the end of the festival. In total, the commitment period will run for 9-10 days.
Why do I need to attend training?
Training is essential to ensure you have the necessary skills and information to perform your assigned role effectively and safely. This will also include basic disaster management training and demonstrations. Training is also important in order to get familiar with your team members and leaders. While some of you may be returning volunteers, there is always a large chunk of new applicants who gain a lot from interacting with experienced volunteers during the training sessions. Training may be more extensive for some roles. Further information and individual training schedules will be communicated to successful volunteers after their role has been assigned.
Where will training take place?
The training will take place in Jaipur. Further information and individual training schedules will be communicated to successful volunteers once their role has been assigned.
Is there a dress code?
Volunteers are expected to wear smart casual attire. The Festival Jacket and the badge must be worn by all volunteers at all times during their working hours. Ripped jeans, slippers, T-shirts with quotes, flashy colours will not be allowed. Practical shoes are a must as you will be on your feet. Volunteers should always be dressed in a presentable manner and maintain personal hygiene as they are the representatives of the Festival.
Can I take leave during the festival?
It is mandatory for all volunteers to be present during the times/dates required. Hence, we advise volunteers not to take leave during the training and the Festival. The certificate will only be awarded if the volunteer attends all days of the training and the Festival. Anyone failing to do so will not receive the certificate.
What meals will I be provided?
Volunteers are provided lunch during training and the Festival. Light refreshments will also be available throughout the day. We recommend that all volunteers carry fruits, light snacks and water bottles for the training and the Festival.
Can I leave if I don’t align with the experience?
Yes, you are under no obligation to keep volunteering if you don’t enjoy the experience. However, it is always worth talking to somebody about this first. This could be a volunteer coordinator, supervisor or someone in the organisation who is responsible for you. You can discuss why you feel unhappy and what you feel would improve your time as a volunteer. It is also something you may want to talk about with other volunteers. Give yourself a chance to understand the role and work ethics. As the Festival progresses, you will be able to understand your job and develop a bond with your team. Try and give it your 100% and absorb all that you can during the volunteering experience.
What will I receive after the completion of my volunteer work?
You will receive a certificate of appreciation and a basic honorarium acknowledging your work.
My friend is also volunteering; can we be assigned to the same department?
A key offering of volunteering at the Jaipur Literature Festival is that you get to meet a variety of people from different backgrounds. The idea behind this is to get to know new people, socialise and create bonds. We usually do not assign friends and family members in the same departments unless they are best suited for the same roles.
Can I smoke during my volunteer duty hours?
The venue is a no smoking zone and we do not encourage smoking or drinking during volunteering hours. The volunteer must be fully aware of his/her conduct at all times and should not indulge in any activity that could compromise the image/reputation of the Festival.
As a volunteer what areas do I have access to?
Volunteers have access to the sub-venues at the festival venue where sessions take place. Only volunteers of certain departments (Author Liaison, Lounge Management, F&B) will have access to authors and friends of the festival lounges. Volunteers are not allowed in the speaker dinner area. A dedicated Volunteer Lounge will exclusively provide volunteers with meals and refreshments.
Can I take a break to meet my friends during the Festival?
Volunteering for the Jaipur Literature Festival is a full-time commitment and thus we advise you against such actions. We can guarantee that you’ll make plenty of new friends while working at the festival.