Volunteer at LaughFest 2020

Calling all volunteers!

We need your help! LaughFest would not be possible without our seriously awesome volunteers.

Become one of over 600+ volunteers helping to put smiles on the faces of 50,000+ festival attendees each March! Anyone aged 16 or older can volunteer with LaughFest. We welcome individual volunteers and volunteer groups. 

LaughFest 2020 Volunteer Program Presented By

Leadership Volunteer Applications now open:

LaughFest is now accepting applications from experienced volunteers who are interested in taking on extra responsibilities as volunteer leads. LaughFest will be approving a limited number of qualified volunteer leads to the following teams: Transportation, LaughFest Central, Merchandise Room, Office Specialist, Retail Specialist and Venue Captain.

Apply Now

Apply today! Let us know you are interested by completing the application below. We will be in touch after receiving your application to schedule an interview.

General Volunteer Applications will open January 2020!

For more details in the meantime, email volunteer@laughfestgr.org or call 616.735.4242.
Interested in group volunteer opportunities alongside friends, students and/or colleagues? email volunteer@laughfestgr.org or call 616.735.4242.


In 2011, people thought that we were seriously crazy when we said we wanted to put on a 10-day festival of laughter. Now going into our tenth festival, LaughFest is wildly successful, garnering praise from artists and attendees alike. How does Gilda’s LaughFest manage put on so many diverse events at multiple venues during the course of the festival? ONLY WITH LOTS OF VOLUNTEERS!

Our volunteers are not only part of what makes LaughFest so great, they make it possible. When volunteering for LaughFest, you are instrumental in creating a fantastic festival experience for all. We have opportunities to volunteer before, during and after the festival. There are no minimum or maximum time commitments when volunteering. Whether you choose to volunteer a little or a lot, know you will be bringing smiles and laughter to the lives of many…all while helping support the year-round work happening at Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids!


Smile Team

As a Smile Team volunteer, you’ll act as a general event assistant and have opportunities to help welcome festival attendees, provide directions, answer questions and to assist with ushering, coat check, door guarding, set-up, tear-down and help with retail sales at events. Most Smile Team shifts are between three and six hours and can take place mornings, afternoons, evenings and late-night all ten days of the festival. Smile Team applications go live in mid-January.

Special Team Volunteer

Special Team volunteers bring a specific skill or fill a specific role at LaughFest events. Find a Special Team that fits best with your interest and talents!  They include helping with Transportation Team who help move supplies and people; Photo Team who help capture festival shows and events; Production Team that help with light, camera and audio needs at venues during the festival; Merch Team who help with merchandise prep for shows; Office Team who help staff with a variety of tasks in the office and LaughFest Central Volunteers who help provide retail support and concierge Festival experiences to people who call or visit our retail store mid-February through March. Special Team applications go live in mid-January.

Leadership Volunteers

Interested in high-level volunteer opportunities? Join our Venue Captain Team and help ‘run the show’ at events. Serve as a mentor to new volunteers, manage volunteer sign-in and sign-out and give assignments, oversee special teams volunteers, ensure a warm and welcoming atmosphere for guests and troubleshoot issues as they arise.

Volunteer Leads are:

  • Willing to commit to five or more shifts
  • Willing to put in the time and become an “expert” on all things LaughFest, Gilda’s Club and Gilda Radner
  • Willing to attend specialized Venue Captain training
  • Friendly, enthusiastic and flexible and have the ability to encourage those qualities in others
  • Natural peace-keepers and peace-makers
  • Good communicators
  • Well organized
  • Comfortable in a management role

Venue Captain applications go live in mid-January.


Questions? Contact volunteer@laughfestgr.org or call 616.735.4242.