Ridiculous Riders…THIS is Why You Pay So Much at Concerts!

Wow.  Okay, for everyone out there that’s not familiar with the term rider, the definition that Wikipedia gives is “a set of requests or demands that a performer will set as criteria for performance.”

Now, as an indie artist who runs his own label,  my team and I have hired (or attempted to hire)  quite a few national acts to perform at local venues.  I’ve seen some pretty ridiculous terms included with these riders, let me tell you.  Alcoholic beverages, coffee, tea, articles of clothing…the list goes on and on.  In one case, when we tried to bring the rapper Kardinall Offishall to town, his rider even requested that we provide him with three pairs of boxers.

Now, I don’t know about you, but there is no conveivable circumstance under which I would ever buy boxers for another grown man.  And mind you, to add insult to injury, these acts ask for all of these perks in addition to the ridiculous 5 (and sometimes 10) figure performance fees they ask for.  Now, these Hip-Hop artists are supposed to be “tough guys from the hood”.  But they sometimes ask for the most effeminate items.  Can you say “prima donna”?  It’s gotten to the point that I often contact these artist’s managers just so I can get a look at the riders, and have myself a good laugh.

Until now, the Kardinall Offishall rider was the most ridiculous thing I’d ever come across in this business.  But I just came across Jay-Z’s rider on the Smoking Gun… and I’m speechless.  It takes the whole prima donna thing to a new level.  This is a guy who recently got a $750,000 performance fee from the University of Arizona, to book a show that ended up losing them money.  And here he is, asking for demanding multiple vans, SUVs, italian wines, $300 bottles of champagne, and even “high quality peanut butter and jelly”.  Wow.  I used to have a lot of respect for Jay. But i can’t believe this is the same dude from Marcy Projects in Brooklyn!

Obviously, way too many of these artists have gotten to the point that they aren’t grateful to have the opportunities to make themselves rich doing what they love.  No, they have to be treated like royalty, in order to “present the best possible show” for the patrons.  Thoroughly disgusting.

I have said repeatedly to my entire team, that once we reach anything approaching that level of fame, not only will we not be charging an arm and a leg for performances, but we will never ask for a rider, in any way, shape or form.  I’ll fire the first person I ever hear about asking for special considerations like that.  Because I understand the fact that if I’m charging these ridiculous expenses to club owners and promoters, they’re just going to turn around and charge the fans a ridiculous amount for the ticket prices.

If we’re getting 4 or 5 figures to do a show (never mind $750,000), I’m pretty damn sure we can afford to buy our own peanut butter and jelly.  Boxers too!


Holla at ya boi.
-Iceman Streetz

1 Response to “Ridiculous Riders…THIS is Why You Pay So Much at Concerts!”

  1. June 5, 2009 at 1:10 am

    Good for you! Some of the requests celebrities have are absolutely ridiculous! Apparently Mariah asks for her coffee to be stirred in a counter-clockwise direction only.

    Who gives a crap which WAY your coffee is stirred???

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