How to apply to volunteer at Reading Festival
You can apply now to volunteer at Reading Festival using our online volunteer application!
Watch interviews with Reading Festival volunteers
If you've not volunteered at Reading Festival before and would like to see what it's like volunteering at Reading before applying - make sure you checkout our Reading Festival volunteer interviews!
In the Reading Festival volunteer interviews you'll get to hear from Reading Festival volunteers who have joined us talking about how they found their shifts, how they were treated by the Hotbox Events team at Reading, what it was like volunteering at Reading Festival for the first time on their own, taking on more responsibility year on year and progressing from a festival volunteer to staff role, and even how the experience and confidence gained at Reading Festival has helped with their career progression away from music festivals!
Reading Festival 2021 volunteer application deadline
There isn't a specific deadline for Reading Festival volunteer applications, we keep the application open until all of the volunteer positions available at Reading Festival have gone!
We confirm positions within 24 hours of a deposit being paid, often within the hour, so if you apply and pay your deposit now, you'll receive a confirmation that you have a place volunteering at Reading Festival today!
Why there is a refundable deposit to volunteer at Reading Festival
The refundable deposit is your way of showing commitment to volunteering at Reading Festival.
You only need to pay 1 deposit a year to volunteer at as many festivals as you like!
Your deposit is returned to you within 30 days of the festival.
For more info about deposits please head to the deposits section of our FAQs!
How much is the Reading Festival refundable volunteer deposit?
If this is your first time volunteering with us at a festival the refundable volunteer deposit is £145.
If you've volunteered at a festival with us before the refundable volunteer deposit is discounted by 35% to £95.
There are no admin fees charged on deposits, so you receive your entire deposit back as long as you complete all of your shifts!
What you'll do when volunteering at Reading Festival
Our Reading Festival volunteers can be found across the festival site assisting with a wide variety of areas! It'd be tricky to list everything we get up to but some of the most common roles include the below.
- Assisting Reading Festival goers with directions.
- Helping Reading Festival goers carry their belongings and pitch their tents.
- Answering questions about Reading Festival performances and line-ups.
- Reporting any problems such as a build-up of litter or faulty facilities.
- Work alongside Reading Festival Fire Safety, Medical and Security teams.
- Keeping an eye on the Reading Festival campsites from the fire towers.
- Helping out with various roles across the Reading Festival site including pedestrian and vehicle gates, wristband exchanges, keeping an eye on facilities, monitoring stages and walkways.
The things we provide our volunteers with at Reading Festival
When you volunteer with Hotbox Events at Reading Festival we make sure you have all you need to complete your volunteer shifts and have a safe and enjoyable week with us!
The below are the bits we always provide at Reading Festival, and once you're onsite we're always on-hand should you need something else!
- We send a volunteer info pack a few weeks before Reading Festival which thoroughly details the festival volunteer role, responsibilities, and provides information about the festival and the festival site.
- Secure Reading Festival volunteer parking walking distance (often next to) your own private campsite!
- A private and secure Reading Festival volunteer camping area within the main festival crew area. In here you'll also find the Hotbox festival office so we're always close-by if you need anything!
- A Reading Festival volunteer marquee with chairs, tables, charging points, hot water, free tea, coffee, and biscuits!
- Access to Reading Festival crew toilets and hot showers!
- Dedicated and discounted Reading Festival volunteer catering right inside your volunteer campsite offering some of the tastiest festival meals you're ever likely to find!
- A Reading Festival crew pass when you arrive at the festival which allows you to move about onsite.
- A thorough onsite briefing from us and other Reading Festival teams where you can also ask any questions you have.
- At the beginning of each shift all the bits you'll need including a Reading Festival tabard, a radio if the position requires one, and any PPE.
The bits you need to check when applying to volunteer at Reading Festival
There are a few bits below you'll need to make sure of when applying to volunteer at Reading Festival.
- Be 18 or over on the date you need to arrive at Reading Festival.
- Be available to arrive at the Reading Festival site in good time for your onsite briefing (no later than 5 hours before your briefing) on Wednesday 25th August 2021 (Event Sign-in Date). You're welcome to arrive at Reading Festival from midday on Tuesday 24th.
