Frequently Asked Questions
- Can you tell me a little about Hotbox Events?
- How old must I be to volunteer with Hotbox Events?
- How and when can I apply to work at a festival?
- Do I need to apply for a festival by a specific date?
- How & when will I find out if I have a position at a festival?
- What is a Police National Computer (PNC) Check?
- Can I work at a music festival if I don't live in the UK?
- Borders and Immigration - proving your right to work and volunteer in the UK
- What is PAAM?
- Which festivals and events can I apply to work at?
- Can I swap an application between events?
- Can I apply if I have special needs?
- Can I apply if I am pregnant?
Can you tell me a little about Hotbox Events?
Hotbox Studios Ltd principal place of business is at Unit 1, Middle Yard, Home Farm Road, Elvetham, Hook, Hampshire, RG27 8AW, United Kingdom. Registered Office: Hotbox Studios Ltd T/A Hotbox Events, c/o Ascot Drummond, Devonshire House, Manor way, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, WD6 1QQ, United Kingdom. Registered in England & Wales, Cardiff 25 February 2003. Company No. 4677263.
How old must I be to volunteer with Hotbox Events?
You must be 18 or over by the ESSID (event specific sign in date) to volunteer with us.
How and when can I apply to work at a festival?
Festival and event staff and volunteer applications are processed online via PAAM.
The PAAM application usually goes live in early March each year.
To go straight to the PAAM application please visit: https://hotboxevents.paamapplication.co.uk/
Also please visit the Forum - you'll find this a useful place to ask others questions about working at festivals and events.
Do I need to apply for a festival by a specific date?
Yes, there are festival specific application deadlines as PNC checks need to be completed before you arrive onsite.
You can find the application deadlines via the festival specific "about" pages on the www.HotboxEvents.com website - the sections titled "Application Deadlines" on the following pages...
- Volunteer to work as a Latitude Festival Steward
- Volunteer to work as a Reading Festival Steward
- Volunteer to work as a Leeds Festival Steward
Positions at all festivals fill up faster every year so please do apply early to avoid disappointment!
How & when will I find out if I have a position at a festival?
After you have paid your deposit, your festival and event applications will be assessed and positions applied for will be allocated by a member of Hotbox Events staff.
Generally, you should receive a confirmation via your PAAM account within 24 hours.
Positions are filled on a first-come first-served basis.
Generally, we only refuse applications for one of the following three reasons:
- The applicant does not fulfil the criteria specified by the festival specific "about" pages on the www.HotboxEvents.com website - the sections titled "To apply you will need to".
- If it is ascertained the applicant has previously been blacklisted by Hotbox Events or another festival staff or volunteer organisation which provides staff or volunteers to a festival or event Hotbox Events works with.
- The applicant fails a PNC check.
What is a Police National Computer (PNC) Check?
At festivals and events it is often a license condition that all staff and volunteers are PNC (Police National Computer) checked prior to arrival on-site.
The PNC process is as follows...
A list of all staff and volunteers is passed to the relevant county’s police force before the festival.
The police perform a check against each name on the list.
We are informed by the police if anyone on the list fails the PNC check thus cannot work at the festival.
We are not given a reason by the police for any PNC failure.
Failures can be resolved - just because someone isn't passed straight away doesn't necessarily mean they cannot work at a festival. Sometimes the problem is merely old information e.g. an administrative issue the police have been trying to tie-up.
If you are concerned about the PNC check you can apply to Disclosure Scotland for a basic certificate. Only 'live' convictions, as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, are disclosed under the basic certificate. There are three separate conviction databases in the UK due to the three separate legal systems (Northern Ireland, Scotland and England & Wales). Minor driving convictions (e.g. speeding) are not normally recorded on these systems but are recorded at the DVLA.
If you would like your full conviction history you should apply to your local Police Force.
If you have lived in more than one area e.g. Northern Ireland and/or Scotland and/or England & Wales - you should apply to each Police Force. This type of request is completed under the Data Protection Act 1998 and is called a 'subject access request'.
You can find Disclosure Scotland here: www.disclosurescotland.co.uk
Can I work at a music festival if I don't live in the UK?
Those from the EEA (European Economic Area which includes all the European Union countries) can work as paid staff or volunteer with Hotbox Events without any restrictions.
If you are not from the EEA you will need the appropriate VISA to work as paid staff or volunteer with us.
For more information please see the Borders and Immigration FAQ.
Borders and Immigration - proving your right to work and volunteer in the UK
To undertake unpaid voluntary work, as well as paid work in the UK, you have to have the right to work either through your citizenship or a work visa. Under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act of 2006 Hotbox Events is required to check your right to work before we can allow you to start working on the festival site.
This means that before you can start working with us, you will need to produce documentation to prove you have this right. If you do not produce this documentation, we cannot let you work or volunteer with us.
The list of valid proof of right to work is produced by the UK Border Agency not by Hotbox Events and these are the ONLY documents that will be accepted by Hotbox Events.
We need to see the original documents which means you need to bring them to the festival site.
We also need to hold a copy of the documents as detailed below. To expedite the sign-in process onsite and if you are able please scan your documents and upload via the ‘Your Files’ section of your PAAM profile. Please let us know when you sign-in that you have uploaded a copy of your documents.
NB: We will still need to see the original documents if you upload copies pre-event.
What will we accept as proof?
The easiest document to bring is either a UK or European Economic Area/Swiss passport or a non UK/EEA passport with a valid visa showing your right to work in the UK.
If you do not have a passport, we can accept a long birth certificate AND either your National Insurance card or an official document from a previous employer with your NI number clearly shown.
A UK Driving Licence IS NOT valid as proof even in combination with a birth certificate or NI card.
A few other more obscure documents e.g. letters from the Home Office are acceptable - these are listed at the end of the document linked below.
What will we do with your document/s?
We are required by law to store a scanned copy of your documents for at least two years after you have finished working with us. We will keep your documents securely on encrypted disks, stored in a secure safe and on the highly secure PAAM servers. We will not share your documents with any third parties other than UK Borders and we will destroy them in an appropriate manner after the two years is up.
For more information please see the documents available via the link below.
The most useful is the summary guidance for employers December 2010 which includes the full list of valid documents.
What is PAAM?
PAAM is a highly secure cloud based online software package which handles all Hotbox Events applications and helps Hotbox Events staff manage the year-round administration involved with running the staff and volunteers at the festivals.
PAAM is also used by other companies to manage their staff and volunteers.
You can find out more about PAAM by visiting www.PAAMApplication.co.uk.
Which festivals and events can I apply to work at?
As long as you are over 18 years of age before the arrival date you can apply to work at the Latitude Festival and EITHER the Reading Festival or Leeds Festival.
YOU CAN APPLY TO WORK AT: Latitude Festival & Reading Festival.
YOU CAN APPLY TO WORK AT: Latitude Festival & Leeds Festival.
YOU CANNOT APPLY TO WORK AT: Reading Festival & Leeds Festival (same weekend).
Can I swap an application between events?
If you haven't yet paid your deposit, you can change the festival/s applied to via your Hotbox Events PAAM account.
If you have paid your deposit and have been offered a position via Hotbox Events PAAM, unfortunately not, sorry.
Can I apply if I have special needs?
Yes, please indicate your special needs on your application form in the field provided. Following application please contact us to discuss your requirements which we will do our very best to accommodate.
Can I apply if I am pregnant?
You can. Please consult with your midwife and request a signed statement confirming that your midwife supports your decision to work at the festival. Also, please contact us to discuss your requirements.