FAQ

Volunteer Questions

How does someone know they have been accepted to volunteer once they sign up online?

An email should be generated and sent out to the email address you provided while registering shortly after you sign up. Another email goes out a week or two before the event with more information about volunteering (including rules and regulations). If you do not receive these, please email jsams@new.rr.com and indicate this.

Why is O'douls being served in a can instead of from the taps?

Wisconsin Distributors no longer can get Odouls in a barrel. Since Odouls is not as high of a seller as other items, the Octoberfest board decided doing cans was a viable solution. This is a program the event does not want to give up since it is promoting people to have a designated driver.

Why does the event no longer have Bacardi Raz or something similar to it?

Wisconsin Distributors no longer has an option of tha malt beverage available in a barrel. The bartenders would not be able to keep up with the customer demand if pouring into a cup from a bottle. The event also does not want bottles on the avenue, and that is the only way this type of alcohol is available.

Will free wristbands be given earlier in the day  before our shift time?

No  free wristbands will be given when you arrive for your shift at the time designated in your email one to two weeks before the event. If you want one earlier, you will have to purchase it yourself. You will not get reimbursed for the wristband. Bar managers do not have money on them at all for this type of thing. The board is aware that many people are not in agreement with this. This rule has been put in place because in the past some volunteers have gotten their wristbands at 9 am, and either came drunk to their shift or else did not even show up.

If a volunteer wants to work a longer shift, can he/she do that?

You are more than welcome to sign up for more than one shift. If you would like to bartend from noon to 5:30, sign up for the noon to 3 shift and 3 to 5:30 shift. You could even switch locations if you wanted to see more of the event from a different location. If you want to work longer the day of the event and are not signed up, please talk to your bar manager.

Why isn't there more room behind the bar?

The event works with the Appleton police fire departments. There are rules/regulations indicating how far out into the street you can be set up. The bar area takes up the whole width of the area that they can. It would be ideal to have more space, but there is not much else we can do without widening the street. The Octoberfest board looks at ways each and every year to try to make this better.

Why do the volunteers need an ID also to get a wristband after they already provided their birthdate during online registration?

Anyone can sign up online and say they are 21 years old. The bar managers/check-in person also need to see proof that you are 21 just like when you get alcohol any place else in Wisconsin. This also lets the bar managers/check-in person know you are truly the person that signed up for the shift too.

Why does it seem like the patrons do not know what time wristband sales and beer sales end each year?

The wristband booths and bar locations all have signs at the event indicating that wristband sales end at 5 pm and beer sales end at 5:30. The wristband booths also tell patrons when the beer sales end when they are purchasing them. Also, each stage has information going on during intermission where this message is being sent. Patrons will always complain at 5:30 if they still have some tickets for sale, even if they truly knew the time.

Why does it seem like the bar location has too many volunteers?

Each year the volunteer chairperson looks at each bar and evaluates how many volunteers make sense based on beer sales and type of crowd located around the bar. In many cases more volunteers are recruited each year than necessary because a lot of time 3 to 5 people do not show up for each shift. If we can get the number of no shows to be fewer, we will stop recruiting extra volunteers. Part of the reason it also feels like it is too many volunteers has to do with the space question above. We wish the bar widths could be bigger. The crowd is there for that many volunteers.

What happens if someone is not working during their shift, stealing tickets or handing out free beer to other patrons at the event?

The bar managers are asked to give you one warning about your misbehavior. If you are continuing to do things that are against the rules/regulations you read when you arrived, you will be asked to leave from behind the bar, put on a list to not be able to volunteer again and be un-invited to the volunteer party.

Can someone drink while volunteering and where do they place the beer?

You are allowed to drink in moderation while volunteering the day of the event. If you are, however, intoxicated where you are unable to perform the duties being asked, you will be asked to leave by the bar manager. If you are drinking, please do not place the beer on the bar where customers can easily just take the beverage without paying. We ask that you find another location  on top of trailer, on ground, etc.

Why can't each type of beer be located on each trailer so no one has to run to the other side of the bar location?

If Budweiser and the Octoberfest board would chose to do it this way, we would have less selection of beer available at the event. There just isnt enough trailer room for this layout. However, we try to put the most popular beers in the middle so you do not have to go from one side to the complete opposite side to get a beer for your customer.

Why aren't the volunteer t-shirts for sale to the customers?

We know these t-shirts are quite popular year after year at the event with many people asking if they can purchase them from the volunteers. These are not for sale to anyone. These t-shirts are a special thank you to our volunteers for taking time of their busy schedules to help make Octoberfest a successful event year after year. Without the volunteers like you, the event wouldnt be able to continue.

What can someone do if the bar manager asked someone to pour beer when they started the shift, and now wants to change to serving beer or vice versa?

