Deposits, tickets and wages

Do I need to pay a refundable volunteer deposit?

Yes you need to pay a refundable deposit to volunteer at festivals.

You only need to pay once per year as one deposit covers you for as many festivals as you would like to volunteer at!

You can pay your deposit once you have applied to volunteer with us.

Deposits can be paid by debit card, credit card, bank transfer, or cheque.


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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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How much is the refundable volunteer deposit?

If this is your first time volunteering with us the deposit is £145.

If you've volunteered with us in the past the deposit is £95.

You only need to pay once per year as one deposit covers you for as many festivals as you would like to volunteer at!

We do not charge any admin fees or card fees on deposits, meaning as long as you come to the festival and complete your volunteer shifts you'll receive your full deposit back!

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How can I pay my refundable volunteer deposit?

You can pay your deposit once you have applied to volunteer with us.

Deposits can be paid by debit card, credit card, bank transfer, or cheque.

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When will I get my refundable volunteer deposit back?

If you have volunteered at a festival and are not volunteering with us again in the same year then your deposit will be returned within 30 days of the last day of the last festival you volunteered at.

If you have cancelled your volunteer place at a festival; you are not volunteering with us again in the same year; and you have requested an early deposit return; your early deposit return will be sent within at most 30 days of the date you requested the early return.

We say 30 days to send early deposit returns just in case we are at a very busy period in the summer but we aim to send faster and usually do so at least once every 7-14 days.

Once sent by us the time for you to receive your early deposit return is dependent on the method by which you paid your deposit.

Cheques usually take 1 to 2 days to arrive, card refunds can take up to 7 days.

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

Deposit returns are processed following each event.

When a staff member or volunteer pays their deposit by card, our merchant provider (debit and credit card processor) has a release strategy for the funds received, this means your deposit is held by the merchant provider and protected in the event that a festival does not take place. This is standard practice for merchant providers when processing event ticket and deposit payments. Once an event has taken place all deposits held by the merchant provider for that event are then transferred to Hotbox Events no later than 30 days after the last day of the event.

A small number of staff and volunteers pay their deposits via bank transfer or cheque, these deposits are not held by the merchant provider.

We return all deposits for an event at the same time, by way of cheques*, so the earliest we can return a deposit; irrespective of payment method; is when we receive the transfer from the merchant provider.

*we return deposits as cheques 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 3,000+ volunteers who join us each year.
  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.

Our full deposit returns process is detailed below.

  1. Collate all event feedback from supervisors, managers, and office staff (1.5 weeks).
  2. Calculate individual returns based on event feedback (1.5 weeks).
  3. Printing and posting of cheques (1 week).
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Why are volunteer places not confirmed until a refundable deposit has been paid?

We receive over ten thousand applications every year, for two to three thousand volunteer positions.

Many apply on a whim e.g. never really intending to volunteer at a festival.

The deposit is your way of showing your commitment to joining us!

Once you've paid your volunteer deposit your place will be confirmed within 24 hours, usually within the hour!

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Can I pay my refundable volunteer deposit in instalments?

This isn't something we currently offer sorry!

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Can I pay for my friends, or can my friend / parent / guardian / relative pay my refundable volunteer deposit for me?

Of course!

Please note when deposits are returned they are returned to those who paid them e.g. if your parent pays your deposit your parent will get it back, not you.

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If I cancel my position, is my deposit still refunded?

As long as you cancel at least 20 days before the arrival date for the festival.

For further info please read the volunteering agreement.

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I've bought a ticket for the festival can this be refunded if I volunteer?

It can but you will need to either:

  1. Send us your booking reference and point of purchase.
  2. Post the original ticket to us.

One of the above needs to be done at least 21 calendar days prior to the volunteer arrival date of the festival.

In either case we will need to see a volunteer deposit paid and a position allocated before we can give the festival organisers the okay to refund your ticket.

If you would like to post us your ticket:

Please post any tickets via Special Delivery so they are insured for their full value. Remember, if you decide to send via Royal Mail Signed For (at the time of writing 31/05/2018) your ticket/s will only be insured for £50.00 GPB. Please check the Royal Mail website for further details of postal services and charges.

Please note we do not cover postal charges for tickets to be sent to us.

Please post your ticket/s to: Hotbox Events, River Barn, Middle Yard, Home Farm Road, Elvetham, Hook, Hampshire, RG27 8AW, United Kingdom.

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Do I need to pay a refundable deposit to work as festival staff?

Yes everyone who joins us onsite needs to pay a deposit, so both festival volunteers and festival staff.

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How much do Hotbox Events staff get paid?

The majority of the Hotbox Events festival teams are volunteers.

Hotbox Events festival staff positions are generally offered to those with at least a couple of years' experience volunteering with Hotbox Events.

For those offered staff positions hourly rates vary dependant on position. If you are offered a festival staff position at one of our events your days of work, shift lengths, and hourly rates, will be outlined in your interview and contract.

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