How to make an artist rider in 2021

When your artist arrives at a show, it’s important that all your artist’s needs are clearly laid out so that the promoter can ensure that everything goes to plan. After all, it would be a real mess if your artist showed up and the equipment wasn’t set up in a way that they could perform. That’s why a certain type of document called a rider was invented.

A rider describes exactly what an artist needs in order to put on a show. It functions as a clearly laid out set of directions that the promoter can follow to ensure that the artist is able to perform and that they are as comfortable as possible by their specifications. If you’re a booking agent, you need to ensure that your riders are clear and comprehensive. If you want to learn more about riders, and how to make your own, keep reading!

So, what kind of riders are there?

The most important rider is the technical rider. A technical rider describes the exact music equipment required by the artist to perform, and specifies exactly how it should be set up. While these riders generally differ from artist to artist, a standard DJ’s equipment list generally looks something like this:

Once the equipment list has been made, it’s important to give clear directions on how things should be set up. This is best achieved through using a small diagram of how exactly everything should be wired, and where it should be on the stage. Pioneer has a full selection of diagrams you can use for your own tech riders on their website.

Other general points you should make sure to include in your tech rider are:

  • Having linked CDJs all running on the most recent Pioneer firmware
  • Having booth monitors at ear level
  • Having enough space on the stage to perform
  • Having a range of acceptable table heights

If your artist requires extra production, such as a smoke gun, confetti cannon, or pyrotechnics, these elements would also be included in the tech rider.

The second rider is a hospitality rider. A hospitality rider describes how the artist should be taken care of at the event when off stage. Artists can be infamous for their ridiculous requests, and this document is exactly where all those crazy requests are described. Most artists, however, have pretty relaxed riders, as it’s generally important to develop good relationships with promoters and to not cause them a lot of inconvenience.

For a normal touring DJ, the industry standard for a hospitality rider is enough drinks for a small group of people to enjoy the night. Typically, this is something like:

  • A bottle of vodka + mixer
  • 12 beers
  • 12 waters
  • Towels to remove sweat during performance

Of course, riders can go much deeper. Some DJs insist on being driven around in a Bugatti Veyron upon arrival, others require cakes and inflatable boats. If you’re just starting out with making riders, it’s probably best for you to avoid these kinds of items and just stick to the basics.

Of course, riders can go much, much deeper. But if you’re just starting out as an agent and need to put one together, these guidelines will help you get started and take your artists to the next professional level.

Thank you for reading the Stagent blog! For more blogs about the music industry, artists and artist management, make sure to check out our other blogs. If you want to take your artists one step further, check out our artist management platform, Stagent! To learn more about Stagent, head over to our homepage.

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