Applying to volunteer

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

You can apply to volunteer with Hotbox Events at music festivals using the Hotbox Events PAAM online festival volunteering application!

If you don't yet have a Hotbox Events PAAM account its quick and easy to sign-up to volunteer!

Our festival volunteering applications usually open on the 1st of February each year, if you sign-up to PAAM you'll be the first to know!

back to top

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 Hotbox Events website - the sections titled "Application Deadlines" on the following pages...

Positions at all festivals fill up faster every year so please do apply early to avoid disappointment!

back to top

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.
back to top

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.

back to top

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.

back to top

Borders and Immigration (EEA) - 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 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.

VERY IMPORTANT

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.

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 birth (long or short) or adoption certificate AND one of the following:

  1. Your National Insurance (NI) card.
  2. An official document from a previous employer clearly showing your name and NI number.
  3. An official document issued by a government agency (e.g. HM Revenue and Customs, Department for Work and Pensions, or the Social Security Agency in Northern Ireland) clearly showing your name and NI number e.g. the letter now sent in place of an NI card.

A UK Driving Licence IS NOT valid as proof even in combination with a birth certificate or NI card.

All documents which contain an expiry date must be current (except those showing that the holder is a British citizen, a citizen of the UK and Colonies having the right of abode, a national of an European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland or their family members with permanent residence).

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.You can find out more about our servers, located in our UK data centre here. 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.

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:

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

back to top

Borders and Immigration (Non EEA) - 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 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 British Government not by Hotbox Events and these are the ONLY documents that will be accepted by Hotbox Events.

Please note Hotbox Events cannot act as a sponsor for volunteers or short term workers.

VERY IMPORTANT

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.

NB: We will still need to see the original documents if you upload copies pre-event.

What do you need?

If you are not entitled to the right to work through your citizenship i.e. you are not a citizen of the UK, European Economic Area, or Switzerland then you will need a passport endorsed to show your right to work in the UK or a Valid Bio Metric Residency Permit issued by the British Government.

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 www.gov.uk/transfer-visa

What will we need to see?

What you will need to show us depends on the circumstances of your stay.

If you are in the UK on a student visa

Students from outside the EEA have limited rights to work in the UK. You will need to provide us with proof, before you get to site, that you meet one of the criteria below. Please scan your documents and upload via the 'Your Files' section of your PAAM profile.

As you will be working for 24 hours in one week you are also required to provide evidence of your academic term and vacation times for the duration of your studies in the UK while you work. Please note the criteria you must meet depends on when you applied for your visa:

1. You were granted leave under the Immigration rules in place prior to the 31 March 2009 and your visa is still valid.

2. You were granted leave, that is still valid, Between 1 April 2009 and 4 July 2011 and are studying a foundation degree course or degree level course)

3. You applied for permission to come or stay in the UK after 4 July 2011 and are studying:

i) A degree level (QCF or NQF level 6 (or equivalent)) or above with a recognised body or a body that receives public funding as a higher education institution or are on a short-term study-abroad programme in the UK whilst enrolled with an overseas higher education institution.

ii) Below degree level (QCF or NQF level 6 (and equivalents)) and with a recognised body or a body that receives public funding as a higher education institution.

iii) You are studying at a minimum QCF or NQF level 3 (or equivalent) with a publicly funded further education college and the publicly funded further education college is a highly-trusted sponsor. If your college is not a highly-trusted sponsor you must be studying at QCF or NQF level 4 or above.

If you are in the UK with full rights to work

You will need to bring your passport with a valid visa or Biometric Residency Permit showing your right to work in the UK.

What will we do with 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 PAAM servers.You can find out more about our servers, located in our UK data centre here. 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.

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:

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

back to top

Can I bring photocopies of my Borders and Immigration documents?

No. I’m 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.

back to top

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

back to top

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 a 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!

back to top

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 & Reading Festival.

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

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

back to top

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.

back to top

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

back to top

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.

back to top

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.

back to top

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.

back to top

Sign up to our newsletter

YouTube Twitter facebook Instagram