- Be available for a briefing at Reading Festival at 19:00 on Tuesday 24th or 19:00 on Wednesday 25th (the briefing you need to attend is shift pattern dependent). Please note when the shift preferences are available, 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.
- Be available to volunteer for three 8 hour shifts at any time between 09:00 Wednesday 25th (or 01:00 Thursday if arriving for the later briefing) and 17:00 Monday 30th.
- Arrive at the Hotbox Events festival office one hour prior to your shift to be signed in and have your zone and/or position allocated; you will then need to allow between 5 and 20 minutes to make your way to your zone. This time is outside of your allocated three 8 hour shifts in a similar way that travelling to your place of work or study is outside of paid work or classroom hours.
- Wear a Reading Festival tabard when completing your volunteer shifts.
- Produce documents to prove your right to work and volunteer in the UK.
- Provide a refundable security deposit.
Proving your right to work and volunteer in the UK
To work or volunteer at Reading Festival 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 section in our festival FAQs.
How Reading Festival volunteer shifts are planned
We work very hard to make sure everyone who volunteers with us at Reading Festival has an amazing experience and this of course includes your volunteering shift pattern!
Reading volunteer shifts are chosen by way of volunteer shift preferences that you can select. We open volunteer shift selection a few weeks before Reading Festival and let you know when you can login to choose your shift preferences via email, our news, and socials. There are usually between 20-30 volunteer shift patterns to choose between and we make sure everyone gets the highest shift preference possible!
You can find more information about Reading Festival volunteer shifts below but if you have any questions please don't hesitate to get in touch!
- When you volunteer at Reading Festival you'll complete three eight hour shifts, so a total of twenty four hours volunteering throughout the course of the festival.
- Shift patterns are allocated before Reading Festival, then individual positions at the beginning of each shift. If you have a preference when it comes to location your supervisor will do their best to accommodate your request.
- You'll need to arrive at the Hotbox Events festival office one hour prior to your shift to be signed in and have your position allocated. You'll then need to allow between 15 and 20 mins to make your way to your position, and the same at the end of your shift to return to the Hotbox Events office to be signed out, return your tabard, and any equipment allocated to you. This time is outside of your three 8 hour shifts in a similar way that travelling to and returning from your place of work or study is outside of paid work or classroom hours.
- The first Reading Festival volunteer shift starts at 09:00 on the Wednesday before the festival weekend.
- Everyone volunteering with us at Reading Festival is required to work one night shift.
- The final Reading Festival volunteer shift finishes at 17:00 on the Monday after the festival weekend.
- Our standard Reading Festival volunteer shift times are Early 09:00 to 17:00, Late 17:00 to 01:00, Night 01:00 to 09:00.
- You can ask to swap any shift you are allocated with your Reading Festival supervisor who will do their best to accommodate your request.
- We try to be as fair as possible when allocating shifts, everyone volunteering with us at Reading Festival gets at least two of the main festival afternoons or evenings off.
- If you'd like to find out more about how Reading Festival volunteer shifts are planned please head to the festival volunteer shifts section of our FAQs!
How to join the volunteer newsletter
If you haven't already please subscribe to our newsletter!
This way we can let you know when the volunteer applications open each year and keep you up to date with new music festival volunteering opportunities!
We generally just send one newsletter a month.
Getting involved with the volunteer community
If you'd like to hear and see more from those who have volunteered at Reading Festival with us in the past please head to our festival community!
On our festival community pages you can get an idea of what it's like to volunteer at Reading Festival with Hotbox Events by browsing our Reading Festival photo galleries, hear from volunteers who have joined us by watching some Reading Festival volunteer interviews, chat with returning and new volunteers in our festival forum, and read feedback from volunteers who have joined on our volunteer feedback page!
Questions about volunteering at Reading Festival?
Try our FAQ as lots of questions are answered in there!
Contact us to chat about volunteering at Reading Festival
If you'd like to know more or would just like to have a chat about volunteering at Reading Festival with us you can email or call
Or get in touch via one of our socials linked at the bottom of the page 🙂
Volunteering at reading festival with my best friend was a real highlight of my summer 2016. We had an amazing time and met some really lovely people.
The whole team were so friendly and we got on with everyone.
I would recommend it to anyone - it was a brilliant experience!