You can gain free entrance to the 2016 Reading Festival by applying to volunteer at Reading Festival with Hotbox Events!


Our festival volunteers, or CATs as they are known, play a big part in creating a good atmosphere at the Reading Festival and help the festival goers to get the most out of their festival! By joining the team as a volunteer you can help us to continue in achieving this!

If you'd like to get some experience working at a festival and help us to continue making the Reading Festival one of the best music festivals in the world you can apply to volunteer with us!

Volunteer places remaining at the 2016 Reading Festival

0 9 5
Reading Festival Festival staff and volunteer places remaining
5 3 7
Reading Festival Festival staff and volunteer positions allocated

How to apply to volunteer at the 2016 Reading Festival

You can apply to volunteer at the Reading Festival using Hotbox Events PAAM.

The Hotbox Events festival application opens in early February each year. You can find the application guidelines via the PAAM login page.

If you don't already have a PAAM account please sign-up - we'll send you a message via PAAM when the festival volunteer applications go live each year.

For more information about applying to volunteer with us at the Reading Festival please read the volunteer information below.

Info about places remaining

The figures above are a live feed direct from the Hotbox Events PAAM volunteer application.

If the "places remaining" figure above is zero; you're able to apply via PAAM but not pay your deposit; this means we have filled all of the positions at the festival but we do expect to reopen to filled cancelled positions! If you can't apply then we do not expect to reopen again this year.

We usually reopen a festival to accept deposits once or twice each season to fill the openings created by cancellations. If you'd like to be the first to know when we reopen please apply via PAAM and we'll send you an email as soon as you can login and pay your deposit.

2016 Reading Festival volunteering application deadlines

There isn't a specific deadline for Reading Festival volunteer applications, we keep the application open until we fill all of the positions we have available at the festival.

The earlier you apply and pay your deposit the higher preference you will get when choosing your shifts so our advice is always apply and pay your deposit to secure your positions as early as you are able.

All festival volunteers and event staff need to pass a PNC check check before working with Hotbox Events at Reading Festival. This is completed by the UK Police Force once your position has been confirmed. Your personal details need to be sent to the police no later than 1 week prior to your first day working at Reading Festival so even if we still have positions available the application will close 1 week before the festival.

To apply to volunteer at the 2016 Reading Festival you will need to

  • Be 18 or over on the date of arrival.
  • Be available to arrive at the Reading Festival site in good time for your onsite briefing (no later than 3 hours before your briefing) on Wednesday 24th August 2016 (ESSID). You're welcome to arrive from midday on Tuesday 23rd.
  • Be available for a briefing at 19:00 Tuesday 23rd, 11:00 or 19:00 Wednesday 24th (the briefing you need to attend is shift pattern dependant).
  • Be available to work 3 x 8 hour shifts at any time between 08:00 Wednesday 24th (or 01:00 Thursday if arriving for the later briefing) and 17:00 Monday 29th.

Please note: when the shift preferences are available in PAAM, if you chose one of the shift patterns which include a Wednesday shift and are confirmed for this, you will need to arrive on the Tuesday (from midday) to be booked in and have your onsite briefing at 19:00 on the Tuesday prior to your first shift on the Wednesday.

  • Wear a festival tabard and crew top whilst working.
  • Produce documents to prove your right to work / volunteer in the UK.
  • Provide a refundable security deposit of £230.00 GBP.

Borders and Immigration - proving your right to work and volunteer in the UK

To work and volunteer at a festival or event with Hotbox Events you must have the right to work and volunteer in the UK. Under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act of 2006 Hotbox Events is required by law to check your right to work and volunteer in the UK.

For further information please read the Borders and Immigration entry in the Hotbox Events FAQ.

Info about 2016 Reading Festival volunteer shifts

  • Each festival volunteer works 3 x 8 hr shifts ONLY (24 hrs in total throughout the festival).
  • The first festival volunteer shift starts at 08:00 on the Wednesday before the festival weekend.
  • All festival volunteers are required to work one night shift.
  • The final festival volunteer shift finishes at 17:00 on the Monday after the festival weekend.
  • When off-shift all festival volunteers are free to enjoy the festival!
  • The festival volunteer shift times are: Early: 09:00 > 17:00, Late: 17:00 > 01:00, Night: 01:00 > 09:00.
  • You can apply to swap any shift you are allocated via your supervisor and we will try our best to accomodate your request.
  • We try to be as fair to everyone as possible when allocating shifts - all festival volunteers have at least one of the main event afternoons or evenings off.
  • Please head to our FAQ for more info about how volunteer shifts are organised

2016 Reading Festival Shift Policy

At Reading Festival (only) the organisers ask us to separate friends whilst on-shift - this is to help avoid groups of friends congregating and chatting when they should be patrolling the campsites. We always do our best to make sure friends are working on the same shift pattern, just please be aware that if you are working at Reading Festival you may not be in the same zone as your friends whilst on-shift.

Volunteering as a steward at the 2016 Reading Festival can include

  • Assisting festival goers with directions.
  • Helping festival goers carry their belongings and pitch their tents.
  • Answering questions about performances and line-ups.
  • Reporting any problems e.g. a build-up of litter or faulty facilities.
  • Working with Fire Safety, Medical and Security teams.
  • Keeping an eye on the campsites from the fire towers.
  • Helping out with various roles across the festival site e.g. pedestrian and vehicle gates, wristband exchanges, keeping an eye on facilities, monitoring stages and walkways.

All 2016 Reading Festival volunteers are provided with

  • A Crew Pass when you arrive at the festival.
  • An Info Pack prior to arrival at the festival - this pack thoroughly details the festival stewarding role and responsibilities and provides information about the festival and the festival site.
  • Thorough on-site briefings.
  • A festival uniform (tabard).
  • Access to the crew café, toilets and showers!
  • Camping facilities in a secure crew area.
  • Time to enjoy the festival - apart from your 3 x 8 hour shifts you get to enjoy the entire festival for free!
  • Work experience in the event industry and an opportunity to learn new skills which looks great on your CV!
  • Volunteering can progress into paid staff opportunities with us or other organisations at future events.

Paying your 2016 Reading Festival deposit

You need to pay a deposit to secure your place but you get this back at the end of the summer and one deposit covers you for as many festivals as you would like to work!

For further details about deposits please head to the Deposits, tickets and wages section of our FAQ.

Join the Hotbox Events Newsletter

If you haven't already please subscribe to the Hotbox Events newsletter!

This way we can let you know when the volunteering applications open each year, let you know when to expect your info pack and keep you updated with last minute festival changes.

Join the Hotbox Events community

Please head to our festival community to chat with past and present festival volunteers in our forum, find links to our social networks, check out our photo galleries and more!

More questions about volunteering at the 2016 Reading Festival?

Please try our FAQ as most of the questions we're usually asked are answered in there!

How to Contact Us

You can contact us here.

Hotbox Events Reading Festival staff and arena volunteers outside office

Reading Festival staff and arena volunteers

Aaron (Quantity Surveyor and Qualified Carpenter and Joiner)

After working as a CAT at reading festival 2009, I swore to always volunteer at the UK's best festival each year after, and 2010 has once again been an amazing experience! The role has delivered me 2 of the best friends I have ever met, fun working experiences helping the public campers and some amazingly fun staff members. The perk of staff camping and arena access is a sweet icing on the cake!

Hotbox Events Reading Festival campsite volunteers

Reading Festival campsite volunteers

Hi @amyyyyma yes, 2016 @LatitudeFest shuttle bus schedule TBC but likely to be similar to last year's which is here
Hotbox Events Reading Festival volunteers heading out to work

Reading Festival volunteers heading out to work