Reading and Leeds Festival 2023 Volunteer Shift Preference Selection and Meal Ordering open! Arrival info ready!

Reading and Leeds Festival 2023 Volunteer Shift Preference Selection and Meal Ordering open! Arrival info ready!

Sunday, August 13, 2023

It's time to select your shift preferences for Reading and Leeds Festival 2023! We've done our very best to setup the Reading and Leeds shift preferences to give you as much choice as possible to make sure you're off-shift to see your favourite bands!

If you're joining us at Reading Festival there are 22 shift patterns to choose between, if you're joining us at Leeds Festival there are 20 shift patterns to select from. Please make sure you indicate a preference for each shift as PAAM won't let you save your preferences until you have!


We know shift preference selection has opened later than usual this year, so there are some important things listed below you can do to make sure your shifts are allocated as soon as possible, please make sure you read them!

  • Ensure the 'Friends' list in your PAAM profile is up to date with only friends who are volunteering at Reading or Leeds 2023 listed. We have to manually search every single friend name individually to match you up, so if there are any out of date friends' names listed in your PAAM account this can hugely slow down the shift allocation process!
  • Please ensure your friend group all list the same shift preferences in the same order. We frequently have friend groups who individually submit a different order of shift preferences which makes allocating a shift pattern that you're all happy with very difficult!
  • Need to know your arrival day to book transport? If you need to book transport before your shift pattern has been allocated and you don't know what day to arrive, we recommend planning to arrive on Tuesday 22nd and to leave in the afternoon of Monday 28th. The longer you are onsite for, the more shift patterns there will be that work for your arrival and departure times, plus the more time you'll have to spread out your shifts so you can maximise the time off you have to enjoy the festival!
  • For the first time ever, we'll be allocating Reading and Leeds shift patterns whilst onsite at Camp Bestival Shropshire. We have close to 1,500 volunteers joining us at Reading and Leeds which means there are a lot of shift preferences to individually assess and allocate a shift pattern to, whilst we're simultaneously making sure everything runs smoothly at Camp Bestival. Please be patient with response times to messages and emails during this time!

You have until 3pm on Tuesday 15th August to select your shift preferences, please make sure you have submitted your preferences before this date as after this, shifts will be allocated based on availability.

Following 15th August it will take us a few days to process shift preferences and allocate shift patterns for everyone joining us at Reading and Leeds.

Once we have allocated your Reading and Leeds shifts, we'll send another email letting you know it's time to login and find out your shift pattern and start planning your festival schedule!

We apologise for you needing to select your shift preferences for Reading and Leeds so quickly this year, this is something that was out of our control!

How to choose your shifts

To choose your Reading and Leeds shift preferences you need to:

  • Login to Hotbox Events PAAM.
  • Click the Reading or Leeds Info button.
  • Read the Shift Planner in the Shift Preferences section.
  • Choose your Shift Preferences via the Dropdowns.
  • Click the Update Preferences button.

Once we've allocated shift patterns, your shift pattern will show as your Group at the top of your Reading or Leeds Info page.

We are a very small team at Hotbox HQ so whilst we're working hard to allocate shifts as quickly as we can there may be some delay to responses to emails and messages! Whilst we're busy allocating shifts you can drop into our Facebook group for help and advice from our previous Reading and Leeds staff and volunteers!

For further information about how shifts are allocated please read the information within the shift planner PDF.

Working with Friends

If you're joining us at Reading and Leeds with friends and would like to have the same shift pattern, please ensure their name and email address are listed in the Friends section of your PAAM profile so we can ensure you have the same shift pattern!

Don't forget to check that your friends have listed your name and email address in their 'Friends' section too!

Please also make sure that you don't have any friends' names from previous festivals still in your 'friends list' as this can slow down the shift allocation process if we're searching to match you with volunteers who haven't signed up this year!

You'll then need to make sure you and your friends input the same shift preferences in the same order.

This your last chance to update the Friends section of your profile before Reading and Leeds shifts are allocated!

Meal Vouchers

You can now login to order your meal vouchers!

Meal vouchers can be used at staff catering (Global, the same brilliant catering we've had at Download and Latitude this summer!) in the staff area during the festival. Staff catering will be located close to where our compound is, serving a variety of hot meals and packed lunches at a greatly discounted price compared to the public festival food outlets.

