Rock bands have long been famous with their specific and lengthy backstage requirements. These demands are found in a rider attached to their contract and can detail anything from a band’s snacking needs to lighting and sound equipment requirements. This list of requirements can be short or can go on for pages—in perhaps the most famous rider of all, Van Halen requested M&Ms with all the brown ones picked out.
Although this seems like an outlandish request, the rock group has said that it was included to see if the promoter actually read their extensive rider. If brown M&Ms were in the M&M dish, it tipped them off that maybe some of their other lighting or sound equipment stipulations weren’t attended to properly.
Riders and Corporate Events
The thing with riders is that while they are very specific, they are rarely modified to meet the needs of each particular show. A corporate event for example may not require follow spot operators or a stadium level PA system. And when the production team for the performer starts planning the show they usually make concessions that are more realistic for the venue or event.
Many times however, those modifications are not made to the contract. The contract signed by the client or their representative often still requires the client to provide the entire rider. Many times even when asked to modify the rider in the contract the band claims it as unnecessary.
Covering our Bases
When we finalize the equipment plan with performers we always send an email to both the client and the production manager indicating the changes and asking them to respond back that they agree to the revised plan. This final sign-off means less hassle when making final arrangements and adjustments for the equipment.