The Most Frequently Asked Questions

What will I do when volunteering at festivals with Hotbox Events?

You can find out what volunteering at festivals is like by checking out our festival volunteer interviews!

You can also find lots of info about every festival we volunteer with on our festival pages.

If you're looking for more try our festival volunteer photo galleries and festival volunteer forum!

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How and when can I apply to volunteer at music festivals?

You can apply to volunteer at music festivals with Hotbox Events by signing up to our online festival volunteer application!

Festival volunteering applications open at the beginning of February each year, with sometimes a few extra festivals to volunteer at added throughout the year.

We send a message to every volunteer who signs up when applications open!

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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 from Hotbox Events PAAM 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:

  1. The applicant does not fulfil the criteria specified by the festival specific "about" pages on the Hotbox Events website - the sections titled "To apply you will need to".
  2. 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.
  3. The applicant fails a PNC check.
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How will my shifts be organised at the festival?

We work very hard to make sure everyone who volunteers with us has an amazing experience and this of course includes your volunteering shift pattern!

Volunteer shifts are chosen by way of volunteer shift preferences that you can select. We open volunteer shift selection a few weeks before each 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 at each festival.

We allocate shifts to volunteers in order of deposit payment date; generally the earlier you pay your deposit the higher shift preference you will receive. That said, we work very hard to make sure everyone gets the highest shift preference possible irrespective of deposit payment date!

Please note that if you apply as part of a group we will use the average of your deposit payment dates. E.g. if there are 3 of you in a group, the first of you paid at the beginning of March, the second in the middle of April and the third at the end of May; we will use the middle of April as the deposit payment date when assigning shift patterns for your group.

The shift patterns are designed to ensure that all volunteers have at least 16 hours off between shifts and at least two event evenings off to enjoy the festival!

If you are applying with friends and wish to be allocated the same shift pattern, please ensure that you list their names in the relevant section of your PAAM profile.

Once your shift pattern has been assigned it will be displayed on the overview page of your Hotbox Events PAAM account.

Please note that regardless of shift you will be expected to arrive on-site by the Event Sign-in Date; you can check the Event Sign-in Date via the festival pages on this website.

If you have any queries about shift patterns that are not covered by the above, please contact us.

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Can I work with my friends?

Yes! Groups of friends are welcome to apply together. Make sure you list each other’s names in your profile when applying so that we can group you onto the same shift pattern; this means you’ll be on and off shift at the same time so that you can enjoy your free time at the event together.

Please see our FAQ ‘How will my shifts be organised?’ to find out exactly how the shift allocation process works and don’t forget, if you’re applying with different friends at each event, make sure you login to PAAM and update your friends list in time for shift allocation for the next event.

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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 Download Festival, Latitude Festival, as well as EITHER the Reading Festival or Leeds Festival.

tickYOU CAN APPLY TO WORK AT: Download, Latitude, Camp Bestival & Reading Festival.

tickYOU CAN APPLY TO WORK AT: Download, Latitude, Camp Bestival & Leeds Festival.

crossYOU CANNOT APPLY TO WORK AT: Reading & Leeds Festival (same weekend).

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Why do I need to pay a refundable deposit to volunteer at a festival?

We'd prefer a deposit wasn't required.

Unfortunately the festival industry was forced to make this a standard thing about 15 years ago due to people applying, then either not turning up, or turning up, taking the crew pass, and disappearing into the festival. The deposit system has reduced this problem from around 40% to 3%.

Deposits are returned to volunteers within 30 days of the festival - which is as soon as they can be as they are held in a ring-fenced account by the merchant provider until the festival has passed.

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If a festival does not go ahead will my deposit be returned?

Of course, if for any reason a festival does not go ahead, your security deposit will be returned to you in full.

This includes a festival being cancelled due to COVID (COVID-19).

For further reference you can see how Hotbox Events' handled all festivals unfortunately being cancelled in 2020 by visiting our 2020 news area; all deposits paid were returned in full within 1-2 weeks of each festival being cancelled.

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If I am suffering from a serious illness, disease, or virus, will my deposit be returned?

Of course, if you are suffering from a serious illness, disease, or virus, your security deposit will be returned to you in full.

This includes contracting COVID (COVID-19) and being required to self-isolate.

Where appropriate and possible we will require to see a doctor's note.

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Why does it take a little time after an event to return deposits?

After each event we

  1. Collate all event feedback from supervisors, managers, and office staff (1 week).
  2. Calculate individual returns based on event feedback (1 week).
  3. Arrange for our bank to print and post the cheques (2 weeks).

We return deposits as cheques irrespective of payment method (card, bank transfer, or cheque) for the following reasons:

  1. Each deposit return cheque is made payable to the person who paid the original deposit. This avoiding the problem of one person paying a deposit, for example a parent or friend, and another receiving the deposit return.
  2. We do not hold bank details for any of the 2,500+ volunteers who join us each year, so cannot return as bank transfers.
  3. If we asked for bank details from our volunteers, this would leave the process open to human error e.g. when volunteers entered sort codes and account numbers.
  4. The cheques are printed and posted, in batch, on our behalf by our bank, this means we can send hundreds and thousands of deposit returns relatively quickly.
  5. It would take a very long time to setup thousands of bank transfers each year, and this would again leave the process open to human error when entering sort codes and account numbers.
  6. If a bank account's sort code or account number was entered incorrectly; a deposit was sent to the account; and the account was valid; the deposit return would be lost.
  7. Should there be a problem with a deposit sent as a cheque e.g. a volunteer hasn't updated their postal address and it was posted to an old address, it's quick and easy to cancel a cheque and post to a new address.
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Can I work at a music festival if I don't live in the UK?

