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From questions about booking speakers and talent, to the contractual process and what you can expect on the day; with two decades experience at the forefront of our industry we've hopefully answered most of your queries here, but if not, please call us and one of our experienced agents will be happy help you.
What is a Rider?
In simple terms, a 'Rider' is a list of requirements, requests or conditions that a performer or celebrity expects in addition to their appearance fee. The Rider is a legally binding document which accompanies the Booking Contract and it must be honoured, as failure to meet the terms of the rider can enforce the appearance fee being paid without the performance actually taking place.
There are generally three types of rider:
i) Technical Rider
ii) Hospitality (Dressing Room) Rider
iii) Travel / Accommodation Rider
These are often amalgamated into one document, especially when an individual's requirements are minimal and straight-forward, as often is the case for speakers and comedians. The most involved and demanding riders usually being the reserve of musicians — for technical reasons — and high profile 'A' list celebrities who possess the clout to make substantial and gratuitous requests. However, whilst some Riders can be overly-demanding and superfluous, we'll always do everything we can on your behalf to negotiate these to a minimum, and as a general rule Riders do serve a practical and beneficial purpose to ensure the performance is executed smoothly and hassle-free. So, what's in a Rider?
As you might expect, the Technical Rider details everything that's required 'technically' to make the performance happen. For an after dinner speaker or stand up comedian it may be as simple as specifying the type of microphone required and that they need a glass of water by the side of the stage. Whereas a celebrity DJ or musician will list all the equipment required on (and off) stage including specific sound desks or mixers, backline, monitors and speakers, dance floor material (if it's relevant to the performance) and lighting. It will also usually state how many qualified crew and / or technicians are needed on-site to ensure the smooth-running of the performance.
A typical Hospitality Rider will list food and beverage requirements and highlight any dietary issues, or it may stipulate a per-diem (daily allowance) to be paid as an alternative so that individuals can buy themselves a meal and drink. It will also include details such as the number of dressing rooms required, furniture to be provided in each room and other common requests such as the provision of fresh hand towels, an ironing board and a full-length mirror. You may find within a Hospitality Rider the security personnel requirements, number of complimentary AAA (Access All Areas) passes required and other items to ensure the performer's comfort.
The Travel & Accomodation Rider will explain how the performer intends to get to and from an event and clarifies who is responsible for booking each element of their journey. For a domestic UK event, if the performer and host venue are in close proximity this may be as simple as taking a taxi ride or booking an executive chauffeur car, but it might involve more complex travel requiring trains, airplanes and cars being booked to drop-off or pick-up from the airport or train terminal. It will also stipulate hotel rooming requirements including preferred hotel chains, type of room, meals, etc.
For international travel, if not already advised by one of our Booking Agents, the Rider will specify the cabin grade required for flights — economy/coach, business class or, far less often, first class — and identify any preferred route or airline carrier. It will also confirm VISA, work permit and immigration requirements and how the booker should ensure the performer's safe passage into the host country, and departure afterwards.
Most Riders are brief, non-demanding and, upon inspection, clearly designed to ensure that the booker gets the most value and best performance from the performer; whilst at the same time, from the performer's perspective, their act or show is smooth, faultless and a first-class delivery. If you have any further queries or concerns please speak with one of our friendly and experienced booking agents.