Perspective of a Drinking Festival Volunteer


When festival season rolls around why do we sign up for this madness? Attending drinking festivals can be a heck of a lot of fun especially when you attend with a group of your besties. For those of us on the other side of the table it’s a very entertaining perspective. No one cares about our carefully written, flowery tasting notes, they just impatiently want us to put something in their goddamn glass. These festivals are much like going to the Chinese buffet – these amateur alcoholics are there to drink more than their $30 worth of admission price.

Next time you attend a drunk fest, see if you can identify any of these idiots:

  • The guy that is putting together a case of wine to purchase and wants the last selection to be a bottle of my personal favorite. Dude, you don’t know me and now I’m convinced you are a pussy that can’t make decisions on his own!
  • The girl who is so drunk she is hiding behind another patron with her head down, occasionally extending her glass from behind her hiding place for a taste, yet never realizing you’re passing over her glass with every pour.
  • The lady that rinses her glass with water between every fucking pour, even when the very next pour is the exact same varietal. Enjoy your watered down samples!
  • The overly-friendly couple that has had a fair share of tastings and start selling the product for you to the next patron in line. Dear volunteer, you are just there to pour, the drunk patron has the sales spiel under control.
  • The person that reaches the end of the tasting list and doesn’t want to leave, lingering as if you will magically pee some new concoction for them to try. There are no encores at the tasting table, move along.
  • The selfish bastard that can’t patiently wait in line for their turn, but insists on shoving his glass through the crowd demanding your attention.
  • The snobby guy that knows just one or two facts more than his novice drinking buddies making him the self-proclaimed expert of the group trying to outwit the pourer, until one buddy asks snobby guy an obscure question and the pourer has to rescue him with the answer. Silence, infadel!
  • Those drunkards that are unable to respect the personal space of the complete stranger to their left. Sir, could you please stop leaning on that guy?
  • How about those parents that bring their kids to a drinking festival? Alcoholics that are stumbling and vomiting in public are the appropriate role models for young children?
  • The group’s designated driver who is “just going to have one tiny taste” and ends up passed out on a picnic bench.
  • The moron that stands their applauding everything the pourer does, the whole fucking time! Please leave.
  • ABC laws insist that patrons stay behind the vendor tables. I know it’s crowded and you’re tired of waiting in line but don’t get snooty with me, your majesty – MOVE!
  • Who the hell doesn’t know what the ABC laws are? Oh, it’s the chap-ass that wants one more taste even though, by law, we had to stop pouring 15 minutes ago.
  • That fucker that builds an impervious body wall preventing the current taster from leaving the table because they might lose their place in line. Tasters, learn to use your elbows for an efficient tasting-table departure.
  • The emotional train wreck that cries her way back to the car.

Some adults still play with their food


Ass-to-crotch crowds
A few things I’ve learned:

  • Single men, you should be attending wine festivals.
  • Single women, you should be attending beer festivals.
  • When a glass breaks everyone in the room becomes Greek. “OPA!”
  • Live music and booze pair well with bad dancers and slip-and-fall accidents.
  • Festival goers are never discouraged by a little thunder, lightening, hail, gail-force winds, torrential downpours, or any other acts of god.
  • “Last call” at a festival is code for “everyone panic!” Quickly pour something in their glass, ANYTHING – at this point it could be urine! They are still trying to exceed theicket price in alcohol consumption, and in their mind it is your responsibility to help them do so, you lowly volunteer.
  • Simply because the event is indoors and the patrons are wearing suits and ties or dresses and heels does not make it an upscale event, it is still a drunk fest. The only difference is the puke is staining silk rather than polyester.

Advice if you want to become a festival volunteer:

  • A little tennis elbow will not stop the dedicated pourer.
  • You need a pee break? No way, fuck off!
  • “Barback” is another name for “labor bitch”.
  • Aww, you cut yourself on a corkscrew? Too bad, lick the blood off and get back to work, and don’t get any in the samples!
  • Thousands of people attend these festivals, there is always work to be done. If you are standing around doing nothing, your fellow volunteers are talking shit behind your back about how you are only there to collect free products. Do something, you freeloader!
  • For the A-type volunteer, it is a drinking festival, not an emergency room. Calm the hell down, those drinkers will wait in line all goddamn day to try and/or buy your stuff.
  • Your hands may change color.
  • Bring snacks and drink lots of water. Your co-workers do not have time to deal with your dehydrated, diabetic situation.
  • It is not necessary to scream tasting notes to your patrons. Their standing right there in front of your stupid ass.
  • Do you really need to finish the small amount remaining in every fucking bottle? You WILL end up laying in the dirt, vomiting in your hair, and creating unpleasant working conditions for your fellow volunteers.
  • Most importantly, you will have the opportunity to meet some beautiful souls that will become great friends!



Overall, I know that festival goers are there to have fun, they are the partiers of society and it is their entertaining antics that keep me going back to pour another day!

There is plenty of work to do
Wine-stained hands
Eat something better than this


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