What is a Technical Rider
By Joe Sandford-Hughes
What is a Technical Rider

In the events and entertainment industry, a technical rider is a document that outlines the technical requirements for a performance, event or show. It is usually provided by the artist, band, speaker or performer and their technical team, and is an essential tool for ensuring that the performance runs smoothly and that all technical aspects are taken care of.

A technical rider will typically include information on the following areas:


This section will detail the specific sound system and equipment that is required for the performance. This may include the type and number of speakers, amplifiers, mixing consoles, microphones, monitors and other related items. It will also specify any additional requirements such as effects processors, playback devices or special equipment.

The technical rider will also outline the setup and operation of the sound system, including the number of available channels, signal flow, equalization and other relevant information. It may also include a sound system diagram and/or equipment list.


Similar to the sound section, the lighting portion of a technical rider will specify the exact lighting equipment that is needed, such as fixtures, control consoles, dimmers, cabling and accessories. It will also cover aspects such as rigging and hanging requirements, power needs, patching information and special effects.

The technical rider will often include a lighting plot or design, which is a visual representation of how the lights should be set up and used during the performance. This may be accompanied by written notes and instructions on the various lighting cues, effects and sequences.


If the performance includes video elements such as screens, projectors, cameras, video walls or content playback, the technical rider will outline the specific video equipment required. This may also cover topics such as screen size and type, signal distribution, video switching, camera positions and shots, and other related information.

The video section of a technical rider may also include a video content rundown, which is a detailed list of all the video content that will be shown during the performance. This can help the venue or production team to ensure that the correct content is cued up at the right times.

Staging and Set

This section will cover the staging and set design requirements, such as stage size and shape, decking material, steps and ramps, set pieces, drapes, pyrotechnics, special effects and other related items. It may also include information on load-in and load-out times, crew needs, and other logistical considerations.

The technical rider may be accompanied by a stage plot or set design, which is a visual representation of how the stage and set should be set up. This can help the venue or production team to understand the artist's vision for the performance.

Pyrotechnics and Special Effects

If the performance includes pyrotechnics, fireworks, confetti cannons, laser shows or other special effects, the technical rider will outline the specific requirements and safety protocols for these items. This may include information on permits, fire marshals, safety distances, equipment specifications, crew training and other relevant topics.

It is important to note that the inclusion of certain special effects in a technical rider does not necessarily mean that they are automatically approved or feasible for a given venue or event. It is the responsibility of the venue or production team to carefully review and assess the special effects requirements, and to ensure that they can be safely and legally executed.

Other Technical Aspects

In addition to the above, a technical rider may also cover other technical aspects such as:

  • Power - detailing the specific power requirements for all equipment, including voltage, phase, amperage and outlet types. This may also include a power distribution plan and information on backup generators.

  • Rigging - covering the rigging needs for hanging equipment such as lights, speakers, set pieces and decorations. This may include information on rigging points, load limits, rigging hardware and techniques, as well as a rigging plot or plan.

  • Audio-Visual Support - outlining the required audio-visual support from the venue or production team, such as technical staff, equipment vendors, equipment setup and strike, and other related services.

  • Equipment - providing a comprehensive list of all the equipment that is required for the performance, including make and model numbers, quantities, and any special instructions or considerations.

  • Crew - specifying the number and roles of the technical crew that are needed, as well as any qualifications or certifications required for crew members.

Overall, a technical rider is a crucial tool for ensuring that all technical aspects of a performance or show are properly planned and executed. It helps to create a common understanding and framework between the artist and the venue or production team, and can prevent misunderstandings or last-minute issues. However, it is important to approach a technical rider with flexibility and open communication, as every performance and venue is unique and may have specific considerations that are not covered in the document.

At PYTCH, we have experience in working with a wide range of technical riders and can help to interpret and fulfil the requirements outlined in these documents. Our team of expert technicians and production managers can ensure that your event runs smoothly and meets the highest technical standards. If you have any questions about technical riders or need assistance with your upcoming event, feel free to get in touch with us.