A rider is a document that a band, musician or other performer will send over to the booker relating to their requirements for performance. Most performers will have certain essential items that they need the booker to provide in order to do their job to the best possible standard. A rider states these requirements. A rider will usually cover areas such as stage size, technical requirements, food, drink etc.
A variation on this article is published on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rider_(theater)
An artist rider is a document that outlines the specific technical and logistical requirements for an artist's performance. This can include everything from the type of stage and lighting to the type of dressing room and catering that is provided. The rider is typically provided by the artist or their management team and is used to ensure that the artist's performance is set up and executed in a way that meets their expectations.
It is important to note that while riders should be a list of reasonable and essential items, not all terms of riders are set in stone. Many bookers will often take a rider as gospel, when actually there is often some room for negotiation. For example, larger and international touring artists will have significantly larger riders than local or regional performers. As such, it can be harder to negotiate on aspects of a big name rider, as a lot of it will be there for good reason.
However, riders are often written with a specific type of event in mind. For example, an arena tour will have different technical requirements than a corporate event. It is not uncommon for an artist to provide a rider with several pages of sound system and lighting design information for an arena tour, but those same specifications may be costly and impractical for a corporate event. This is where a compromise can often be reached.
When booking an artist, it is important to examine their rider before committing to any financial obligations. If you are unsure about any aspect of the rider, it is always a good idea to consult an industry professional. PYTCH offers advice and guidance on rider fulfillment and negotiations, and will provide this service free of charge for any event where we are a supplier.
Examples of items that might be included in an artist rider:
- Stage and lighting requirements: This may include specifications for the stage size and shape, the type of lighting equipment needed, and the number of lighting fixtures required.
- Sound requirements: This may include specifications for the type of sound system needed, the number of speakers and amplifiers, and the number of microphones needed.
- Dressing room and hospitality requirements: This may include the type of dressing room needed (e.g. private, with a shower), the number of guests allowed in the dressing room, and the type of catering provided (e.g. vegetarian, kosher, etc.).
- Backline requirements: This may include the type and number of instruments and equipment needed, such as guitars, drums, and keyboard.
- Special requests: This may include requests for certain types of flowers, a specific brand of bottled water, or a certain brand of snacks.
- Technical rider: This may include the type of set-up needed for example power supply, internet access and type of monitor to be used.
It's worth noting that these are examples, and not all artist riders will include all of these items. Additionally, the specific requirements for each item may vary greatly depending on the artist and the type of event.
Examples of riders from well known artists:
- Madonna: Madonna's rider is known for being quite extensive, including requirements for her dressing room (such as white drapes and white flowers), specific types of food and drinks (such as a juice bar and gluten-free options), and a detailed set-up for her stage and lighting.
- Beyoncé: Beyoncé's rider is also known for being quite extensive, including requirements for her dressing room (such as a private entrance and a "well-stocked" kitchen), specific types of food and drinks (such as a "healthy" spread of vegetables and fruits), and a detailed set-up for her stage and lighting.
- AC/DC: AC/DC's rider is focused on the technical aspect of the show, including detailed specifications for their sound and lighting systems, backline equipment, and pyrotechnics.
- Taylor Swift: Taylor Swift's rider is also focused on the technical aspect of the show, including detailed specifications for her sound and lighting systems, backline equipment, and pyrotechnics.
It is always important to be clear about what is expected and what is negotiable when working with artist riders, and ensure that any agreements reached are in writing, to avoid any misunderstandings.
Sometimes you will receive very vague requests, for example "please include something nice" - this is a real example we have received from an artist! We then had to pick "something nice" and include it, which can of course be very subjective.
PYTCH offers free advice and guidance on rider fulfillment and negotiations. Get in touch with us if you need help with your next event.