As you may recall, the Oklahoma City Twitterati ratioed us earlier this summer, when we brazenly pointed out the feel-good free Kings of Leon concert at Scissortail Park was actually going to cost anywhere from $1 million to $1.5 million to produce.
One of the big complaints was that, by pointing the exuberant price tag for a free municipal event that was planned without any public input, The Lost Ogle expects people to work for free.
Well, I have some news that's guaranteed to fire up these social media warriors who vigorously fight online for workers rights and fair wages for all: We have learned that Oklahoma City is seeking hundreds of "energetic" unpaid laborers to do things like pick up trash, work retail sales booths and serve drinks to the gracious and honorable Love's family at the big Scissortail Park grand opening.
Scissortail Park is seeking energetic volunteers for our Grand Opening Weekend celebration scheduled Friday, September 27 through Sunday, September 29. With an estimated 100,000 visitors, Grand Opening Weekend will be a momentous event for Oklahoma City. This celebration would not be possible without many months of planning and the collaborative efforts of the City of Oklahoma City, businesses, organizations, and groups. Through these efforts, the Grand Opening will include a wide range of visual and musical performances, family-friendly programming, and more.
Wow. That's outrageous! If multimillionaires like the Kings of Leon aren't volunteering their time to play a concert at their "hometown" park, why should we expect people to work the event for free? Shouldn't some of the seven-figure show budget cover their labor costs???
Just kidding. Just kidding.
I'm fully aware there's a societal double-standard for this type of stuff, and as a famed local D-list celebrity, I don't have a problem with people working for free as long as the important folks make their money. Friendly reminder – people will not be packing the park to see old folks in yellow shirts riding around segways directing drunk people towards the bathroom.
Here's a list of the specific "volunteer activities" the City is looking to fill:
The Park is looking for volunteers to help in every aspect of the Grand Opening celebration from week-of preparations to assisting with day-of vendors, crafts, activities, and entertainment. Volunteer and be a part of history.
Volunteer opportunities include:
Programs and Activities – assist with children’s programing, outdoor games and demos, community art projects, and more.
Facilities and Logistics – assist with trash and recycling pick-up to keep our park beautiful.
Horticulture – help with early morning prep and maintenance of the Park’s grounds.
Sponsor Reception and Donor Relations – assist with bartending, replenishing trays, and various tasks as needed.
Guest Services – assigned to information booths to help answer FAQs, oversee lost and found items, and retail sales.
Volunteer and Hospitality Tent – aid with check-in, waivers, credentials, and replenishing food.
Surveying and Roving – collect survey results from visitors and answer FAQs about the event and park.
Food Truck – assist with food truck set-up, monitor lines, and reload runs.
Line Information – assist with concert entrances and FAQs about the Friday night concert and Grand Opening Weekend.
Some of those duties seem legit. I can see having a volunteer help some kid make a Caleb Followill paper mache mask for his mom, but a lot of these activities seem like regular jobs that are being disguised as volunteerism just to save money and cut costs.
For example, what type of psycho would want to volunteer to be a janitor at a free outdoor rock concert? I can see doing that if you’re really broke and like the Kings of Leon and it's 2009, but it's a free show in 2019!
Also, are they really looking for "volunteer" bartenders to serve the Love's family and Bill Anoatubby drinks at a mysterious "Sponsor Reception?" I can't name you one bartender who wants to work for free, or better yet, one person who wants a cocktail made by a volunteer bartender. That job should be left to professionals only. I can already see some old lady in a big red hat squirting David Holt in the face with a lime while making him a virgin margarita for a selfie. I also already love that lady. Maybe hiring volunteers isn't a bad idea?
Anyway, if you want to work for free at the Kings of Leon concert, or any Scissortail Park function, there are more details at the park's website. Check it out, sign up and always remember: