Meet David Atwood—he’s an engineer, lifelong Fort Collins resident, and longtime Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest volunteer. David took the time to chat with us about volunteering for the festival, his can’t-miss performances, and how, when he met SHEL backstage in 2008, he knew he’d just met the next big band out of Colorado.
What’s your volunteer role at Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest?
So, I have done everything from trash collecting to security/crowd control. I’ve been a green room attendant, a press trailer coordinator and an artist liaison. This year, I’ll be volunteering as an artist liaison again and working with Artist Relations.
Why did you initially volunteer at the festival, and why do you keep coming back?
I grew up in Fort Collins, and I always remember going to the concerts at NewWestFest as a kid. With athletics at Rocky Mountain High School we used to volunteer as a team, and I thought it was fun to watch the next round of kids and families enjoy our downtown scene. I keep coming back because it’s cool to be connected to the Fort Collins art and music community in this way.
How many festivals have you done?
I have missed a few in the middle, but my first volunteer gig was in 2001. Then I was there for 2002-2005, 2008-2012, and 2014-2016. So all told, I’ve been a part of the festival for 13 years.
Best performance you’ve seen at the festival?
There's always about 10 bands on my can't-miss list. Personal favorites over the years have been Slow Caves, Earl Scruggs, Tickle Me Pink, SHEL, Wiredogs, Post Paradise, Ozomatli, Elise Wunder Band, The Hot IQs, and Megan Burtt, just to name a few.
Most memorable moment from volunteering?
I remember meeting the young ladies of SHEL while working Library Park Stage back in like 2008 and thinking to myself how they are going to be legitimately famous.
Any advice for a volunteer newbie/people considering volunteering?
There are music festivals across the country that cost $100/day that aren't as good as this one, and it's really rewarding to consider how you are helping to bring this experience to the community for free.