For touring artists, contract riders are an important piece of information to provide venues with. Besides simply detailing what the artist wants for lunch, they also outline the requirements which will allow you to put your best face forward as an artist.
By author, teacher and artist consultant Jeri Goldstein of Performing Biz
It’s time to get your contract riders in order before you set out for the next year’s tour dates.
You know those additional documents you might attach to your contract that tells the presenter or booker what you need to present your best show.
In fact there are often a ton of misconceptions about riders. They are not pesky documents meant to help the artist fill their liquor cabinet. And they are not supposed to cause the venue great expense to fulfill every request as you may have been led to believe.
Contract riders ought to be a helpful means to express your “real” needs to present your show to your best ability.
There can be three main riders to be made a part of your contract package.
1. The Performance Contract Rider: This spells out additional details about payment, show billing, complimentary tickets, insurance indemnity and other legal aspects of your show not included in the performance contract. Sometime bookers take these seriously and sometimes they just ignore these documents figuring that if you couldn’t spell out your needs in your contract, this stuff is all fluff. Sometimes that tends to be true.
2. Technical Rider: This rider spells out all of your show’s technical, sound and lighting needs.
3. Hospitality Rider: The Hospitality Rider lists your personal needs at the venue, in the dressing room, on the stage as well as housing requirements, food requirements when at the venue, and travel information or needs.
The beauty of having these documents well thought out in advance, is that it presents you professionally. When you send these documents with your contract, there only remains to have a few follow-up calls or emails to make sure all the details laid out in the riders are reviewed and followed. It makes advancing each tour date so much easier.
If you find yourself repeating your needs over and over and keep needing to fix things at the last minute, you may need to create and send contract riders along with your basic performance contract. If you have riders already set up, why not review them to make sure everything is up to date. You may have changed personnel or some piece of equipment. Make riders reflect your true and current needs. Get your contract riders in order to ensure that you have a great gig every gig.
If you don’t have a good set of contracts or riders, you may check out the ones I’ve put together in a packet. Contract Package
Are you using contract riders to spell out all of your show’s needs? Have you updated yours recently?