Download Festival 2024 volunteer shift preference selection is open!

Download Festival 2024 volunteer shift preference selection is open!

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Buckle up Downloaders, this is going to be a long one!

We've been working closely with the new Download Festival organisers over the past few months, going through lots of changes to make sure Download 2024 is the best one yet!

Our 2023 Dog Squad was an incredible bunch, so much so that the festival organisers have asked us to take on a whole load of extra positions for 2024!

This means we'll be covering the following roles at Download this year:

  • General Campsites, Quiet, Eco, Mini Moshers and Guest Camping
  • Observation Towers
  • Arena
  • Most of the AIR Hubs
  • Arena Accessible Viewing Platforms
  • Ticket Scanning
  • Wristbanding
  • Facilities Monitors
  • Accessible Campsite Assistance
  • Accessible Buggy Drivers

Bringing our total team onsite to over 1100 people! Our biggest festival team since the start of Hotbox over 20 years ago!

Shift Preference Selection

With that all confirmed, it's time for volunteer shift preference selection to open!

There are 38 shift patterns to choose between. Please make sure you indicate a preference for each shift as PAAM won't let you save your preferences until you have!

You can take your role preferences into consideration when selecting your shift preferences, choosing between Tower Teams, Gate Teams (ticket scanning and wristbanding), and Dog Squad who will be covering everything else!

You have until midday on Wednesday 22nd May 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 22nd May it will take us several days to process shift preferences and allocate shift patterns for over 1000 volunteers joining us at Download Festival.

Once we have allocated your Download 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!

Working with Friends

If you're joining us at Download Festival 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 Download Festival shifts are allocated!

How to choose your shifts

To choose your Download Festival shift preferences you need to:

  • Login to Hotbox Events PAAM
  • Click the Download 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 Download Festival 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 in 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 Download Festival staff and volunteers!

Our Shift Preference Selection Top Tips!

Shift preference selection can be a little overwhelming if it's your first time volunteering as there are so many different shift options to choose from! We've listed our top tips for working out your order of shift preferences below:

  • Write down your order of shift preferences on a piece of paper or your phone before you select them in your PAAM account as PAAM can sometimes lock you out after a period of inactivity causing you to lose your progress!
  • You may find it easier to print out the shift pattern matrix and write on it to help you order your preferences.
  • Start from your least favourite shift pattern and work backwards, working with a process of elimination to find your most preferable shift patterns.
  • Look at your preferred arrival and departure days - if you can only arrive on the Wednesday rank all shift patterns which require a Tuesday arrival as your least preferable. If you need to be back home on Monday morning, rank all shift patterns with a Monday shift as your least preferable.
  • Are you comfortable climbing ladders and working at height? If not, rank all tower shift patterns as your least preferable.
  • Are you comfortable with night shifts? If not, make sure all shift patterns with night shifts are low down your list of preferences.
  • Look at when your must-see bands are likely to be playing (headliners are typically on from 21:00/21:30 to 22:30/23:00), rank any shift patterns which clash with your must see bands as your least preferable.
  • Consider if you have a preference for working on the gates or in the campsites, or would you prefer a shift pattern which contains shifts in both locations?
  • Consider the number of people on the shift pattern - if you're volunteering with a large group of friends, rank any shift patterns with fewer people than the number of people in your friend group as your least preferable.
  • If attending with a group of friends, ensure you all enter your shift preferences in the same order! Inputting a different order of shift preferences to people in your friend group may mean you have a less preferable shift pattern than if you enter the shift patterns in the same order.

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


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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