Ever heard of a rider? (Hint: It isn’t equestrian.)
It’s the list of demands a musician gives a venue ahead of time and expects to have fulfilled, or else the contract is voided and the venue has to pay the musician anyway.
So What Does Nicki Need?
The latest rider to come to our attention is that of Nicki Minaj, who shared an elaborate rider during a magazine interview. Among the most notable:
- 3 packs of gum in 3 different flavors
- 3 twelve-piece buckets of fried chicken spicy (no thighs, lots of wings)
- One set of fine silverware/stainless steel silverware
- 12 bottles of Martinelli’s Apple Juice (6 room temp, 6 iced)
- 2 space heaters—VERY IMPORTANT—and a cool mist humidifier
And, as any wearer of contact lenses knows, a stroke of brilliance: contact lens solution and case.
Read the entire list of demands at The Daily Mail.
Is There a Reason for the Madness?
There are actually two kinds of riders, technical (which covers requirements for staging) and hospitality (which covers food and superfluous items).
Specific, high-maintenance riders became the norm thanks to Van Halen, who demanded there not be any brown M&Ms backstage in the 1980s. Their pickiness was practical, though: They figured that if a venue didn’t care enough to meet their hospitality demands, they could have been negligent with crucial technical demands. They erred on the side of caution after previous technical errors brought about dangerous—even life-threatening—situations.
Sometimes, venues will just give artists the money needed to cover their demands and have the artists complete the riders themselves. In this case, artists will sometimes take the money, make do with less, and pocket the difference. Crafty!
Image Credit: Flickr.com/dpmzcnrd
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