Please read our FAQ titled Proving your right to work and volunteer in the UK

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Proving your right to work and volunteer in the UK

To undertake unpaid voluntary work, as well as paid work in the UK, you must have the right to work either through your citizenship, visa, or Settled or Pre-Settled Status. 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 at the festival site.

If you hold either a UK, Republic of Ireland, Bailiwick of Jersey, Bailiwick of Guernsey or Isle of Man passport or identity card you automatically have the right to work in the UK, you just need to prove this before you can volunteer e.g. by showing us your original passport.

If you have Settled or Pre-Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme you will need to prove this to us by providing a Home Office Share Code (details below).

If you hold a non-UK, Republic of Ireland, Bailiwick of Jersey, Bailiwick of Guernsey or Isle of Man passport and do not have Settled or Pre-Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you require a valid visa showing your right to work in the UK.

You can check your right to work in the UK here: https://www.gov.uk/prove-right-to-work

The documents you need to show us to prove your right to work and volunteer in the UK

You need to be able to answer yes to one of the below to prove your right to work and volunteer in the UK.

  • You have a UK, Republic of Ireland, Bailiwick of Jersey, Bailiwick, or Guernsey or Isle of Man passport which you will be bringing to the festival site.
  • You are a UK, Republic of Ireland, Bailiwick of Jersey, Bailiwick of Guernsey or Isle of Man citizen and will be bringing your original birth certificate and NI card to the festival site.
  • You are a UK, Republic of Ireland, Bailiwick of Jersey, Bailiwick of Guernsey or Isle of Man citizen and will be bringing your original birth certificate and an original document from my previous/current employer showing your NI number to the festival site.
  • You are a UK, Republic of Ireland, Bailiwick of Jersey, Bailiwick of Guernsey or Isle of Man citizen and will be bringing your original birth certificate and an official document issued by a government agency clearly showing your name and NI number e.g. the letter now sent in place of an NI card to the festival site.
  • I have Settled or Pre-Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme and will be emailing info@hotboxevents.com my Home Office Share Code at least 2 weeks before the arrival date of the festival.
  • You have a current (not out of date) non-UK passport with a valid visa showing your right to work in the UK and will be bringing the original to the festival site.
  • You have a current (not out of date) Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) which shows your right to work in the UK and will be bringing the original to the festival site.
  • I am a non-UK, Republic of Ireland, Bailiwick of Jersey, Bailiwick of Guernsey or Isle of Man citizen with a valid visa or Biometric Residence Permit which shows my right to work in the UK and will be emailing info@hotboxevents.com my Home Office share code at least 2 weeks before the arrival date of the festival.

If you have Settled or Pre-Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme; a valid visa; or Biometric Residence Permit showing your right to work in the UK; you can generate a Home Office Share Code by following the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/view-prove-immigration-status

Once you have your Home Office Share Code, please email your share code and date of birth to info@hotboxevents.com We'll then check your right to work and volunteer in the UK and add a copy of your Home Office Share Code Document to your Hotbox Events PAAM profile for you; proving your right to work and volunteer in the UK and allowing you to join us at the festivals. Provided your Home Office Share Code proves your right to work in the UK; you will not be required to bring any original documents to the festival site.

IMPORTANT – Original Documents

We need to see the original documents so please bring them with you to the event; if required you can store them in our event safe. If we cannot check your original documents, you WILL NOT BE ABLE TO VOLUNTEER.

NB: If you are a non-UK citizen who has sent us a Home Office Share Code (see above for further details) to info@hotboxevents.com (at least 2 weeks before the arrival date of the first event you have applied to) and we have added your right to work information to your Hotbox Events PAAM profile for you; you are not required to bring any original documents to the event.

IMPORTANT – Expired Documents

All documents which contain an expiry date must be current, except those showing that the holder is a British citizen, or a citizen of the UK and Colonies having the right of abode.

If you have a Visa entitling you to work or volunteer in the UK this MUST be contained within a current passport. A Visa contained within an expired passport cannot be accepted as right to work document, even if the Visa is in date.

If your passport containing your Visa has expired, you can find details of how to transfer your Visa to a new passport or apply for a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) here https://www.gov.uk/transfer-visa

A driving license is not proof of your right to work in the UK

A UK Driving License is NOT valid as proof of right to work in the UK even in combination with a birth certificate or NI card.

Uploading copies of your documents

If you can please scan and upload them to the Your Files section of your Hotbox Events PAAM profile. If you do this please let us know when you sign-in at the event.

If you cannot upload copies, we can scan your documents at the event but this slows down the sign-in process considerably so please upload copies pre-event if you can.

Storing your Documents

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 Hotbox Events 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 two years.

More information

For more information please visit the link below - there is a quick answer tool which can help to determine which documents you need to provide:

https://www.gov.uk/legal-right-work-uk

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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.

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Where do I camp when working at a music festival?

We ask that you camp with the rest of the Hotbox Events staff and volunteers in the crew area.

The staff and volunteer camping area is next to the staff showers, toilets and café.

We ask you to not camp in the public areas as:

  1. We have a duty to look after you and keep you safe, easier done if you are camped with us!
  2. Staff and volunteers are required to check in at our office before each shift and make sure they are aware of updates throughout the festival, again easier if you are camped in the Hotbox compound.
  3. In the past staff and volunteers have been involved with minor incidents due to camping in the public areas.

Think about it - if you had been told off by a member of staff or one of your friends had been evicted by security, then later in the day you find someone who works at the festival camping next to you, how might you treat them?

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A huge thank you to our amazing team of covid checkers and gate stewards for all their incredible work this weekend… https://t.co/mGAabwXx4R
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