Every artist has a rider, as Wikipedia claims it is a set of requests or demands that a performer sets as criteria for performance. Types of riders include hospitality and technical.
It is actually a good thing because it helps you as a client to make sure that your artist is well looked after but it also gives us the opportunity to decline somebody if we cannot or will not meet their demands. I must say in my experience most riders are pretty normal and have wishes on specific foods and beverages, transportation and hotels and security. I have once had someone who demanded a runner. I had no idea what that meant but Wikipedia helped me out again, a runner is a person or persons hired to act as personal shopper for band and crew needs and as personal driver for band and crew needs. Pretty cool job I would say, actually perfect for most crewies.
Technical riders will give you insight on what kind of equipment they will use. For example all DJ’s require the Pioneer CDJ 2000 Nexus nowadays (3 of them) and I can tell you that those cannot be found on Antigua and quite some other destinations. So we have to bring them along, and they are seriously heavy I can tell you. Everything to please the client.
But then we get the crazy demands. And they have quite some, check out a shortlist below. I have created a list of my own experiences combined with the known ones.
- Van Halen requested in the technical rider that a bowl of M&Ms be provided in their dressing room with the brown ones removed.
- Johnny Cash required an American flag on stage
- Paul McCartney requested a sweep of the venue by bomb-sniffing dogs before the show
- Elton John required that his dressing room be kept at “60 °F in summer and 70 °F in winter
- Deadmau5 requested an inflatable pool toy at all of his performances for use during the show
- Guns N’ Roses lead guitarist Slash gained attention by the extensive and sometimes bizarre requirements in his rider document, which include a cubic melon, seven types of cheese, six lamps, a rug and two bear shaped pots of honey. Until 2010, he also demanded his dressing room to be all black and decorated with red and white roses.
- Beyoncé was alleged to require $900 worth of titanium drinking straws to drink a special alkaline water to be served at exactly 21 degrees, but that actually appears nowhere on her rider. She also demands her dressing room be kept at 78 degrees and asks for chicken legs “HEAVILY SEASONED” with cayenne pepper, and rose-scented candles. And, don’t have Coca-Cola products anywhere near—Beyoncé can only be seen with Pepsi products due to a contractual agreement.
- Christina Aguilera is about details. It begins with a police escort because she, “cannot encounter ANY delays due to traffic.” And a fully itemized list – Soy Cheese, Oreos, Flinstones chewables, Nesquick, dried cranberries, 6-pack of Coke (not Pepsi), two chicken and turkey club sandwiches, power bars, balance bars, bottle of Echinacea Capsules, and Full-Fat Vanilla Soy Milk that “Does not contain any canola oil, barley, oats, or malt of any kind.
- Jay-Z’s requires a couch, love seat, lamps, mirror, and standard folding chairs. And one special request, at many venues, Jay-Z asks for A late model Maybach (’57 or ’62) with tinted windows.
- Kanye Wests requests a barber’s chair, Carmex lip balm, shower shoes and a plethora of alcohol.
- Justin Bieber is supposed to have a short list. He asks for tea, Swedish Fish and a size XS T-shirt.
- The Foo Fighters may have the most “hilarious” backstage rider of all time, says. The rockers are known for sneaking jokes into their list of demands, and topped themselves with a cheeky rider for their 2011 world tour. It included a coloring book, activity pages, and maxims for life: “No one likes a straight A student.” The funniest page of the document provides an illustrated guide to the kind of catering the band expects. A drawing of a sandwich with a pile of rocks is branded “Lame Entree,” while a steak and baked potato sketch is described as an “Awesome Entree.”
- Katy Perry. For her 2011 U.S. tour, Katy Perry had a 23-point “principle driver policy” that specifically dictated the proper behavior of those tasked with carting her around. One explicit rule, according to the policy, is that drivers must not converse with Perry andThe Smoking Gun reports that they “also are directed not to stare at the backseat through the rearview mirror.”
And because we do what they demand they sometimes pull our leg:
The Wonder Years singer Dan “Soupy” Campbell stated in an video interview with Rock Sound that they had put Hi-C Ecto Cooler on their rider as a joke, but once they got to an unnamed college in the UK, a woman on the staff apologized to the members of the band for not being able to locate the drink, due to it being discontinued, and so found the list of ingredients, compared them to modern juice drinks and found a near equivalent, before the band revealed to her that it was indeed a joke.
Onno Ebbens is partner in Zoom International. Zoom believes that their clients should XperienceTheDifference in dedication, professionalism, knowledge and transparency. Zoom International consists of ZoomYachting (Turkish Service Agent) and EventsbyZoom (Superyacht Artist Booking). EventsbyZoom is also known for hosting and participating in Crew Parties.