You can pre-order meal vouchers from Hotbox for £5.80 per voucher.

You will be able to purchase meal vouchers from staff catering at the festival but this will be at an increased cost, so we recommend pre-ordering if you can!

Meal vouchers are not day or meal specific, which means you can order them before your shift pattern has been confirmed.

To order your Reading and Leeds meal vouchers:

  • Login to Hotbox Events PAAM
  • Select the Reading or Leeds Event Info button.
  • Follow the instructions for meal voucher ordering.

Please note the deadline for pre-ordering meal vouchers is 3pm Friday 18th August 2023.

The Hotbox compound will house a large marquee with tables, chairs, and kettles, providing 24-hour access to hot water, tea and coffee!

We will be providing some tea, coffee, milk and sugar, although please note we will not be providing disposable cups this year to reduce our environmental impact at the festival. You can purchase a reusable insulated keep cup from the Hotbox office in the staff campsite or you're welcome to bring your own to the festival.

Also, if you tend to drink a lot of tea and coffee, please bring some extra supplies as ours won't last forever!

Arrival and Info Packs

Please login and read your Reading or Leeds Info Pack and Docs!

There is a wealth of info in the Hotbox Events PAAM Portal, including the Info Packs with pre-event and onsite contact details, travel and arrival info, where and when you need to check-in at Reading and Leeds, information about festival passes, how volunteer shifts are organised, Reading and Leeds catering, your briefings and training sessions, emergency procedures, staff and volunteer roles and responsibilities at the festival, festival security procedures, festival CCTV, Health and Safety, festival communications and more!

The information within the info pack is very important so please make sure you login and read it before you arrive at Reading and Leeds!

To read your Info Pack, you need to:

  • Login to Hotbox Events PAAM
  • Click the Portal button in the main menu.
  • Click the Info Pack button.

We're receiving a lot of questions about joining us at Reading and Leeds; most of the answers can now be found in the Info Packs or in the FAQs on our website so please make sure you read yours before the festival!

Proof of Right to Work in the UK

And finally, please make sure you have your proof of right to work in the UK sorted! It's better to avoid a last-minute panic by checking you know where your passport/birth certificate and NI document are now than 5 minutes before you're due to leave for the festival!

We're required to see the original documents at the festival site, we cannot accept photocopies.

If you're using a Home Office Share Code as proof of your right to work in the UK, please ensure this has been emailed to us along with your date of birth before the festival.

Please note - a driving licence is NOT proof of your right to work in the UK!

We can't wait to welcome you to Reading and Leeds!


If there is anything you would like to ask or you would just like to chat with us about, the easiest way is to...

Connect with us on MessengerConnect with us on Messenger


You can connect with us @hotboxevents on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn


If you would like to chat with others who have joined us before head to our Facebook Group and Forum

On Facebook and in our Forum you will find new and returning staff and volunteers chatting about what it is like to join us at festivals, arranging to share lifts, asking and answering questions about working at festivals and making new friends!


If you have not joined us at a festival before and are wondering what it is like, check out some of our staff and volunteer interviews!

In the interviews you will get to hear from those who have joined us talking about how they found their shifts, how they felt they were looked after by the Hotbox team, what it was like working solo for the first time, taking on more responsibility year on year, and even how the experience and confidence gained has helped with career progression away from festivals!


Another way to see what joining us is like is to check out some of our festival photos!

In our festival photo galleries, you will find thousands of photos covering our festival history over the past twenty years!

Going Solo

It's totally normal to be anxious before coming to a festival, particularly if you're coming solo! We get hundreds of messages every year from people wanting to join us but nervous about doing it, so we promise you're not alone! We're a very friendly bunch so if there's anything we can do to reduce your anxiety please get in touch! Try joining our Facebook Group to make friends with others before the festival - there are even a few WhatsApp groups that have been set up too!


If you have specific questions about joining us at festivals try our festival FAQs!

Our festival FAQs are regularly updated and packed full of answers to the questions we are usually asked, plus lots of handy hints and tips about working at festivals.


We usually send an email newsletter about once a month, if you would like to keep up to date you can subscribe!


If you would like to drop us an email it's


You can reach our office by phone on the numbers below...

Tel: 01252849600 (UK) select option 2 for Hotbox Events

Tel: +441252849600 (International) select option 2 for Hotbox Events

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