Festival Fun

PFFCO - The Philadelphia Folk Festival COmmunicationz Committee!

Here's what we do:

  • Internet service to the Festival grounds, an 86 acre hay field to which we supply fiber, wire, and wireless internet

  • Phone service to 80+ extensions on the festival site

  • Infrastructure to support both POTS and VoIP phone service with copper and internet connected endpoints

  • Computers and support to those who need them on the 37 committees that operate the Festival

  • Graphic Arts services, signage, and other last minute print and design needs of the Festival

  • Operator services to route calls and answer questions to inbound callers

  • Network Administration and management of 5-7 virtual LANs

  • FM Walkie Talkie provisioning, deployment, and maintenance

  • Live FM Radio service during the festival KFEST Radio

  • Festivision - the closed circuit distribution of the concert video throughout the behind the scenes locations so folks on shift can enjoy the concerts

  • Provide facilities to connect and manage mobile ticketing devices and scanners

  • Schenanagans

Here's when we do it:

PFFCO (aka Communicationz) is an all volunteer committee of the Philadelphia Folk Festival. 

Optional PFFCO projects begin the week before July 4th weekend when we begin moving in our two trailers and start to get them set up for work. For those that choose to do so, we generally work Saturdays for about 4 to 6 hours and then chill for the night.  Yes, there is always a party.  Yes, it is just another excuse to hang out on the farm with some of the greatest people on earth. 

Sometimes, when we have a heavy work load, we will put out a call to ask for people to come on Sundays. Same hours, different day.  Same reasons, same lack of required attendance.  Same great people.  

We generally have food together and in the early summer everyone kicks in.  

Some camp out and make a night or weekend of it, some drive in and out.  

It's a whole lot of fun and just gets the party started earlier.  Besides, dinners with Purchasing are legendary.

This continues for the weeks leading up to Prefest. Prefest is our crunch time. That's when everything has to be working correctly and all the equipment that we have been provisioning and making ready goes out. So that's when any unknown issues show up, and there are usually lots of them. Our job, fix it and make it all work. Prefest week is an "all hands on deck" week, and everyone is expected to help as much as possible. This is especially true Prefest Wed, Thurs, and Friday when we are really busy.

So what happens during Fest? That depends on the year. We are in charge of service of all of the bullet points listed above. If it's not working, we fix it and make it work. It's an on call thing. If we did a good job setting up, by Friday or Saturday we are running smoothly. Everyone can relax and hang out. (This is especially nice during rainy Fests when we enjoy the trailers, the concert on the big screen in the trailer, and a cold Yards Brawler, which we have on tap at all times. Life is good.)

Usually, we have a few little trouble shooting things and we knock them down. But if it's not working by Saturday at 2:00, we put it on the work schedule for Monday.  (Read: not happening)

Sunday evening and Monday post fest are also important days. That's when we have to bring everything out of the field and put it all away. Again, this is an "all hands" project and the faster we get it put away the better off we all are.

From there, it's back to weekends to tidy up, break down, and pull the trailers out. This has to be done by September 1. We ask everyone to help put it all away. Many hands makes light work.  Yes, it is optional.  Yes, the party continues.  Yes, there are lots of folks on the farm post fest.  

We often say, we have one shift. From July 4th weekend until Monday Post Fest. But as you can see, how much we work actually depends on a lot of factors.  How much fun is beyond measure.

What we look for in you:

98% of life is just showing up. We look for folks who will show up on Saturday mornings between July 4th weekend and prefest week when you can. It's a get to know you kind of thing, and for you to get to know us. We can talk about your mad skills, and those you would like to learn more about. And you can help out with setting up.

Hit us up to confirm we are working when you plan on coming up. We are usually done working for the day by 2:00 and start around 9-11, Fest time (when we feel like getting to it).

What is expected of everyone:

  • To attend Fest, you are required to pay any volunteer, camping, parking, etc. fees as may be required by the Festival.  Admin fee covers volunteers’ camping AND food for the weekend. - more info HERE

  • Most positions on PFFCO / Communicationz require Prefest availability, depending on which of the above bullet points you are going to focus on.  But some don't.  

  • We ask everyone to help post-fest Monday, it's optional, but heavily encouraged as we need help badly

  • Show up when you say you are going to show up

  • Hang out at the Blue Trailers or take a radio, especially Prefest Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat morning and look for stuff to do

  • Make yourself useful, you know what you can do - Just do do it

  • Learn other stuff - we will teach you whatever you want

  • We don't do Drama

  • We don't have schedules or shifts - you know where you need to be when

​Generally, we do get to see whatever concerts we want to see.  If there is something going on, maybe not.  But you will probably get to see most of what you really want to see, if not all of it.

Interested?  Hit us up and let us know you read this far :) and let us know you are intending in checking us out.  emailto: rjmalerman@gmail.com Come hang out with us on the weekends!  See above.

See you on the farm!  We can't wait to meet you!


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