Backstage Riders explained by The Smoking Gun

A backstage rider is presented to promoters by every worldwide or UK touring act and lists specifications on everything from stage design, lighting and sound systems to an individual artist’s wish list which would generally include everything from travel and billing, right through to dressing room details, accommodations and meals. Many backstage catering companies fear the dreaded rider but at Red Radish we literally love every one!

The rider was apparently made famous by Van Halen’s contractual demand that every brown M&M be removed from the group’s sweetie bowl and it seems the bigger the fame the bigger and often more complex the rider. Think Eminem and you are looking at Chateau Petrus, Jumbo shrimp and 25kg dumb bells, whilst Dollar (2013) and David Van Day will get away with an old hairdryer and a packet of crisps. Many elements of these sometime awkward riders often end up in the Red Radish inbox as their frantic management team wonder who will be able to keep their precocious charges happy and stop them spittimng their dummies out. We might play hard to get initially but secretly  the more obscure the rider the better the challenge. Just don’t tell their production guys we said so!

Read about your fave band’s quirky rider requests here at ‘The Smoking Gun’.

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