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)
While riders should be a list of reasonable and essential items, it is important to know which terms of riders should be considered negotiable, and which are essential. Many bookers will often take a rider as ‘gospel’, when actually there is often some room for negotiation.
Larger and international touring artists will have significantly larger riders. 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 e.g. an arena tour, and many artists will not alter their rider depending on the type of performance. It is not uncommon to be given a rider with several pages of sound system and lighting design information for a corporate event where the performer may only be giving a short 5-minute solo performance. Obviously these specifications can be costly and impractical for this type of event, and therefore a compromise can often be reached.
When booking an artist, it is important to examine their rider before committing to any financial obligations, and if unsure, always consult an industry professional. PYTCH can offer advice and guidance on rider fulfilment and negotiations, and will provide this service free of charge for any event where we are a supplier. Get in touch.