Applying to volunteer

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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Do I need to apply for a festival by a specific date?

There aren't specific deadlines for festival volunteer applications, we keep the applications open until all of the volunteer positions available have gone!

The earlier you apply and pay your refundable volunteer deposit the higher preference you will get when choosing your festival volunteer shifts so our advice is always apply and pay your deposit ASAP!

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 today!

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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 old must I be to volunteer with Hotbox Events?

You must be 18 or over by the Event Sign-in Date to volunteer with us.

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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 bring photocopies of my Right to work in the UK documents?

We are afraid by law we cannot accept photocopies of any documents.

You must bring originals but don't worry, we have a safe you can keep the documents in for the week – just remember to collect them at the end of the festival.

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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

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Can I apply to work with Hotbox Events if I have an SIA licence?

Our volunteers work primarily as event stewards, none of our positions require an SIA license nor involve SIA specific duties. If you are interested in working in a security role at an event, you may wish to contact the event organisers directly to find out how to apply. You should be able to find contact details for an event via their website.

Additionally, the post below has a lot of information about the UK companies that provide staff to festivals including SIA security:

How to Work at Festivals, Volunteer at Festivals and Who to Contact

Of course if you are interested in volunteering as an event steward with Hotbox Events we’d be happy for you to apply to join us!

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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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Can you tell me a little about Hotbox Events?

You can read more about Hotbox Events on the about and history pages of this website.

Hotbox Events is a trading name of Hotbox Studios Ltd. Hotbox Studios is a Hampshire Web Design, Animation and Volunteer Software company that Mark Hatchard founded in 2003.

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.

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What is PAAM?

Applications are processed online via the Hotbox Events PAAM Volunteer Software.

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. Each company has a separate PAAM system, so they would not be able to access any of the data that you have submitted via the Hotbox Events PAAM.

You can find out more by visiting PAAM

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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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Can I apply if I have accessibility requirements?

Of course! Please indicate your accessibility requirements on your application form in the field provided. Following application please also contact us to discuss your requirements which we will do our very best to accommodate. If you have difficulty in filling out the application form please contact our office and one of our team will assist you.

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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.

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