Pre-Festival (Setting up Camp)

Arriving at the Festival

In true Hillside spirit, we encourage you to carpool, take the free shuttle bus (from St. George’s Square, downtown) or ride your bike. Please arrive at least 1.5 hours before your first scheduled shift so that you have a stress-free arrival. It takes time to check in at the Gate and pick up your wristband; to get to the island; and to unload and set up at Volly Village. No one wants to be late for their 1st shift. Remember the Gate opens at 10 am Friday for volunteers. Patrons will start arriving at the Main Gate around 4 pm, so if you are planning to arrive at this time or later, be prepared for a slightly longer wait and travel time to the island.

Shuttle Bus

Please see the Hillside festival website for information on the Shuttle Bus.

Team WOOT (set-up/tear-down)

For the setup and teardown crew, you may go and set up your tent and camp Thursday evening.  Security will be provided a list beforehand with the names of all members of Team Woot.   ***Please remember - YOU are responsible for arranging transportation to and from the Island.  There are no shuttles after the Monday tear-down shift, so make sure to arrange for transportation before-hand***

General Information

The dish tent is located to the right of the Main Stage (when facing it).  This provides an excellent atmosphere for the dishwashers as we'll be able to hear everything happening on the Main Stage.  We're also right beside the Hospitality Tent so food is close as well.

Again this year, patrons & volunteers will be able to buy reusable sporks for $2.50.  Quantities are limited, so buy them early if you want one!  If you have one from last year, be sure to bring it to use this year.  As is the case with beer mugs, we are anticipating that some sporks will come back amongst the other dirty dishes.  We have yet to decide what to do with them once they come back as far as redistributing them goes, but they definitely will not be resold.  We Ninjas love sporks, because the more sporks there are, the less of that plastic cutlery there is for us to deal with!

Personal Dishes
You may have a patron approach you with their own dishes.  AGAIN THIS YEAR:  there will be a set of wash/rinse/sanitize sinks facing out for the patrons to use!  They can wash their own (hooray!).  We will have a Ninja keeping an eye on these "patron" sinks, making sure they are full of hot water, have soap etc.  We hope this will encourage people to help us out by washing their own dishes.

Filling/Draining Sinks
When the water in the sink gets too dirty or its temperature doesn't seem hot enough, you should be thinking about draining and refilling the sink. We will once again try to maintain a one sink draining at a time policy, so when you're considering draining your sink you should shout out "DRAINING" in your best Dish Ninja scream (yeah, we're Ninjas of the loud variety). 
Water Heater
We're using our new & improved system again this year, so we shouldn't lose hot water!  But, if you do, please let your crew chief know right away and we'll get right on fixing it!

You will be allowed to take a few minutes if you need to use the restroom.  Prior to leaving the dish tent, you must notify your crew chief.  For lunch and dinner breaks, you should plan accordingly.  If your shift ends halfway into lunch, please plan on eating after your  shift.  Conversely, if your shift starts halfway into lunch, please ensure you have eaten before your shift starts.  If you have a shift that covers an entire lunch or dinner, you will be allowed to take break to eat.  Your crew chief will facilitate the rotation of who goes at what times so that we maintain a healthy number of dishwashers in the tent at all times.
This year we will be trying something new for those who prefer to wear gloves. Each Ninja will be given a pair of gloves (PPE, as in personal protective equipment). These will be yours for the entire weekend and you will be responsible for your own PPE. If you have your own heavy duty dishwashing gloves at home and want to bring them for yourself we highly encourage that course of action.
T-Shirts / Clothing
Please do not wear any clothes that you care about. Your clothes, especially your shirt, may get pretty dirty. Once again, the Dish Ninja seamstresses are working night and day, under stressful conditions, to provide everyone with Ninja headbands sporting your team's colours.
Contacting People
If there is a need to contact the coordinator of another area at hillside or one of the dishwashing coordinators, the crew chief in charge will have a radio that will allow them to contact various individuals.

Dishwashing Jobs


There will be a few times over the weekend when we will need to get dishes to wash.  This will only happen early on as there will be PLENTY of dishes by about noon on Saturday.  If we end up in a situation where we need a specifc type of plate/bowl/cup to wash, the crew chief may ask a couple of people to go out and retrieve bins of dirty dishes. Otherwise, the Waste management crew will be mainly looking after bringing us the dirty dishes. We usually have to collect the dishes from the hospitality area because we tend to run out of smiley mugs and we're extremely close anyways.


We have two stations for scraping, one close to each of the two locations for dirty dish drop-off.  Dishes do not need to leave the scraping station spotless - this step is merely to remove large chunks, toothpicks, or anything else that could get stuck in a drain.  The dirty dishes MUST be scraped before being washed or we may end up plugging one or more sinks.  There may be a couple of times where we find that scraping is becoming a bottleneck, at which point the crew chief in charge may commandeer a couple of sinks to use for scraping until a healthy amount of plates are ready to be washed.

Again this year - Dish Jacuzzi! We tried it last year and we're hoping it helps us out again this year.  It's a big giant bin of bubbling water to pre-rinse the dishes with. Hopefully it helps us avoid some of need for scraping!


The first sink the dirty dishes are put through is the washing sink. Make sure the water is kept hot and use a good amount of soap.  Drain and refill once your wash water gets to cold or too dirty.


The middle sink is used for rinsing the washed dishes.  Fill with clean hot water and change as soon as it gets to dirty (if there is an oily scum, it's just going to get on the clean dishes and no one wants that!)


The third and final sink is used for sanitization.  This sink is filled about 1/2 to 3/4 full with a half smiley mug of bleach
added.  Dishes are deposited in here after rinsing and should be left in there for 30 seconds to allow for proper sanitization.


Once the dishes have gone through the sanitization process, they are stacked on small slotted palettes that are set up the tables adjacent to the sanitizing sinks.  Once a palette is full they need to be put on our drying racks around the edge of the dish tent.  We try to air dry as much as possible as it is the more sanitary way to dry the dishes, but if we are in dire need we will have some drying towels available for us to use.   Once dry, the dishes will be stacked on a few tables near the drying racks.