Please do not be afraid to talk to one of your bar managers to discuss the possibility of moving and doing something different. They are there to assist and help out in any way they can to make your volunteer time enjoyable.

Where can someone go with complaints the day of the event?

Please go to you bar manager. If they are not helping out with the issue, please ask them to contact the volunteer coordinator from the Octoberfest board. This person is available by cell phone and also through the radios you will see one bar manager wear at each location. Remember there are always two or more bar managers at each location. If one is not responding to your needs, please go and talk to the other one.

Why did someone end up with an x-large t-shirt the day of the event when they requested a large during the online registration?

The volunteer coordinator decided to ask for t-shirt sizes during the online registration starting in 2011 to help get more t-shirt to accurately fit our volunteers. The t-shirts need to be ordered over a month prior to the event, and volunteers are constantly changing until the day of the event. Therefore, this process is making things much better than they have been in the past, but it will never be 100% correct unfortunately. We apologize for any inconvenience it causes when you get a different size than you signed up for.

Why does the Octoberfest board decide to do a volunteer party year after year instead of just giving that money back to the community?

The Octoberfest board knows how valuable the volunteers are for the event. Without the volunteers, the event would not go on year after year. Because of this, the board feels it is especially important to put on this thank you party for the volunteers. With the attendance the last few years, it appears the volunteers also appreciate it.

Where do the proceeds from the beer sales go to?

The Octoberfest board would like for everyone in the community to be aware that over $50,000 a year goes back into the community from the event in the way of grants. In order to apply for a grant, please go out to the website www.Octoberfestonline.org to review the grant application rules and regulations. This event is truly a way to raise funds to make paying it forward happen. Each of you should be proud to be a part of that giving back. Please spread the work to others about what the event truly is about.

Why aren't there more signs at the event for the two beer minimum?

Signs for this information are located at each wristband booth where customers have to purchase wristband and their drink tickets.  The information is also on the wristbands that everyone is wearing.  It also appears at most bar locations.

Why are the tables behind the bar so unsturdy?  Is there a way to get new ones?

Those tables are not the property of Octoberfest.  In order to maintain a low cost event to produce more proceeds to give back to the community, these tables are just borrowed from many church organizations in the area.  The Octoberfest committee has not been able to come across anyone else that has those type of tables to be used.  They also do not want to have to worry about the maintenance and storage of such tables.  For now, this is how it will remain.

Why is the Specialty bar location on the Oneida St. corner?

This bar location has change numerous times over the past 10 years.  It has been proven to be the most successful at its' current location.  If something changes with the proceeds from there, then the committee will look at changing the location of it.  Again this year, other specialty beers will be sold at each bar location - including Oktoberfest.

Why isn't there more room between each of the tappers on the trailers?  This would make it easier to pour beer.

The trailers are property of Wisconsin Distributors (Budweiser), and they come they way they are.  The tappers cannot just be moved for this event.  The event uses most (if not all) the trailers that are available through this location of Budweiser.

Why isn't music paying at all stages by 9 am - even if it is just CDs during the time actual live entertainment is not available?

The year two stages wil have music again beginning at 9 am - last year was the first year for it.  A noise variance is filed with the City of Appleton already in May where the start time of the music (if before 11 am) needs to be called out.  The approval for the two stages at each end of the festival got approved, and the committee is unsure if anything else would also.  The committee can look into this in future years.

If we receive tip money as we are bartending, what should we do with it?

The bar managers in the brighter blue shirts will have a place to put tips.  Please give it to them.  This money will go into the final proceeds for the event, which will result in more money given back to the community throughout the year.

What time should we arrive for our scheduled shift time?

Please make sure allow ample time to find a parking spot and walk to your bar location.  Please report to your bar location 15 minutes ahead of time so you can get your wristband, volunteer party ticket, tshirt and have time to review the rules of volunteering.

What should I do with my personal belongings while I am volunteering?

Octoberfest is not responsible for lost or stolen items.  It is a recommendation by the committee that you should not bring any valuables with you that you cannot keep on your while volunteering for this reason.  Totes will be available to store items, but it will not be locked.

If it is raining, do I still need to show up for my shift?

Yes the event goes on rain or shine....and remember that you volunteer shirt should go over the top of your other clothing.

Where do I report to in order to start my volunteering?

You will report to the bar location that you signed up to volunteer at.  When facing the back of the bar from sidewalk, your check-in area should be on the left hand side of the bar.  All 9 am and 11 am shifts will report to the bar managers in the brighter blue shirts.  The rest of the shifts will report to people with bar staff red shirts on.  At Houdini you will report to the bar managers all day.

If I find out the day of the event I can't show up for my shift, how do I get a hold of someone to let them know.

Please call (920) 819-5431 to let them know.

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