Help Me! Let’s talk about backstage demands…

When I go on the road, I have a concert rider to show what I need both onstage and backstage. I have to say, my rider is pretty boring. For the green room I ask for the usual: food and drinks, and nothing specific in terms of brands. The only thing I really care about is the request for BANANAS, because that’s my favorite thing to eat before going on stage (maybe a little weird?). I don’t even request beer or liquor backstage, which I think is pretty unusual for touring bands.

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This is me backstage in Cognac…..I even color coordinated with my favorite food.

This past week while on the road I was talking to a few concert promoters about weird requests, such as a bathtub filled with warm water upon arrival at the hotel and a new toilet seat installed backstage, and while I was horrified to hear of such outrageous requests, the promoters themselves made a good point that putting something in the rider that’s very specific shows the artist that the venue is really paying attention to their needs and wants to take care of them. (Also, having seen many venue’s backstage areas, I think some new toilet seats might be a good idea. Just sayin.)

So I did some research online. There are quite a few websites that talk about outrageous riders: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/backstage, this article from ABC, and this article from Business Insider, in which we learn that Taylor Swift eats like she lives in a dorm room (sooo many calories). A lot of the requests are for specific foods or drinks, but some are more interesting. Coldplay asks for 8 pre-stamped local postcards to send to faraway family, Celine Dion requets a Ear Nose & Throat Specialist on call the day of the performance, and quite a few riders request new socks and underwear. The socks thing I can understand, but underwear? I do NOT want promoters providing me with underwear.

What do you think I should request in my backstage rider? ALL ideas are welcome (outrageous and practical), but please explain why you think it would make a good addition!

Update: Diana Krall’s Rider is full of absolutely FASCINATING and quite practical information, including how she wants to be filmed / photographed for optimal results (I totally get this. Some people really don’t know how to photograph a singing piano player). Read it here: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/backstage/divas/diana-krall-0

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21 Responses to Help Me! Let’s talk about backstage demands…

  1. George King says:

    …beautiful…we love bananas…..I like your glasses and hope you do not change them to banana color. Cheers.

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  2. laura says:

    Foot massage for sure…..so relaxing. . and coconut water for hydration.

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  3. Andy Rothman says:

    The all-time classic is Randy Brecker’s (tongue-in-cheek) rider: http://www.langston.com/Fun_People/1999/1999ARC.html

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  4. Alex Leonard says:

    Here’s the famous “no brown M&M rider from Van Halen. My understanding is that it actually had a sound purpose. It was an immediate sign to the band that the venue had actually read the rider. I had also heard that there had been an accident where the stage collapsed because it was not properly attended. After that, the band thought if they could walk into the dressing room and see that the M&M policy had been properly addressed then it was likely the other, more important issues, were being attended to as well.

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/van-halens-legendary-mms-rider

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  5. Saltydog says:

    A bbq unicorn sandwich would get them thinking 🙂

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  6. Lynn goucher says:

    I think a good massage therapist would definitely be my first request too. violin is very hard on the neck and shoulders. I’d probably request bottled water preferably Poland Spring and bananas too bc Al and I live on them! They are the perfect food for people like us with nervous stomachs! I would want tea too bc sometimes you just need a little caffeine….. If I were in France I would ask for a croissant!!

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  7. Kendall says:

    How about having “Boomer Sooner” playing when you walk into your dressing room?….HA!

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  8. Seems like this also includes hotel requests, maybe ask for a sauna, steam bath or hot tub to be available, whichever you enjoy most, Also something that will add to an optimum performance. AND……………… chocolate

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  9. A massage therapist, excellent for touring,to relax muscles and unwind before or after a performance. It will just make you feel good and pampered too.

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  10. Ember says:

    I had to read through a few of those and yours is really mild compared to every one that I read. Good luck adding to it. Oh and the Taylor Swift thing made me laugh… she is the size of a pencil someone should double her list and feed her more.

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    • Thanks Ember! I might not add anything, but I just wanted to put some thought into it. She is very small! Maybe she likes to eat, or her band or her crew – at any rate it’s a lot of high calorie food. haha.

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  11. Randy Donabedian says:

    I think you should stay humble and grounded. It’s what you don’t do when you can that defines your character.

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    • Oh I totally agree! But I think I could add a few things on the rider that would actually be great and not outrageous. Kimberly (via Facebook) suggested hot peppermint tea, and I think that is a great idea that I hadn’t thought of before.

      Also, it’s just fun to think of the strange (but somehow useful) things one could add. 🙂

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  12. Hmm… I would request a good foot massage and a harp player playing in the background. 😉

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