Anyone have good tips of clever things to include on a tech rider for playing gigs? @kelli_cain recently mentioned possibly requesting a fan, which seemed like a great idea in certain circumstances!
I haven’t had a rider for a while, and looking back it was really wasteful, but when touring in my early 20s I’d request brand new sports socks and just throw away the old pair. I was trying to travel as light as possible and didn’t want smelly socks in my bag.
honestly, after this tour i just did, it would be:
- please don’t daisy chain power strips together and call it a “power solution.”
- please mr. soundguy, don’t try and talk me out of stereo because mono “would be easier”
2 llamas, 1 alpaca, 6 goats, 6 cats, 3 dogs, and several hundred fruit trees. Probably explains why my tour never leaves the farm.
I haven’t needed a rider thus far because I mostly play local shows and bring everything I need.
But I’d have the following on my list if I was touring (solo modular-only act doing a mix of styles):
(1) Adjustable height 24" X 48" table, or a similarly sized DJ stand 33-36" high. Artist carries a suitable tablecloth.
(2) 1 liter bottles of drinking water.
(1) box of standard Altoids in the blue tin.
(1) Light dinner from a locally owned restaurant, no national or regional chains.
If I was flying, I’d request ground transportation from the airport to the accommodations (Uber etc. is fine), then to the venue (promoter or assistant of same for this leg who has knowledge of the venue and knows local music stores etc.–just in case there are pre-show tech issues), then transportation back to accommodations after the performance and back to the airport the next day. Accommodations to be three star or better and include breakfast & coffee.
Tech rider is pretty short too:
- Artist provides a stereo feed to house via male XLR connections on a passive DI box. Channels shall be hard panned left and right unless Artist directs otherwise during sound check.
- Sound system shall be capable of reproducing a frequency range of 35Hz-15kHz at a measured undistorted program SPL of 95dB( C) at mix position, if mix position is at the back of the house, or at the back of the room otherwise. Sound system shall be operated at no more than 95-100dB(A) average during the performance–this leaves a lot of leeway for a bass heavy mix that doesn’t drive people to resort to earplugs. Artist is a sound engineer and will verify the above with instrumentation.
I carry my own wired IEMs and task lighting etc. and don’t trust much gear in venues so I’m pretty self contained.
Stereo stage monitors
The one and only time I had a rider I asked for:
- A supply of cold water and a large plastic cup.
- A box fan.
- A roll of paper towels.
- A garbage can to put the used paper towels in.
- A place to change my shirt between sets.
(It was VERY HOT OUT)
Thus far I have only writen tech riders. I have usually worked out stuff like food, drinks and accommodations with the venue in advance.
Some stuff I have found important to include:
- I need a table with certain minimum dimensions
- There should be several power outlets close to where I set up.
- The stage should be clear of gear. With the exception of the table and monitors.
- Most of my stereo outputs are balanced and thus should not be fed to linedrivers unless the techie has a very good reason.
However I usually include a note about contacting me, so we can find a solution, incase any ‘demands’ on the rider proves troublesome to meet. We are all here to make a show together.
If would be a great resource if people could post here their riders in PDF or such. Had to do one last day and had difficulties finding examples.
I see that it has been recently removed from his website, but I found a cached version of Mika Vainio’s rider using Wayback machine.
Side note: we truly lost a great one.
I usually ask for:
- 1x guitar amp [when I’m flying in, otherwise I’ll bring my own amp]
- 1x projector and/or projection space
- 1x DI and PA for laptop
I try to keep it really short, sweet and simple, while trying to bring as much as I can with me. Even with a list like mine, I’ve found glitches will happen!
A few things that are great to ask for are:
1 case of bottled water (or similar … some prefer vitamin water, smart water, Gatorade, etc.) It’s good to keep in mind that tomorrow, when you are driving to the next city, not paying for bottled water on the road is awfully convenient.
2-3 plain white hand towels, pre washed with dye-free, unscented, hypoallergenic laundry detergent. Great for sink showers of wiping sweat from your face while you are blowing peoples’ minds with your tunes.
Fresh fruit. Pre washed. Definitely include some sort of dinner in your rider, but trust me when I tell you that even if you ask for local, organic, vegan, non-national-chain, gluten-free, free range food made in a restaurant staffed by nuns between the age of 27 and 33 … you will still get PIZZA. An apple will be your best friend.
A WiFi password. A WiFi password that gives you access to FREE WiFi. You gotta update you social media and FaceTime your bae.
If you are very particular about your stage setup, include a stage diagram with your technical rider. Also include MINIMUM stage dimensions. This would be a minimum dimension for YOU, not the overall stage dimension. If you are opening for another person or band, the venue will often strike drum kits, amps, tables, stands, etc. You want to make sure there’s enough room for your equipment and for you to move around. If you are very tall, make sure that you include a height clearance.
If you have merch to sell, have a similar diagram for your merch setup. Include a list of any tables, lights, wall space and electrical outlets that you need. Make sure to stipulate that the merch area should be in a clean, well trafficked location. And no, next to the bathroom does not count. Next to the stage does not count. Directly adjacent to the bar does not count. Indicate a specific dollar amount in the rider that the venue or promoter should be able to provide in change ($1’s and $5’s) BEFORE the doors open. That way you aren’t struggling to make change for you first few sales.
One thing to keep in mind is that any cost incurred by your rider will oftentimes come off the top of your pay for the gig. The promoter will consider your rider when negotiating your fee. If you ask for a $100 bottle of whiskey and Kobe beef steaks, that comes out of the promoter’s budget.
On that note, if you are a local opener for a touring act, minimize the overall cost of your rider. You don’t need a case of water, dinner, etc. if you are going home after the show. Let the promoter use the extra cash for the touring acts. Promoters will remember that type of thing when it comes time to find acts for the next show that they book.
mine was always just boiling water—gotta have that mid-set tea session
… also: “green socks”
Honestly in the states it is so bad…Europeans understand you get a better show if you feed the artist!
If you are fortunate to routinely get hospitality beyond drinks and buyouts (which is very rare for any show under 2-300 people, and even then), I highly recommend baby carrots and hummus. Years of touring have programmed my body to crave hummus at 4pm every day.
So is it really true that in the old days socks on the rider were a code word? An old school promoter told me that one day and he said he was confused about reading about socks on our rider. He said he wasn’t sure if we really wanted socks or other things. We actually did want socks.
No they really don’t.